Surrey League Goodwood Motor Circuit

Nice early start.  Doubly so.  I couldn’t be 100% certain that my Blackberry would adjust for Daylight Saving Hours so I set it an hour early just in case.

I picked up the estimable ReubenE at 06:45 and we headed down to the circuit.

We arrived in plenty of time so we had a bit more time for banter that was probably more to my taste than poor Reuben.  It was pretty chilly too.

About 40 or 50 riders lined up at the start.  The race started at a dire pace.  Not for Reuben as he instantly went on the attack however he was quickly re-absorbed back into the bunch.  In fact Reuben made 6 attacks in total with a spirit that was most admirable.

I was trying to ride sensibly and conservatively which I did and for 30 minutes averaged on 215W which is comfortably less than “all-day pace”.  This should have left me plenty of spare horse-power which was probably the case.  But I didn’t feel amazing and I just lacked the will, or motivation, or knowledge, or inspiration to know what to do.  I slowly edged toward the front of the bunch (which contained a couple of dreadful riders) and for a reason I can’t remember put in a bit of a dig to no particular effect which went nowhere for a couple of laps.   Merely pulling the bunch along.  After a couple of laps of this nonsense I backed off to conserve a bit of energy.

With two laps to go I put in a proper dig into the wind.  It looked for a while like I might be able to get away but I was pulled back into the bunch.  I had one last roll of the dice on the final ‘climb’ and I gave it full beans but could not get away and instead I dragged the bunch up the hill.

With a couple of corners to go I backed off.  It was a bit of a sausage party and I didn’t fancy getting caught up in any mess in the chicane.

Some middling stats for a middling ride

Ave Power 288W

Distance 50km

Ave Speed 39.2kph

TSS 117.4

Congratulations to ReubenE who rode with enterprise and spirit. 

Parlee Z2

Finally!  I have my hands on my new bike.  A very, very beautiful Parlee Z2.

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I know what you’re thinking.  Time to invest in some deep rim wheels to really do it justice. And you’d be quite right.

I can’t say enough good things about Barry Scott and Bespoke Cycling.  What I will say is that if you want a fantastic bike, great service, want to feel good about yourself, your bike and your life I suggest you get your arse up to Hoxton Square sharpish.  The level of support, service, detail and care really is exceptional.  I can’t imagine buying a bike from anyone else in the future.

 

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The bike itself is exactly what I wanted.  Exquisite, understated and quite beautiful.  The photographs do not do it justice.  It rides extremely well and feels like it’s urging me to ride harder. 

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The initial feel of the SRAM groupset is good.  The brakes are excellent.  The gears might take a little getting used to; upshifting feels fine, downshifting still a little uncertain.

More pictures here.

PS Note the ‘shut up legs’ t-shirt.  How did it ship from Australia so quickly!

“Action” Shot

A nice short of yours truly from the SERRL website.

racing

Grim weather, grim expression.  Taken, I think, during my moment of glory at the front of the race.

Shut up legs…

My dismal performance on Saturday can only be explained by the following failings

  • I’m not overtraining enough
  • I’m not spending enough money

 

So I’m going to increase the number of threshold and VO2max sessions that I attempt to perform – remember it’s not the finishing of each session that’s important, only the intention, the pain and the humiliating climb-down.

And I’ve got spending too.  I pulled the trigger on this Cycling Tips t-shirt, which despite the fact that it’s being shipped from Australia (!), is a mere £35 or thereabouts.

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As you can see, success can only be just round the corner.

(and thanks to DaveC for the accurate diagnose of my race preparation flaws so far – let’s just hope it’s not too late!)

First Race of 2010, First DNF

Well, not quite the start to the 2010 season I was after!

PaulS kindly picked me up and drove me to the venue; Hog Hill.  Not the finest day weather-wise to be honest.  After the winter we’ve had the fact it wasn’t freezing bloody cold was some consolation but it was wet and windy.

We bumped into DaveC and ReubenE in the car park and it was a pleasure to meet up, get signed in and get changed.  That was roughly where the pleasure ended.

The last, and only, time I’ve raced at Hog Hill I breezed the ride.  I didn’t score any points, but I was very comfortable indeed with the pace.  Not today.  It was hard work.

The course was heavy with standing water and I had a wet arse and feet after 10 minutes of warming up. 

The race kicked off and I was expecting a few easy laps while I considered my strategy.  That did not happen.  The pace was pretty sharp from the outset, though by about the 4th or 5th lap I found myself at the front and kicking my own arse.  I spent a lap at the front which may or may not have done for me. 

The graph below shows my power output in yellow and my heart rate in red.  The dotted yellow shows my rough (+/- 15W) FTP (threshold power).

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Even though the pace had settled down I was feeling pretty fatigued.  The race was split up, with a couple of breakaways, lots of stragglers inexplicably continuing to ride even after being lapped and a small peloton.

At about 45 minutes I slowed, waved on those behind me, and made my last ascent of the hill at the end of the lap.  Funny; but quitting always feels like a psychological rather than a physiological failure.  Either way it was pretty disheartening.

Luckily ReubenS had also quit so I had some company as I watched DaveC and PaulS battle on.  Both finished the race; PaulS even putting in a really good effort with a sprint to finish 12th; not bad at all as two breakaways hoovered up the first 10 spots.

The stats from the ride were quite interesting.

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I spent a third of the race in L6 (anaerobic, that is > 363W) – that is unsustainable in theory I think and in practise it turned out this way. 

My peak power, or ‘best x minutes’ are as follows

Time Peak Power
5 mins 390W
10 minutes 359W
20 minutes 346W
30 minutes 338W
Total Ride 332W

I’m not sure if these figures are good, bad or indifferent. If I’d finished the race I’d be quite pleased with them :-) .

Bradley Wiggins

I can’t be the only one that, every time Bradley Wiggins opens his mouth either physically or twitterally, finds themselves liking him a little less.  He started with a good deal of kudos in the credit bank but I’m afraid he’s now comfortably into overdraft.

From this evening…

Capture

At least at the end of last year he had the excuse that he was permanently pissed.  But now the season has started we have to draw the conclusion that, without the alcoholic alibi, that he’s a complete arsehole.

Which is a great shame as he’s a decent athlete.

Shut Up Legs

I’d really, really like one of these…  The t-shirt of course, not the handsome chap.

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Available here if anyone’s prepared to pay the international shipping from Australia.  Check the video of Jens Voigt too; brilliant.