Long distance is where it's at - fact!

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Re: Long distance is where it's at - fact!

Postby downhillingdemon » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:44 pm

Friday - Rest Day

Saturday - Ladies Ride at Croft.
A brilliant day with the fabulous ladies of my local club (MCS) and MBSwindon. A wide range of levels, but it seemed that everyone achieved something, from Novice riders sucessfully attempting rock gardens to some of the more experienced riders facing some woodwork demons (including me, and I normally run screaming from wet slippy boardwalk!)

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This is likely to be one of the last I organise for a while as, unfortunately, it does mess with my own training somewhat to have such steady days out at the weekend ( 22.5km distance yesterday with only 31 m elevation). It's one of those things I am starting to realise....if you want to be the best you can be with your own riding, there are actually a lot of sacrifices to make. There is always the 'who the hell do I think I am' point too - am I 'good' enough to justify reducing helping others to focus (even more) time on my own riding? Probably not...but then, maybe I need to do it for a while to see how far I can go. Is a personal achievement (for example the 300 km Audax I have pencilled in for the end of March) more worthy of my time than organising fun rides for other people? Where to draw the line, that's the question? I have no intention of giving up leading the Thursday evening rides or the secretary duties for the club, that's for sure.

Sunday - Setting up the new DH bike
So the demo is finally is feeling amazing. Spent all yesterday evening getting it set up, and found it had been in 'high' setting on the shock last weekend. Once dropping into the lower setting, it immediately felt better. Even just standing on it in the kitchen. How can 0.8 of a degree on head angle, a few mm lowered BB and slightly altered wheelbase make such a HUGE difference? It's insane. After spending an hour adding a few clicks here and there, it now feels like my bike, like it's part of me. Actually, like my old Glory, but better. As good in the air now, but pedals better and corners better. I am massively out of DH practice at the moment, and am riding too cautiously, but there were a few glimmers of hope today that I may one day be hitting the trails like I would like.

Bumped into a couple of our club members down there too :)
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Another day of not-enough-pedalling, but it was a very good one non-the-less. I did manage to ride the DH bike up some climbs, would never have been able to do that before all the roadie work.
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Re: Long distance is where it's at - fact!

Postby kallefs » Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:38 pm

Damn! Didn't think you would go for that idea :) I will try to find my turbo somewhere and we will see how we are doing by spring. I might try a 2 and 300 km next year. Or I might start playing badminton.
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Re: Long distance is where it's at - fact!

Postby downhillingdemon » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:38 pm

I forgot, you Northern folks have to deal with a whole load of snow and ice in the winter so I guess actually road riding is not possible? I can't stand being stuck on a turbo, give me the wind, rain, gales and dark any day!

Last night - 66.1 km road ride. Nice and steady, although good to see my initial 'nice and steady' pace was 16.1 mph (25.9 kph) for the first 1 hour 50 mins. Climbs felt good even with tired weekend legs. Then the hunger hit suddenly at Dymock and the climb back home dropped the average moving pace to 15.5 mph (24.9 kph). Not bad though for a dark evening, along rough dark pot-holed and very muddy lanes. Garmin gives the climbing as 469 meters - Strava more as always. Why is that? I guess they don't use the same computerised corrections for the elevation.
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Re: Long distance is where it's at - fact!

Postby downhillingdemon » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:43 pm

Tuesday - rest day

Wednesday - muddy MTB miles. Damn my legs were sore. Still, good to know that even when my legs are indeed, most sore, I can power up climbs on the MTB I would have before dropped into granny gear for. Road riding has made a massive difference to that.

Thursday - ladies MCS ride. Was going to go out well before and do a few hours riding before meeting them. As it was I managed an extra 45 mins only. But hey ho, it was still 45 minutes more than normal so worth it. Legs still sore, but ladies ride pace is so steady, it didn't matter.

Friday - day off for an uplift with the DH bikes at the FoD today. I have such a love-hate relationship with downhill. Gawd knows why I keep it up. It's like a bad addiction. Assessing the day, it was overall good for me. I am not getting better at some stuff, no matter what I try, but I'm rarely phased by stuff now either. Jumping felt much better today, few more sessions on the new bike and I'll be able to go huge again I think. Certainly was clearing the bigger stuff I was struggling with last week at the FoD (not that anything there is actually 'big', just awkward to get speed for sometimes). Just need to get faster and get of the damned brakes as the new bike is amazing. :roll:

Was a very lovely day though, gorgeous autumn colours everywhere :)
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Re: Long distance is where it's at - fact!

Postby downhillingdemon » Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:44 am

Saturday - rest day. Went to town to buy the OH a new road bike yay! Company for me on some evening rides. Had amazing vegan fry up in a little café too :mrgreen:

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Sunday - roadie ride with the OH. I sit out front as it's a real hare-tortoise affair, with me being the tortoise, of course. Steady 95 km into the evening with 900 or so meters of climbing. Maybe too steady as only averaged 15.1 mph moving speed. I think I am pacing myself too much on these long steady training rides. Nice being out in the dark as always. Really love the dark lanes and it was good having company. I do get a little worried though, about him having to slow down so much to ride with me. But he doesn't seem to mind. Was trying out some new wheels that I picked up for a bargain price from a friend. Needed a bit of bodging with the cassette as I am running 8 spd on this ol' roadie o mine.

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Monday - van is broke. Again. Had to ride to work to get spare van...which was, of course, a great start to Monday. 33 km.

Tuesday - rest day. Just felt I needed it, legs sore. Gym put off 'til Wednesday.
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Re: Long distance is where it's at - fact!

Postby downhillingdemon » Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:34 pm

Gym - steady session - just up to 50 kg on squats

Thursday - ladies MCS ride, with a bit extra 45 mins before pedalling up from the valley and a bit of techy practice after. Perfect trail conditions tonight. Probably a good job I was tied up with the group or I'd have been pelting about like a maniac :lol: 16.4km 493m elevation.

Friday - Rest, again.

Haven't really got enough miles in this week as was planning on hitting it hard then resting next week in preparation for an Audax at the weekend. However, my poor planning (aka lack of training plan) has left me feeling like reducing load now as my legs are a bit shot. Just hoping I am 100% for the 7th as 200 km is a long ol' way to be poorly prepared for when you aren't used to big distance. At least I have a Garmin to help stop me getting lost thanks to the wonderful Fredrik :mrgreen:
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Re: Long distance is where it's at - fact!

Postby downhillingdemon » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:04 am

Saturday - fabulous ride at the Long Mynd - may stick some pics up later when I am back on my own computer. Pootling about, killer climbs, great social with some great riding buddies who I have known now for a long old time. Sunshine. Everything really!

Sunday - Rest. Was going to ride to the FoD to watch the better half race (he absolutely SMASHED it with a time that would have placed him well in pro-am, and saw him 4th out of 40 vets only a second or so off first place - and that was with a pedal slip - SOOOO proud I am!) but in the end I couldn't find keys to unlock the bikes so I went to see the family and my brother even made me vegan pasta, which was a really sweet thing for him to do :)

Monday & Tuesday - more rest. Yup decided to take a block of a few days.

Wednesday - nightride. Bumped into Crazywayne and chums and had a great blast with them across the ridge before splitting off. Everything was starting to freeze, that ol' winter is setting in now. Please please please don't let it be too icy on Saturday. Just gotta get through the Audax and then can settle into MTB for the winter!
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Re: Long distance is where it's at - fact!

Postby kallefs » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:34 pm

Was it a 300k on Saturday? Either way, have a nice ride!
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Re: Long distance is where it's at - fact!

Postby downhillingdemon » Sat Dec 07, 2013 9:08 pm

Nah, just a 200 km. Got plans for a 300 at the end of March, I think I need a little more experience under the belt for that kind of distance, although, after today I think the distance itself wont be a problem, just making sure all the kit etc is correct and well attached to the bike!

Had a brilliant day and easily completed the 200 km Audax through the three counties. Luck mostly on my side with the weather, no punctures, just one crash (and a bit of grazing), good choice of clothing, stunning scenery. Took it steady and only stopped when necessary and could definitely make up more time over the distance. 9.5 hours start to finish, including a diversion round a closed lane, a few waits at level crossings etc, stops to sort out rattling kit (rear light, part of the front mudguard and sausage rolls rattled off somewhere into the undergrowth haha) and trying to find the pub at the end. Apparently in first 10% home, the organiser was rather surprised when I walked in so that's good. Rode the whole thing from memory as didn't have time to get GPS mounted in the end, but knew the area so it was ok and managed not to miss a turn. Thank goodness for google street view - seeing the main junctions before hand really helped. I rode 95% of it totally on my own. Didn't see anyone in front or behind for miles and miles and miles.

I should add, got saddle sore about 30 km in so had to do 170 km without being able to sit on the saddle properly haha

Plans
1)Practice with the GPS and get it mounted asap so it is ready to go and I am used to it by the next one
2)Work out a better way of storing food and having some ready at hand as I actually struggled getting it out of the rear pockets without dropping it everywhere!
3)Sort out better winter clothing. I was lucky today, it was reasonably warm, but the clothing I had on (which I thought would be enough for a frosty start) was only just right for the warmer conditions. Need to plan!
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Re: Long distance is where it's at - fact!

Postby VeganGraham » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:10 am

Audaxing is not racing, but it's still nice to be in the top 10%. :wink:
I find it hard to get food out of a rear pocket on the move with gloves on. I use one of those little frame bags that sits on top of the top tube just behind the stem.
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Re: Long distance is where it's at - fact!

Postby downhillingdemon » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:28 am

[quote="Big Good Wolf"]Audaxing is not racing, but it's still nice to be in the top 10%. :wink:
I find it hard to get food out of a rear pocket on the move with gloves on. I use one of those little frame bags that sits on top of the top tube just behind the stem.


I agree about it not being racing. It was more a comment on how I had plenty of time to get back tbh. It wasn't like I was pushing it at any time with speed and was steady compared to my normal pace as my only aim was to complete the distance. As I hadn't really seen anyone much, I was a bit concerned that I may be running close to the deadline to get back. I knew once I was over the Marcle Mast I was home n dry in terms of completion, but I had visions of getting back to the pub to find everyone already on their third pint :lol:

Frame bag sounds great - which one do you use BGW?
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Re: Long distance is where it's at - fact!

Postby VeganGraham » Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:52 pm

I've got one of these;
http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/tope ... aid:627402
And one of these, which is just as good, except it's not waterproof, for a third of the price.
http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/xtre ... aid:160440

I'm still experimenting with what to carry where, both for commuting and days out, so I seem to use a different combination of frame and seat bags every time I ride the bike.
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Re: Long distance is where it's at - fact!

Postby downhillingdemon » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:49 pm

I am USELESS at keeping this log up to date aren't I?

I will try and get back to it. Sometime soon as I have just had a training plan done and fitness test.

Just thought I'd pop in to say I am loving my distance work on the roadie. And loving the MTB more and more.

In fact, riding, and life, is pretty amazing right now. So much better than this time last year where I was dreading a year of racing DH.

:mrgreen:
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Re: Long distance is where it's at - fact!

Postby downhillingdemon » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:49 am

I has been:

Riding 200 km audaxes in brutal conditions and flying round (in audax terms). Brutal brutal ride a few weeks back into 30 mile hour av windspeeds but worked myself into the ground to get back in 8hrs 30 (including all the stops at controls etc) even though, in some places, I was in the easiest gear I have, stomping on the pedals, and still struggling to get the bike moving forward into the wind. I keep getting back either first, or in the first few, but I think that's because I don't do a lot of stopping. It's not deliberate with the speed, people don't care when you come in and most people I think ride leisurely and drag the day out a lot longer than it needs to be. But for me, I'd rather smash it round and get back before the bad weather gets too much. We have had nothing but rain rain, flooding, rain, rain and wind in the UK this winter. Better than ice though, eh? Winter miles = summer smiles remember :wink:

Riding my DH bike. Did an uplift at Cwmcarn yesterday and, although a little slower than when I was riding DH all the time, I wasn't too far off the pace. Really wanted to hit some big jumps on it, but it was just too windy. Roll on a good day so I can really see what the demo can do without being scared of being blown off it!

Riding some XC. Ladies ride every Thursday and have been adding a little of my own riding beforehand. Did intervals on the MTB the other day. That was hard. Was supposed to be 3 x 10 mins at HR 170 to 175. Ended up average (yes, average!) HR's of 189/183/183 :shock:

Doing a training plan for 4 weeks for customcyclecoaching that has given me the best legs of my life.

My VO2 Max on the test was 51.4. I was surprised as I was feeling very average that day and I am not naturally a high performer on the cardio front, it's all work work work for me. Definitely didn't hit my max HR (was 194 on the day) as have pushed it up higher since then just on a normal ride. Having the zones mapped out has been the best money spent though, I will be able to tailor my own training now. I am still getting used to the 'feel' of the zones and keeping the HR within them which can be difficult on the undulating lanes round here, or the steep XC trails.

Changed the Allez aluminium frame to a smaller steel Ribble. It's unresponsive compared to the aluminium on the climbs (although I appear to still be able to hold my own on the climbing front, surprisingly). Glides along real nice on the flat and rougher lanes though. Saving frantically and selling my life on Ebay to pay for a Ti Audax bike, BUT now I'm pondering a carbon climbing machine as the hills are my strong point and I could smash out some hilly audaxes on one of those just nice. BUT Ti, I've so longed for a lifetime-keeper Ti bike..... *is torn

Preparing for some big rides this summer. Have a 300 km booked in and have got plans 400 and 3 x 600 km. But very scared. Will see how the 300 km goes before paying for the others :) There will be a mid season break for some serious MTB too :mrgreen:

Here's some pics:

There's a road under there somewhere:
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Sneaky work HT ride
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Jumping the wee demo
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Re: Long distance is where it's at - fact!

Postby downhillingdemon » Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:23 am

Couple of hard training weeks for me. Am carrying a lot of training fatigue now, but I think the over-reaching will benefit with a bit of a back off. Learning to ride with exhaustion is going to be key to get me through the upcoming longer Audaxes, no doubt.

Won't bother summarising all the training sessions - no one really cares about gym work etc anyway, do they?

But here's a notable selection:

Last weekend - hilly 110 km in Wales. Part of the Cambrian Permanent Audax series. Really enjoyed the first part, very hilly along some gorgeous lanes in the sunshine. Didn't see or hear anyone for 20 miles. It was bliss. The second part was on a steady steady up climb which would have been ok, other than the recent surface dressing (gravel topped road) making for a very draggy surface. The final leg was up a 10 km hill, into a brutal headwind followed by another 30 km into an even more BRUTAL headwind. I even had to pedal my heart out on the 'descent' the otherside. It made those 110 km feel like 200 km, I tell thee! Got the work done though, so all good.

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Hilly intervals. My goodess, Wednesdays interval session was hard. My fault. It was supposed to be a warm up, then 4 x 10 mins at 170-175 followed by a 155-160 ride to take me to two hours. I chose to do my intervals up the closest hill. Starts spinny steady then becomes increasingly steep until I am out of the saddle, pulling with all my might and muscles just to keep the bike moving. 1.5 miles = 150 meters of climbing x 4 - yes, 600 meters in 12 miles. Plus another 200 on the remainder of the ride. I didn't recover in time for this weekend what with ladies MTB ride on the Thursday and a very hard site day at work Friday.

Great to get out in the daylight, and with a little sunshine intermixed with the storms :)

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Yesterday - 200 km. Thank goodness for decent weather. If it had been rough conditions I wouldn't have got round with the training fatigue (mental fatigue as much as physical I think). The sunshine on my back saw me though. Not a bad time tbh, around my normal funnily enough (just over 9 hours with the controls, moving speed 8 1/2 even with a load of faffage through urban cycle routes in Gloucester), I just didn't have power on the climbs or high speed cadence on the flats. Most of the time I was thinking "I am never coming into a 200 km this fatigued again" but now it is over I am glad I did it as it was a real mental exercise to deal with fatigue. It was touch and go in the morning whether to start because of the conditions (very icy), however, I figured that a longer detour on the gritted main roads would get me to the first control safely, by which time the rest would be defrosting. It was indeed a good decision. On another audax yesterday a poor guy broke his femur going down in a group on black ice.
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