Too fat to be a cyclist. Too skinny to be a weightlifter.

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Re: Too fat to be a cyclist. Too skinny to be a weightlifter

Postby bob_summers » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:38 am

Very good result BGW. Dare I say it, almost a blessing that your Lynsky cracked as you wouldn't have picked up the gnaar points for doing it SS otherwise (I bet it doesn't feel like it though!)

Only one lap difference between winning SS and open.. wow!
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Se envejece cuando se deja de pedalear"
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Re: Too fat to be a cyclist. Too skinny to be a weightlifter

Postby Big Good Wolf » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:40 pm

I can't say too much about the first cracked frame, because it had a lifetime warranty for the original owner, and the original owner "forgot" that he sold it to me before it cracked and he sent it back. :wink:
2nd frame, old Gary Fisher Rig, cracked around the seat tube.
3rd frame, 2010 Gary Fisher Rig, bought second hand as a warranty replacement, so not warranted for me, cracked around the seat tube at 7 months old.

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Welded locally and holding up so far.

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4th frame, 2010 Lynskey, cracked around the seat tube at 11 months old.

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I'm now running the repaired Rig singlespeed as my commute/spare bike and the Kona Big Unit singlespeed as my race bike. Both are hardtail 29ers. I'll be converting them both to Rohloff for Mountain Mayhem 24 hours solo in two weeks.

I was surprised that there was only one lap difference between top solo overall and top singlespeeder. I was even more surprised that I was only 4 laps down on the overall winner.
Apart from the two hills where I pushed, there was nowhere I really felt like I was in the wrong gear. It was an ideal course for singlespeed.
One of the best things about riding singlespeed was the opportunity to wind up other riders. A bit of heckling helps to keep the interest going for 21 laps.
I'd come up behind slower riders on the singletrack and shout "Singlespeed 29er on your right" as I overtook them. :P
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Re: Too fat to be a cyclist. Too skinny to be a weightlifter

Postby Big Good Wolf » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:41 pm

In other news;

I commute past a nature reserve that's world famous in Worcestershire for it's poppies.

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I got an invite to join an Endomondo challenge, Most Calories Used, All Sports.
I went straight in at 9th/140. Go Fat Vegan ! :D
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Re: Too fat to be a cyclist. Too skinny to be a weightlifter

Postby Big Good Wolf » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:52 am

Mountain Mayhem 24 hour race.

This is the big one, the most famous 24 hour mountain bike race in the UK and only about 40 miles from home.

Got there on Friday afternoon and set up camp. We've got fluorescent lights and a cool box running off two truck batteries now. Proper civilised.
Mrs BGW was riding in a fun team of ten for Pearce Cycles. They also had two sport teams of four and they had saved us a spot so we all camped together, 19 riders plus support altogether right by the track almost exactly half way round.
We did a practice lap on Friday evening in about 1:50. I guessed that at my race pace I would be lapping in about 1:30 so planned right from the start to stop every lap. It was a hard course with nowhere to recover, a lot of climbing and tricky rutted descents with long drags across and around fields.

The race started with a 2.5km run. I set off at a brisk walk and was well towards the back by the time we got to the bikes. There were still a lot of solo riders and quite a few teams behind me though.
Two traffic jams on the first lap. The second one took about 15 minutes to clear as everyone tried to get down a short steep drop in the woods.

I still haven't worked out a proper race strategy for 24 hour solos.
I can ride 12 hours with minimal stops, I think I was stationary for 26 minutes at Bristol, which includes stopping for a puncture.
I can't do that for 24 hours though and I don't know if it's best to have lots of short breaks, a few longer ones or one big one.
In the end, I had about 15 minutes every lap plus two breaks of about 1:30 and one of about 45 minutes.
I think I actually rode for about 18:30 hours out of 24:40

Four crashes. Nothing serious, three were slipping on wet roots and one was getting stuck in a rut on one of the Land Rover tracks.

I keep thinking I ought to put more of the emotional aspect in to these race reports, as that is by far the biggest part of these endurance races.
Mrs BGW spent most of her time supporting me. Only once was she not there when I came in as she was out doing a night lap for her team at the time.
Having a dedicated support crew makes a huge difference. The Pearce crew were all cheering me on as well.
I'd come in and slump down in a chair while she changed my water bottle, scrape the worst of the mud off the bike, oil the chain and hand me food. I was getting proper pampered.
The Vegan Cyclists kit helps too. Everyone seems to recognise it and a lot of other riders or spectators shout "GO VEGAN" as I ride past.

I felt pretty low overnight, that's when I had my two longer breaks.
I didn't particularly enjoy the course as it was so hard. I use Ay Up lights, which are pretty good, but there's much brighter lights out there now and I found it hard riding in my own shadow as other riders with better lights came up behind me and I couldn't see the roots and ruts ahead.

By the morning, I felt a lot better and started counting down the hours and working out how many more laps I could get in in the remaining time.
My last three laps were all done with minimal breaks in between. Mrs BGW would swap my bottle, I'd stuff a banana or slice of apple pie in my face and shove a bar of licorice up the leg of my shorts to eat on the way round and off I'd go again.

12 laps in the end, finishing at 24:40. About 203km
32nd/169 solo males.
I went in to the race hoping for a top half finish. They show the results on a screen during the race, but only the top 20 in each category, so I had no idea where I was while I was riding. It was a nice surprise when the results went upon the web site and I found I was top quarter.

There's a lot of banter on the way round. I caught up with this guy just as we got to our camping area. I shouted to him "That's my missus with the camera. Slow down a bit, make it look like I'm overtaking you"

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Matching gloves, socks & frame.

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http://connect.garmin.com/activity/93660322
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/93663107
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/93660290
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/93663692
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Re: Too fat to be a cyclist. Too skinny to be a weightlifter

Postby IronGirl » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:52 pm

Great report BGW and a super performance. Would love to have a crack at the solo one day. I've raced 12 hour and a 13 1/2 hour straight in the past on Ironman races, but at least you have some running to look forward to and a change of action. I just don't know how you cope for 24 hours in one position. Huge congrats!

I spent a few hours supporting MM on saturday and sunday. (Rode the Road Sportive on the sunday - I'm such a wuss). The atmosphere was brilliant, just made me want to be out there riding.
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Re: Too fat to be a cyclist. Too skinny to be a weightlifter

Postby Konstantin » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:15 pm

24 hours!

Respect!
You can see my training log if you're really bored: [url]www.veganfitness.net/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=16086&start=360[/url]
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Re: Too fat to be a cyclist. Too skinny to be a weightlifter

Postby downhillingdemon » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:01 pm

Great work BGW :D
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Re: Too fat to be a cyclist. Too skinny to be a weightlifter

Postby benzilla » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:05 pm

Huge effort BGW! And an excellent placing as well on a tough course.
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Re: Too fat to be a cyclist. Too skinny to be a weightlifter

Postby Frostfire » Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:39 am

Wow, that is hardcore! Well done, and great write-up. I like how you totally under play those 4 crashes. Like, "ya, its no big deal, I'm just that tough . . . "
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Re: Too fat to be a cyclist. Too skinny to be a weightlifter

Postby Big Good Wolf » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:43 am

Thanks everyone.
I had a similar conversation with a friend who has run double marathons, Iron Girl.
She can run for 8 hours, but can't imagine being able to cycle for 12. I can cycle for 12 hours, but can't imagine being able to run for 8. :D
At least on a bike you can shift your weight around from bars to seat to pedals, freewheel down hill and get off to walk up the steep ones for a change.
I'm doing the Bontrager 24/12 in a few weeks. I'll be doing the 24, midday to midday, but there's two 12 hour races, midday to midnight and midnight to midday, on at the same time if you want to have a go.

Crashing a mountain bike is nothing like crashing a road bike. My average speed was less than 10km/h so, on the twisty bits through the trees where I crashed, I'm not going much more than walking pace anyway.
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Re: Too fat to be a cyclist. Too skinny to be a weightlifter

Postby Big Good Wolf » Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:52 pm

Three hour trailquest around Weston Under Wetherley, Warwickshire.

Bit of a bad start as I was just checking the tyre pressures before loading the bike in to the Land Rover in the morning when I noticed a bulge in the rear tyre. Lucky I spotted it when I did. I swapped wheels quickly as it was easier to use my spare wheel with a "mud" tyre than try to fit another tubeless "fast" tyre.

The map and my planned anti-clockwise route in highlighter pen.

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It was a fast course with quite a bit of the off road riding on canal towpath or old railway line with a good surface and no hills, so by the time I got to the East side of the map I was well ahead of schedule and extended my route further North.

Only one major mistake. I got to the railway bridge North of CP 11 and missed the turning. I carried on until I got to the road, then turned right, thinking I was heading for CP 10. It was only when I saw the sign for Marton that I realised I was on the wrong road and doubled back. :oops:

My final route. 64.9km in 3:09

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Looks like I was 3rd overall. I spoke to the winner afterwards and he reckons he did about 71km.
I wonder if I lost 10% of my bodyweight, I could ride 10% faster ? :?

My route on a scrollable zoomable OS map.
http://www.aecmilitant.co.uk/mapping/os ... istory.gpx
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Re: Too fat to be a cyclist. Too skinny to be a weightlifter

Postby bob_summers » Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:59 pm

Some fantastic results BGW!

Big Good Wolf wrote:I wonder if I lost 10% of my bodyweight, I could ride 10% faster ? :?


Read somewhere that a 2% loss in BW through dehydration results in a 10% loss in power (obvious enough) but apparently this has been used to advantage in stage races with summit finishes. Sounds crazy to me, a bit like how a two stroke engine puts out more power just before it holes the piston :|
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Re: Too fat to be a cyclist. Too skinny to be a weightlifter

Postby Big Good Wolf » Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:41 pm

Thanks Bob, I like the analogy. I certainly felt like I was going to hole a piston as the clock ticked over the three hours and I was wondering if I'd made the right decision riding along a bridleway past somewhere called "Hill Farm" with 3km still to go. :D

I reckon I'm getting better at pacing myself now, which helps.
I think I've always gone out too easy on trailquests before.
After 9 hours of a 12 hour race, I start thinking "This is easy now, only 3 hours left".
It's given me the confidence to treat a 3 hour event as sprint and push hard right from the start, knowing I won't blow up before the end.

Results are here. 3rd overall and in age category.

Final league results after 9 events
12th overall, beaten by four guys in an older age category. :?
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Re: Too fat to be a cyclist. Too skinny to be a weightlifter

Postby Big Good Wolf » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:39 pm

200 mile drive to Plymouth for the Bontrager TwentyFour12

My second of three 24 hour solo races this year and Mrs BGW's first and only.
I'd heard this was a hilly course and my practice lap on Friday evening showed 330m of ascent in 12.7km.
No run at the start, straight out up a steep hill on the bikes for a short lap on wider tracks to get everyone spread out, then out on the proper lap, starting up the same steep hill.

I had decided to come in for a short break after every lap again.
We ended up camped trackside next to Rob Dean, one of the UK's top solo enduarnce riders.
As I was sitting down resting after my 2nd lap, I saw Rob's wife standing by the track holding a bottle with three gels rubber banded on to it.
A few seconds later, Rob came through at the end of his 3rd lap, threw his empties on the floor, grabbed the fresh bottle and was gone.
Two things struck me as I sat there.
Firstly, I do reasonably well at endurance racing, but the elite riders are in a different world.
Secondly, if the top riders can find time to stuff their empty gel wrappers in their pocket and drop them in front of their pit crew to be picked up, why can't everyone ?

By half way through at midnight, I'd done 8 laps.
I was finding it very hard going, pushing up a few of the hills.
I sat down for a break and just didn't have the motivation to get up again.
I eventually went out after three hours and did another lap, then sat down again for another three hours.
I got going again after dawn and did another 4 laps for a total of 13.

19th solo male out of 47 finishers, although 65 were listed as pre entered before the start.
170km, about 16:20 hours riding time out of 25:01 total time.
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/101926460
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/101926293
I'm a bit disappointed with myself for giving up like that overnight.
Oh well, at least I've proved that even on a bad day on a course that doesn't suit me, I can get a top half finish overall.

In other news;
I've got my Lynskey back, having been repaired.

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I'll be using it at SITS, my 3rd 24 hour solo, next weekend.
Two 24s only two weeks apart isn't ideal for recovery, all I can do is take it easy and keep commuting by bike.

I've ordered some new lights. I currently use Ay Up lights, with two LEDS on the bars and two on my helmet.
I'm buying a 7 LED light for the bars and borrowing a 4 LED light for my helmet, which I will probably buy anyway.

I'm feeling a bit more optimistic about SITS. I like the course, it's a lot flatter than Mountain Mayhem or 24/12, I got top quarter overall on a singlespeed at the last 6 hour race there, and I'll be using better lights.
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Re: Too fat to be a cyclist. Too skinny to be a weightlifter

Postby Big Good Wolf » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:46 pm

The start.

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The start of the first hill out of the arena.

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