...or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the burn

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Re: ...or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the bu

Postby Alistar » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:38 am

[quote="bob_summers"]...(we always get a bollocking if we drop riders on the way out!) and finished with a race up to the village (4km@5%). As expected, we were called every name under the sun when the dropped riders rolled in 10m later ... I'm already in trouble for not wearing the club kit. It's like being at school again!


Ha ha! Funny the cultural differences or is it just your club? Here the dropped riders would be apologizing for "letting the side down" and not being able to keep up! :lol:
[quote="bob_summers"]last km is 18%, GPS shows 30% in places though and with a 39x25 bottom gear...

Ouch! :shock: Good stuff for making it and living up to your new log name tho! :D
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Re: ...or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the bu

Postby bob_summers » Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:59 pm

My club is pretty fuddy duddy, very typical of the old school clubs here. Average age about 50. There are 'younger' clubs with good racing squads but I've always stuck with the one I joined when I came here. I don't see much value in training with a club anyway, the temptation is always to go too hard on easy days, or not hard enough the other days. So I don't mind pottering around and suffering the rules and regulations! After half way, it's gloves off anyway, some of the other lads are pretty quick so we do get a good ride in.

Light week, short rides.
27/8
Arano n back
55km

Don't remember much, but got a PB up to the village. 8/41 on the Strava board, not bad since there are a bunch of elites on that. Given up on KOMs now :oops:

28/8
Aia loop
55km

A bit sly this, I downloaded a clubmate's PB into my Garmin so I could 'race' him up the back of Igeldo. Always annoyed me that he's faster than me up there! Anyway, it hurt but after being neck and neck for most of the climb I managed to drop 'him' and opened up a gap of a minute (over 7.5km) by the top. Nice to be in the top 10 as well (just!) with 9/118.

31/8
Arritxulegi Agiña
90km

More virtual action, this time against vBob's PB over both climbs (total 12km). I couldn't get going though, and was a minute down at the top of Arritxulegi. I got a bit back on the short descent, and was level at the middle of the 2nd climb, but started to blow and lost out by 20s. Not too bad, since the PB was set in a race so I didn't have much chance. Got a PB on Peruena though. And an unexpected 4th on the descent of Agiña, just 8 secs behind Ben King from the Basque Tour a couple of years back (though I think that was a wet descent).
"No se deja de pedalear cuando se envejece.
Se envejece cuando se deja de pedalear"
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Re: ...or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the bu

Postby Alistar » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:32 am

[quote="bob_summers"]
Don't remember much, but got a PB up to the village. 8/41 on the Strava board, not bad since there are a bunch of elites on that. Given up on KOMs now :oops:

... Nice to be in the top 10 as well (just!) with 9/118.


That's pretty impressive though. Seems like you're one of the best of the rest! 8) Yeah all gets a bit ridiculous in terms of times when elites and in your case some pro tour guys start posting!
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Re: ...or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the bu

Postby bob_summers » Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:53 pm

When I browse around, it seems nobody here uses Strava compared to the UK or even south of Spain. It's only in English which I guess stops some people. A guy in our club just got hooked up.. I saw him post a time in the Pyrenees which was faster than some pro times (eg Dominique Rollin) :shock: He hardly trains either, the bastard. Oh, to be 55kg!

Sun 1/9
Club run, Guadalupe + Perurena + Oztaran
73km

Missed the start by 15m so had to really push on to catch the club. This did get me a PB to Gaintxurizketa from Rente, as I could see them at the top! But no legs after that. Did a bit extra with another guy but was struggling to stay with him on the last two climbs.

Tues 3/9
Arano OnB
60km

Just spinning legs, felt tired before I started and glands are swollen a bit in my jaw. Climb to Arano was in the low 30ºs so not much fun! Pushed a bit harder on the way back, PB'd the little lump up to Benta Berri despite being in the wrong gear :oops:
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Re: ...or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the bu

Postby Alistar » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:43 am

Yeah those really little guys seem to be incredibly quick on the climbs at the start of the season too I've noticed. Takes me about 2months of training to catch up.
[quote="bob_summers"]Missed the start by 15m so had to really push on to catch the club
!
Bollocking averted? :P Not surprised. 15mins is a stack of time to catch up on a bike! 8)
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Re: ...or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the bu

Postby bob_summers » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:41 pm

Had an 'off' week, maybe fighting a virus off (qv glands in last post..) and the weather being 20º different within a couple of days doesn't help!

4/9
Igeldo Andtzarrate Lasarte
65km 2h20

40º in places, avg of 35º according to the Garmin (includes descending under trees I guess) so not feeling motivated to do anything other than creep round and stay hydrated. Probably little point in going out.

5/9
Arano n back
55km

Bit cooler today so hit out for Arano, used to have a challenge to get there in less than one hour back in the days before Strava. It's 20-odd km rolling, then a 5km 7% climb to the village. Didn't occur to me to try for the hour until I was almost at the foot of the climb, but I had an avg of 33kmh without having pushed, so it wasn't a tough job to finish off - 57m34s. Shouldn't be hard to go below 55m with no head wind. 2nd best time to the village too.

8/9

Club run Ernialde + Alkiza + Andatzarrate (from Asteasu) + Igeldo
80km 3h07

Pissing down + 12º as I set off (late again/as usual) so trying to catch the club who would have been 15m ahead. Puncture in Lasarte put paid to that. However, only saw one clubmate who was descending from the village as I was going up. So rain scared almost everyone off. Wasn't going to get any wetter, so climbed up to Alkiza (slowly...) and then over Andatzarrate. No records being smashed :wink: but it was a great day for being on the bike: low cloud on the climbs, silence except for cow bells in the top meadows, saw maybe 2 other riders out. Finished off with Igeldo which brought the total climbing up to about 1500m so not a totally easy day.

Got back in time for the rowing finals (teams of 13 + cox) which is the best non-cycling sports event on the local calender. Teams from towns and villages along the Cantabrian coast compete in a qualifying league all summer, which cumulates in the "Flag of La Concha Bay" final on the first two Sundays of September. The locals go mad for it, great atmosphere with 100,000 watching from the shore. My team (Pasai Donibane) didn't qualify but the final didn't disappoint, controversial in the end as favourites Urdaibai crossed the line first but were relegated for a clash of oars with the eventual winners, Hondarribia.

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"No se deja de pedalear cuando se envejece.
Se envejece cuando se deja de pedalear"
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Re: ...or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the bu

Postby Alistar » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:36 am

Man! 40 to 12 degrees? Extreme! No wonder there's a few sniffles going around. Gets hard riding much over 30C I find due to all the fluid you lose. But 40?! :shock: 12C is pretty damn cold after that tho eh!

Man got a few people into those boats aye?! We have crews like that here but I think there's only 7 or 8 in a smaller boat? Yeah an awesome specticle though eh! Can be damn hard to control going out through those breakers, and staying straight on the face of the waves once caught even for experienced crews. I haven't seen a regatta in the flesh but makes for great tv when the surfs big( bodies, boats going everywhere)! A pretty hardcore sport alright!
Funny reading Cantabrian coast as we're called Cantabrians down here 8)
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Re: ...or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the bu

Postby bob_summers » Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:38 pm

You're Cantabrians too eh? Not sure how that works, but apparently the name is celtic in origin - meaning 'highlanders' or somesuch. Maybe someone borrowed the word for your neck of the woods!

We had some pretty wild temp swings around spring as well, around 20º if I remember. Not sure I've ever lived anywhere with such differences before, probably due to having the south winds blowing from Africa and central Spain, and the northerlies off the ocean. Back to normal this week, 18-20º.

11/9
Aia - Urdaneta - Garate - Igeldo
90km 1600m

Quite a lot of climbing for the distance, none of it felt very good! Got blown down the road on the way out, and didn't fancy grovelling into it to get home, so hit the hills instead. Got a PB up to Garate but it felt like I was hardly moving.

12/9
Arano n back
55km

After last week's effort, I decided to try again and see if I could go under 55m. At the foot of the climb it looked good, with a 35.5kmh avg over first 20km, but I'd been riding into the wind and felt it immediately on the climb. I beat my time from last week, but by 33s (57m dead), not the two mins I was looking for.

13/9
Igeldo-Aia-n634
55km

Shit legs, so easy spin. Came back along the valley, flat but headwind, was caught by a bloke with an Ironman tattoo (!) and we shared the work and kept an avg of 40kmh over 10km, not my idea of an easy spin but woke me up! Stopped to wash the bike before I got home, had been going so hard I hadn't noticed the rear tyre was soft.
"No se deja de pedalear cuando se envejece.
Se envejece cuando se deja de pedalear"
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Re: ...or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the bu

Postby sergio » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:54 pm

[quote="bob_summers"]

Got back in time for the rowing finals (teams of 13 + cox) which is the best non-cycling sports event on the local calender. Teams from towns and villages along the Cantabrian coast compete in a qualifying league all summer, which cumulates in the "Flag of La Concha Bay" final on the first two Sundays of September. The locals go mad for it, great atmosphere with 100,000 watching from the shore. My team (Pasai Donibane) didn't qualify but the final didn't disappoint, controversial in the end as favourites Urdaibai crossed the line first but were relegated for a clash of oars with the eventual winners, Hondarribia.

Image


I've always wanted to see the september traineras race. Not just in local calendar, I think it's one of the best sports event ever! It's funny how is not really appreciated outside Euskadi, people must be really busy watching football games and F1.
I accidentally replaced all of my blood with coffee.
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Re: ...or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the bu

Postby bob_summers » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:50 am

Where are you Sergio, was it Burgos? It's a long way off but it you want to come up for the next ones, give me a shout!


15/9
Club run Artadi + Garate + Aia + Igeldo
90km

Did the usual of leaving late and tried to catch the club, which I did after about 25km. Legs felt heavy. After Artadi i did some more solo, crawled over Garate (by this time temps were rising and I was dressed for a cool damp morning), from Zarautz I decided to go for a PB up to Aia, just over 10km climbing apart from a couple of drops, managed to beat it by just over 3mins 8) and probably could have pushed a bit more. Slow puncture on front, which I decided to leave until I got home but had a very scary moment on the descent as I hit a bump mid curve while cranked right over, and felt the rim hit the tarmac. Lucky not to have a snakebite, as I was going fast and still had a lot of curve to get around. Visions of the tyre rolling off the rim and me ending up tangled in the fence.
Got a massive cheer as i rolled into town :D , there was a triathlon and I'd accidently ended up on the bike course, they thought I was one of the competitors! It was the massive cheer for the lanterne rouge type thing, as it looked like most people were doing the run.
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Re: ...or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the bu

Postby Alistar » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:11 am

[quote="bob_summers"]I decided to go for a PB up to Aia, managed to beat it by just over 3mins
:shock: smashed more like!
[quote="bob_summers"]Got a massive cheer as i rolled into town , there was a triathlon, they thought I was one of the competitors!

Done that before on our Coast to Coast :oops: Great thing is I now know what its actually like to be in the event so now have no reason to attempt it 8) Not sure that Kayaking down rivers and through gorges, and running over steep mountain tracks would agree with me though :wink:
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Re: ...or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the bu

Postby bob_summers » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:27 pm

Only a couple of rides this week. Everyone in the house with colds except me, but feels like I might be coming down with one so better not to push my luck. Bought a giant claw of ginger (think 'claw' is the correct term!) and a bag of lemons, so we'll see...7

18/9
Leitza loop
100km, 3h20

Haven't done this for an age (was doing it 2x a week last winter), was only a couple of mins behind my PB to the top/half way at 1h43m. Descent was treacherous, very wet, got cold, and wanted to get home as quickly as possible! Sun came out for last half hour, rode in with a u-23 kid who was going out to do intervals, not sure if he believed me when I said I'd spent 2.5h riding in the rain!

22/9
Botched club run, Bidania+Aizarna+Meagas+Igeldo
95km 3h35

Had a restless night with the lad waking up a few times, struggled to get out of bed when the alarm went off and missed the club run by 30mins. Didn't expect to catch them, but dawned on me I didn't know how to get to the meet point. Google navigation took me up a 5km climb only to tell me to do a u-turn at the top and go back down (I guess the road I wanted isn't on the map) so I sacked it off at that point. Felt very slow, really shit legs on the second climb over to Aizarna and just got slower until Igeldo ended up being a long hot slog with loads of traffic. I think today is some saint's day or other, which people celebrate by 'climbing' a mountain (ie drive as close to the top as possible, spend 45 minutes trying to park, walk 2km to the top...) so loads of angry drivers on roads where I never see anyone.

Image
Only ever see tractors here

Image
Highest point of the day

Image
And the lowest, have to ride up the motorway for 5km on the way out
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Re: ...or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the bu

Postby Alistar » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:41 pm

[quote="bob_summers"]I think today is some saint's day or other, which people celebrate by 'climbing' a mountain (ie drive as close to the top as possible, spend 45 minutes trying to park, walk 2km to the top...) so loads of angry drivers on roads where I never see anyone.


Ha ha! Love the way some people decide to "de-stress" and get back to nature like that. Road looks pretty steep and narrow so can see why you'd have to keep on your toes re. traffic.

Nice pic up the top there of Mountains, Valleys and your new hoods :)
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Re: ...or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the bu

Postby bob_summers » Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:30 am

Argh those hoods! Aside from the colour, they're more comfy than the originals despite being half the price. The texture is nicer, kind of matte, whereas the Campags go shiny. One of the Belkin guys (Mollema?) takes the hoods off and wraps the levers with tape, not a bad idea for wet weather.

So... very little to report. I have started as a full-time stay at home dad (though teaching three evenigs a week) which has eaten up all my time. I am hoping to get into the swing of it, and it will get easier. Optimistic training timetable is 2x midweek sessions before dark (or on turbo/velodrome when days are shorter), Sat/Sun morning as usual.

25/9
1hr Singlespeed
Had to pick up some bits from Decathlon... still counts, right?!

26/9
Goizueta OnB
70km easy
Met the guys I used to ride with midweek 2 years ago (timetable change meant I couldn't make it last year), out pretty hard then back super slow.

27/9
MTB Ulia
2h/20km
No time so did a lap of the mountain. Won't lie, focus was to get a KOM on a trail descent.. it's *my* route and someone nicked it off me a while back. Prob was, I misjudged where the end was, so while I eventually went quicker than the KOM, it didn't register as I was stopped and checking my lap time :oops: I'll get it another time... good fun anyway, it's only 500m or so, fast as you dare through woods on singletrack, hard braking for a slippery, rocky chute, down a technical rooty rock garden, then a singletrack sprint to the line. The Yeti has worn bushes in the rear linkage, so when I sprinted it flexed so much it was changing gear.. must fix that!

29/9
MTB Adarra Latse Goizueta valley
60km 4h+
Great first half, big climb up to the flanks of my favourite mountain, mix of technical tracks and doubletrack, charcoal roads, stone circles, corpse roads, a cool descent then about an hour of country roads which kills the fun a bit and I think with some time on google earth i could work out a better finish.
Went for another KOM, part of the main climb but it's 3.6km of unbroken climbing on loose rock/big gravel. I got that by just 6 secs, the larger climb is almost 10km and I missed the KOM by about 7m. However I stopped for about 1m to pee, then another 4m putting a jacket on, eating a banana, so I think it's doable next time.

Image
Top of Mt Adarra. "Adarrak" are horns in Basque, so easy to see where the name comes from.

Image
View across the Leitzaran valley after the rain stopped.

Image
One of many stone circles, Google Earth tells me I passed about half a dozen on the route though some were pretty hidden as I didn't see them! The jagged peak on the horizon is Aiako Harria and like Adarra is important in Basque mythology. It marks, almost, the border with France and when viewed from the French side has the profile of Napoleon's face, or so they say!

Image
Ancient beech trees. Basque borrows the latin name, Fagus, so when you notice how many Basque placenames start with Pagoa/Fagoa you get an idea of how significant these mythical trees were (can you tell I'm a beech fan?!)
"No se deja de pedalear cuando se envejece.
Se envejece cuando se deja de pedalear"
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Re: ...or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the bu

Postby Alistar » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:49 am

Hey cool! Good luck with the new regime. Yeah just fit in things when you can. :) At least the weather soon won't probably be as inviting.

Man great shots! Particularly love the one of the Leitzaran valley. Clouds look amazing! How many big stones in those circles btw? All different in number? Beautifull ferns/bracken cloaking lower slopes of Mt Adarra. Those Adarrak look cool!

Our Beech forests down here are pretty amazing too(only grow in Sth Island I think). Although I've never seen any with trunks like those. Wow! But I know they're a different beech species down here...
However looks like those ones have been coppiced at some stage and have grown right back, so maybe that's why?

Did you see the World RR champs btw? Felt so sorry for Purito at the end as really wanted him to win. If only he started sprinting( or was able to) before Costa caught him then perhaps that would have been enough of a psychological blow to make Rui give up? Once caught there was no way little Purito was going to outmuscle Rui at the line :(
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