Tag Archives: Cycling

Ibiza

This is the first time for me. Clubland, Ibiza. Despite DJing when younger I’d never been here. I wasn’t that much of a hardcore clubber I suppose. The murky drug side of it all put me off too. I have never really been one for all that stuff.

Now, at the age of 32, and with TPO’s 30th in a matter of days, we decided to come for a bit of a mixed holiday. The Balearics for me is something I associate with cycling training camps. Majorca has some of the best roads and a climate that is favourable makes it precisely the type of place cyclists like to spend a week or two at the start of the season. A bit of searching on the Weight Weenies forum, and I was told that there was enough riding on Ibiza to fill a week too. In that time you could pretty much cover the whole island. I packed the bike into the (new) bike box, and we headed to the sun for 5days beech, cycling (me), running (TPO) and relaxing in the sun. This was followed by two nights in Ibiza town doing the party thing. Fortunately, I am not at work again until Monday 2nd, so I will have some time to recover.

Well lets just put it this way – the roads are awesome. Too twisty to be fast in a car, so locals seem to stay below 80km/h most of the time. I have ridden along country lanes, with the sun shimmering on irrigation tanks, a perfect mirror of the brilliant blue cloudless sky. I have seen farmers rebuilding a dry stone wall. I have seen the coastline, beaches, boats. I have seen hairpin bends, and the type of twisty yet smooth road descents where you go as fast as you dare, the tyres and your faith in your brakes being the only limiting factor – the mountains in the north really did give me what I was looking for, as the pass climbs from sea level to 270m in a very short distance. It was a case of selecting the granny gear and grinding. All of your effort going into climbing in autopilot mode, while the sweat of the 35degree heat glares down on you. I drank litres of fluid. Perhaps 4 – 5 litres a day. I got up at 7:00 to avoid the heat. I once more fell in love with my bike again.

It is true to say that traveling with a bike is a pain. You need to hire a car or get a larger taxi – you need to pack it properly and cross your fingers that nothing will happen. You need to be prepared for it to be destroyed. I ride a lot of bikes though, and honestly, there is nothing like riding your own one on the sort of roads you kid yourself you ride. The sort of roads which are the image in your head. The type of roads where Armstrong and Ullrich would have duelled. Yes, it isn’t the Alps or the Pyrenees and they certainly are on my list, but please don’t dismiss Ibiza if you have a week to spare. Particularly if your own pretty one is with you. The parties in the evening, riding in the morning and sleep all day is a sweet way to pass the time.

Just a word of warning. Do not burn the candles at both ends too much. It could be messy.

My rides were as follows:
45.3km 422m climbed
62.2km 802m climbed
81.4km 971m climbed
28.0km 245m climbed
85.2km 1072m climbed

So 302km with 3512m climbed. Not too bad, given this is a holiday and I went clubbing all night between the first and second ride!

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Luxury

I have a friend, who is quite a bit older than myself.  About six years ago, we were in contact quite a lot.  He was a good hobby rider, and had the best bikes and all of the best equipment.  I remember one day talking to him about riding, and about sore muscles.  He just looked at me and said ‘go for a massage’. 

At the time, I remember thinking what a luxury that sounds like.  How nice it would be to do that – to just say, you know what, I am going to do this for myself.

I have never been a big fan of massage.  Relaxing massage to me to pointless.  It is like being stroked to death.  I am not a cat.  Sports massage, well, I have had it a couple of times, and enjoyed the feeling that actually something was being done to my muscles.  Something good.

So today, I went for a massage on my legs. the physio working on my “like old rope” knotted muscles.  It was painful but good.  A luxury I think I will occasionally afford myself.  I mean, all of this is about looking after my knee, and that has to help right?

How self-indulgent!?

Happy Days

It was one of the hottest days of the year today. The sun was shining and it actually felt like summer. On Monday, when riding with Manchester Wheelers there was a suggestion that I should join the Thursday night ride from near Ashley. There is a group who gets together for a ride, which the suggestion was would be about my speed. From home, the start is about 10 miles away (16km), so I set off at a warm up pace, using the small chainring for the first 12km or so. I got there with 10 minutes to spare, make some introductions, and then try to ride in a way that wouldn’t disgrace myself!

Well, I was told that the ride would ‘wind up’ a bit as it went on. This was true. We set off relatively quickly, and just got faster. I managed to do my bit at the front in the first part of the ride, but moving forward later I found myself thinking ‘this is a bad idea’. So I sat at the back for a bit. Then, well then the chain gang started. (a chain gang is two lines of riders. The outside line moves faster than the inside line. When you get to the front the rider on the outside moves across to the inside and eases off slightly, as the next rider moves up and then across. After about 20 seconds, you are then at the back, so you move to the outside line and dig deep again to move to the front. The effect is that you all ride very quickly!)

I rode for about 5 pulls at the front, but then noticed that not all of the riders were taking part, so thought to myself, sod it…. At the back of my mind was the fact that I still needed to ride the ten miles home.

By the end of the ride, we had an average speed of 33.8km/h, and then I had to ride home.

Right now, I am sitting on the sofa, with 91km in my legs, on a school night, with an average speed of 32km/h.

Happy days.

Puncture pause.

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This is (now) what I am training for!

So I did it.  I signed up, and am now going to ride the York 100.  The 100 mile version of the event – not the 100km version.

Here is the route:

Details are here:

http://www.action.org.uk/york_100/100_mile_route

It is a long time since I did a 100 mile ride (actually, a long long time) so I don’t know what sort of time I am expecting.  The plan is to start slow and build from there – little ring for perhaps 20 or so miles before moving up to the big ring.

If anyone cares to join me, I’d love to see you there.  Also, if you feel like sponsoring me, please use this link.

https://www.action.org.uk/sponsor/richardtoddywoddy

What am I training for?

Well it is a question I was asking myself on Monday, when someone was trying to convince me that really, in my heart, I wanted to do a ten mile time trial.  I didn’t want to at all (they are a suffer fest) but it is something that I am considering.

Commitment.  First of all, committing to exercising is difficult.  I understand that, and people who don’t exercise – you know, I can understand that too.  Taking the time every day (or 4 days out of 7 minimum to make me happy) to do something that raises my heart rate sufficiently for an extended amount of time is sometimes very difficult.  The English summer is cold and miserable for the most part this year so far.  I know, we are only in May, but still.  I am very pale for someone who has ridden as much as I have recently.  My knee warmers have proven to be the best investment I made of late.  When the wind is blowing and the weather is cold and damp, then yes, staying at home does seem like the preferable option.

There was a time in my past where I trained properly, every day.  I had a training schedule, and I worked at building up my hours.  It worked very well, and I was quick, but then my knee went bang.  I have always aspired to get back to that level of fitness, but actually the motivation to train like I did wasn’t there.  It was fair to call my approach one of an athlete.  I would be upset if I didn’t train.  I watched what I ate.  I HAD to go and ride at least 4 hours on Sunday.  Even in the snow.  It was on my training plan.  I am actually pleased that I am not approaching it like that now, but, and here it comes, where do I go from here?

I want to ride my bikes.  I actually quite enjoyed competition, but enjoyed training more (competition gave me a reason to train – an excuse when questioned about this apparent madness).  The feeling of training when others were at home is great.  There is a clip of Lance Armstrong mountain training, where the team car is telling him that there is 3 feet of snow at the top, and he can’t ride it.  He just ignores them.  The idea of being tougher than anyone else is motivation in crap weather.

I think what I am saying is that doing things by halves is not my style.  I haven’t competed since 2006 because of my knee.  I have rested up completely and recovered.  I have trained differently and actually changed by body shape.  I do work on my upper body now, not just cycling.  I run too, for a shorter, sharper work out.  I swam a fair amount too (but haven’t since moving – which is bad).  More all round fitness was the quest, and I think it has paid off.  I am able to ride, without knee problems.  Of course, I am aware of it, and running is just something I do because I dare not ride everyday.

So on my ride on Monday, after not joining the club time trial, I rode on, thinking about a challenge.  Perhaps one of the Sportives would be the way to go?  I want to build my stamina and my group riding experience, and this seems like a good way to do it.  Sport has for me, always being the best that I can be, not about judging my performance against others.  A sportive seems to fit this bill.  I also want to ride the greats.  Go to France and ride the climbs of the tour.  Go back to South Africa and do the Cape Argos.  All of these things are on my list.

So now I am searching for a Sportive to do.  In August from York there looks to be a good candidate – 100 miles and about 1000m of climbing.  That isn’t much over that distance.

Monday’s ride was 63km, with an average speed of 30.1km, by the way. Yesterday’s exercise was a 6km run.  In the sun, incidentally.

Pave

Managed to get a nice flattish fastish 40miles done this morning. After which we drove to London to go to a house party.

Lovely ride though, although a bit too much traffic. I am feeling good. My legs are working well. 29.5km average speed.

Nice bit of Pave too – although only about 100 meters of it.

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Worksriding

Working at a bike company usually means that you all like bikes. Those who have no interest eventually give in and end up with bike or 7. What we don’t often get to do together though is ride. Everyone has a different rhythm. When R&D is super busy and pushed for time, sales is more relaxed. When sales is relaxed, normally this is in the lead up to a show – getting everyone out on bikes at the same time is difficult.

Today we managed it, and I have to say I was impressed. Everyone rode well, and although not everyone was of the same level, no one was really left behind. I managed to push myself quite hard a couple of times, working with one of our product managers, to sprint back to the group (usually as I had dropped off to take photos).

At the end of the day, I had (including riding to work and back), around 65km. It isn’t looking like a bad week so far, but I think the riding is over, back on an aeroplane tomorrow.

Riding around here is so nice though. I must admit I miss living in Germany for that very reason. Good roads and varied terrain. The weather today even played along, and the ride included a beer garden stop (alcohol free Weiss beer).

There were some nice bikes on the road today too!

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