Monday, 11 August 2014

Nick Rides London

Willow tests the brakes
Yesterday I cycled the RideLondon 100.  Which was actually 86 miles after they chopped off the two big hills on safety grounds due to rain, and I have to reluctantly agree that was probably a good decision.  It was torrential at times.

This will have to do, I ain't taking a selfie
The event required a quite frankly ridiculous alarm call of 4am.  Even then I left late, forgetting my sunglasses (which turned out to be a right and literal pain with the heavy rain).  I got to the Olympic Park in plenty of time in the end but ended up right at the back of my group, the first wave to depart, as I needed as last minute pee.  On setting off, I was unable to get ahead to the main pack and so lost valuable time struggling on my own until the third wave peloton caught me up and I tagged on (the second wave overtook on the opposite side of a dual carriageway).  I did manage to keep at 33mph through the Limehouse Link on my own though.

The weather in the first part of the race was fine and the road dried enough to draft very effectively (remembering I had naked eyes).  As a fast group overtook, one cyclist made a comment that amused me, as someone cut him up.  Whilst rolling his eyes, he just sighed and said ‘triathletes’. Busting my ass to keep up with the group meant I was unable to take on any food and water and in the end, through the whole race, I only at one 9Bar and drank one bottle.  I haven’t lost my knack of poor fuelling!

The rain began to fall and so too did a chap just in front of me on a bend, wiping out the rider next to me.  I got through okay, but it did give me pause for thought. As I cycled off (he was right by the stewards) he was screaming ‘my wrist is broken’.  Think I am one to internalise my pain more, he was making a right racket.

As the race wore on I slowed a little and pelotons came and went as I latched on for as long as I could.  In smaller groups I did try to do my bit, but fully admit that I took a lot more than I gave this time.  I did the last couple of miles, all out, max effort and probably averaged 23mph.  Coming down The Mall was pretty cool.  I finished in 4 hours and 5 mins.

Reasonably even splits
So, considering the lack of sleep, the weather, missing the first peloton, the poor fuelling and the rusty bike handling skills, I was pretty chuffed with that time!  I averaged 21.2mph, I think as fast as I have averaged on a ride.  I was concerned that I was going to be seriously lacking in both power and cardio capacity – but this shows a pleasing level of base fitness. Now if I can do some actual training...  (also, I could feel my belly getting in the way, never had that before)

Despite the weather I stayed very comfortable and it wasn’t till I stopped on my way home, in a torrential thunderplump, that I got a bit cold.  As I cycled along Piccadilly, there was a storm drain (I assume) that was moving up and down, along with the surrounding concrete, and water spraying through the cracks.  So, I did some work work! I rang our desk at work and reported it.  Which we passed on and it was promptly ignored by all accounts – there was already a cone there but the whole area looked like it was about to collapse and it needed barriering off.

I will apply to do next year’s ride I think, though it’s a shame I won’t be able to compare times.

I came home to find this fella have moved in

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