Tuesday, 3 May 2011

A windy ton

I suppose I was being a little ambitious yesterday with winds forecast to be 30kph with stronger gusts from the East - to ride a route that was 104 miles and would only have a 'helpful' wind direction for about 30 miles..... when I left the house at 13:30!!

OK - so I did know that I could cut it short to 86 miles it time and daylight conspired against me.

But in the end they didn't. 

[Note to self] When strong winds have been blowing, watch out for half-fallen trees.  It smarts a bit when you plough through them at 25mph ;o)

Once again I went through a slightly sticky patch from about 50 to 65 miles. But then my legs came back to me and felt a lot better for the last section... which was initially hillier and there was another 10 mile section of strong headwind.

Because I had planned to do the 100 miles, I took a couple of solid food things with me (and plenty of coinage to buy stuff should the need arise), and because they were in my jersey pocket, and the sun was shining on them, have found that anything with a chocolate coating is asking for trouble! :o)

I also thought about fluids too. With only the capacity to carry 1.3L on the bike at the moment - I'm steadfastly resisting the idea of carrying a pack with a bladder, mostly because I'm most comfortable riding on the drops - I consumed 500mls of Carbo-Loader just before I left, and with it being sunny, opted for Electrolyte Energy on the bike. If it had been hotter I'd have been completely happy with this mixture. As it was cooler I think I'd have been better with one of each on the bike.
And I need more for the longer days on the Fred Whitton course!

Working on the principle that I'll not have support - I'm going to have to find a way of carrying a couple more bottles - ideally without having to use a pack!!

As a longish training ride, I was happy with it. 104 miles in 6:22, and feeling really strong by the end. Just need to work out how to avoid the 'dip' I get after about 3 hours. Although with any luck, the Fred course will keep my legs and brain from going to sleep :o)

Today I planned to rest - more by default really - there was a STACK of work that had built up over the Bank Holiday which had to be done, and important house 'stuff' happening too.

The weather for the next few days looks excellent though - so an opportunity to get in some solid miles before I allow my legs a couple of days R&R before the Challenge begins!


  1. Hi Leon - you can get seat mounted cages that hang a bottle behind your seat. Triathletes use em. You could also try mounting a cage at the *front* of the downtube with a band. I've seen long distance people doing this. Or you could stash some supplies, say if you were doing laps of a big route :)

    PS I think you know my mate Jon Port?

  2. Steve - I'm looking in to a couple of options along those lines.
    Stashing stuff might be tricky just from a time perspective, but........ :o)
    I do indeed know Jon!! :o)

  3. Leon - have a look at the FW route carefully as there are plenty of bottle-filling opps. From memory, there were feed stops at Buttermere YHA and a carpark (which had a public toilet) about 25 miles from the end. At both you can refill bottles with water and I'm sure there are plenty of toilets/pubs/cafes on the way to do the same. What we did was take PSP22 (or the energy drink powder of choice) in little plastic bags (shove them into your rear pockets or your saddlebag) and refilled and made up energy drinks as we needed them. Don't carry too much water as you'll be carting it up the hills - no fun! And I'm with you on not taking a Camelback - the route to a bad back (and it just doesn't look cool on a road bike)

  4. Thanks Liz :o)
    I've been having a decent scour of the route and there do appear to be a number of opportunities for refilling.
    The first half of the route has plenty of places, Pubs, Public loos and cafés and the like. The second half, after Loweswater is a little more sparse - although it does look like there are PC's in Eskdale Green and Gosforth, which I'll check out on Day1!
    And definitely get the point about carting extra weight up the hills!! ;o)