Sunday May 31, 2009

Hard May Flyer

Today was the 2009 South West Road Club's May Flyer. I vowed this year to not try and get on the wheel of a fast group early on as that enevitably leads to pain later in the day. I kept this up for about 30 miles which meant I was riding mostly solo but humming along nicely when a pair of faster riders caught me and I did catch their wheel until the halfway point. After that I was quite quickly dropped and so that allowed me to enjoy the headwind on the return journey.

I was at least pleased that the route goes through Peaslake thus avoiding Pitch Hill on the way home or at least it did last year. This year it did not! Taking us up Pitch Hill and then down around Peaslake along Lawbrook Lane which also has a sharp climb in it. All this when you still have Coombe Bottom to face.

Not sure how long it took me, but it was a long time, much longer than last year. I failed to zero my bike computer before the start and I have mislaid my GPS!

I was planning a slight detour for my 1000th blog entry but time has not allowed me to finish the entry before a normal cycling entry arrived. The detour may appear later.

Sunday May 11, 2008

May Flyer

Once again we, Molesey BBT, rode the South Western Road Club's May ride. This year is was called the “May Flyer” the route was identical to last year but the weather was not. Today was glorious sunshine. We started off as a group but one immediately, that is within 10 yards of the start, punctured and the rest of us pushed on. By the time I got over Coombe Bottom all the other BBT riders were no where to be seen. One rider I know from the trips to Italy and France was with me and a few others I did not know. We pushed on.

After about 22 miles we were caught by three riders who had started 3 or 6 minutes behind us and so were clearly going faster than us. I decided to try and catch a wheel and see how far I could hold it for. One of the riders had blistering speed on the “flatter” sections the second I later discovered was doing the ride on the big ring and could clearly have left us all standing. The third seemed like a very good all rounder.

I managed to stay with them until the return climb up Coombe Bottom where the “all rounder” was dropped but the rider on the big ring disappeared. I was only 10 yards off the other rider at the top but He was on a mission and the drop from there to the finish suited his style being able do a fast pace.

My GPS told me I completed the ride in 4:54 for the 86.24miles giving 17.6mph.

Finally on the way home I got to be bicycle repair man to a random Lady whose chain had come off. The whole day was 104 miles and my legs certainly feel that I have had a good workout. I do really need to find out what the problem is with my right foot which became extremely painful during the ride. I was wearing my Sidi shoes. I'll try the Carnacs for a few weeks to see if that makes it better.

Sunday Jul 01, 2007

British Cyclosportif

The day finally came.

Given the recent weather I was not looking forward to the ride. I had my excuses prepared, poor weather, poor preparation and as I went to bed I was feeling poorly. So 2 paracetamol and 2 ibruprofen and early to bed, for a 4:30 alarm. Two more paracetamol in the morning and I was off (we had run out of ibruprofen otherwise I would have taken them as well). At least this way I would be o.k. for the start.

Got away at 6:55 on their clock and out of Greenwich into not the most picturesque area of England however all along the route were depart posters and the roads were having the potholes filled and man hole covers refitted.

The run to Rochester was uneventful, although some of the behaviour of the cyclists left a lot to be desired. Clearly it is not motorists or cyclists that are the problem. It's people.

At Rochester we turned South towards Royal Tunbridge Wells and straight into a horrible headwind. By now with the problems of traffic in London and this head wind my average speed had dropped to 17.48mph and the rain started. However the rain never got to more than a light drizzle so me wearing two tops, leg warmers and waterproof overshoes was both over the top and causing me to overheat.

At 50 miles to go I started to loose the plot, I was depressing my self by watching my the miles count down on my speedometer and my legs were hurting. At this point I switched to the Average speed display which showed 17.5mph so I reached in my pocket for the energy gel I had been given in the registration pack. To say it tasted horrible does not do it justice, but since by this time I was drinking an energy drink that was a mixture of black currant and Lime I was not best placed to be rational about the taste. Either it was fabulous or it was all in my head all the time. My legs stopped hurting and I was doing 23mph with a cross wind since we turned East.

Then we turned North and for once the wind was behind us. A group of us got a chain going and we were skipping along at 28-30mph. In the final 5 miles was when I hit my maximum speed as we flew into Canterbury.

My speedometer, which since we did not get rained on worked, gave these results:

Distance

119.09 miles

Time

6:33:39

Average Speed (according to the bike computer)

18.22mph

Average Speed (manually)

18.15mph

Max Speed

41.3mph



I just got a text message from the organizers and my official time is 6:47:20 which is 17.67mph (using the official distance of 120miles) including all the stops. I stopped twice at feed stations and for every red light.

All in all a most enjoyable day, although my daughter has now vindicated one of my excuses, I have a temperature of 102ºF. Hardly a Greg Lemond moment but at least I'm not going mad.

Sunday May 13, 2007

South Western Road Club May Cyclosportif

This years South Western Road Club Randonee has been renamed a Cyclosportif. I'm not sure why as this years event was practically indistinguishable from last, except that it ended in Ripley where there is hall and that it rained for the entire ride.

A group of us from Molesey BBT left together at 09:09 but almost immediately we were split up with just two of use off the front and we did not stay together for long. By the time I reached Albury I was on my own but feeling good catching riders from earlier groups. Then in Wonersh I was passed by three riders and managed to grab a wheel. This could have ended in tears as they were pushing on and just outside Godalming the rider just in front of me went down on a left hand bend. How I missed him and his bike and managed to stay upright I don't know. He and his bike were fine. It certainly did not stop them pushing along however he was more circumspect on the bends from then on.

I managed to stay with them until the halfway check near Amberley but while we were getting our cards signed the faller managed to escape of the front so there where then just three of us. However it was clear to me that I was never going to be able to stay the distance with them. Then one of them punctured and I was alone briefly before I joined up with another group. Then we passed the faller who had also punctured, there were lots of riders puncturing. I must have past at least 10, each one making me think it was only a matter of time before I joined them. I did not see them pass me but they may have when I stopped to tighten the screws that hold my water bottle cage on which had worked loose.

>By the time I reached the third checkpoint I was leading a small group and on leaving I was on my own. I wanted to be alone as I climbed Coombe Bottom so no one would know just how slow someone could go up a hill. I failed. Got caught.

Managed to ride the last few miles to Ripley as a pair and since it was down hill it did not feel quite as slow as it could have. Also the rain had eased a bit. I finished at 14:13 approximately which is a disappointing time 5 hours 2 minutes to do 90miles. I have plenty of excuses though.

Not really sure how far it was by the end as once again my speedometer stopped working for part of the ride. I measured the distance as 83 miles and have 104 for the day with an average of 18mph when I finished and 17.8mph when I got home.

I was completely soaked but overall I enjoyed it.

Thursday Feb 15, 2007

Etape du Britain

Now I just need to get a place.

It is kind of pricey but I will still be there. You get to ride the route of stage 1 of the Tour.

Anyone joining me?

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This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to http://chrisgerhard.wordpress.com

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