Hog Hill 24th April 2010

With a very mixed start to the season the ambitions for today were pretty modest – to finish the race.

I decided to get the Parlee out of storage for it’s first use in anger.  I couldn’t bear to put the ‘wheelchair wheels’ that Geoffrey Butler built for me on it so I rode with my PowerTap-less Dura Ace wheels.  So no power.  Or heart rate.  Or speed. 

The pace of the race was reasonable and I was very comfortable in the bunch. 


Repeating the mantra ‘do not ride on the front, do not ride on the front’ I ended up on quite a few occasions riding on the front.  I can’t help it.  I like to be at the sharp end of the race and somehow it just happens. 


Barry from Bespoke went off the front early and I was sorely tempted to try and join him but with a DNF already at this track this year after a daft push off the front I decide to play it cautiously instead.


The race was 1 hour plus 5 laps.  With just under an hour gone I got horrendous cramp on the hill simultaneously in both calf muscles.


I had to totally back off and I thought my race was over.  From the front end of the bunch to the back and off.  I must have been at least 150m off the back.  I practically resigned myself to my fate of another DNF.  However, my legs slowly started to come back so I thought I’d do another lap and see what happened.  After a mighty effort for 2 laps I managed to claw my way back on.  After another lap or so getting my breath back I made my way back to the front of the group.

With only about 3 laps to go I was pretty bushed but managed to hold on for the last lap and finish comfortably in the bunch. 

The modest outcome dovetailing nicely with the modest ambition.

Other Bigfooters?  ReubenE, like a lot of other riders, did not stick the pace for the whole race though ReubenE’s downfall may have been down to an ill-advised early dig at the start of the race.  PaulS put in another very solid, strong performance and finished 5th I think.  Brilliant.

(all pictures courtesy of DaveC)

Ride with GPS

Have struggled manfully with Bikely for preparing routes for my Garmin I think I’m about to finally jump ship to another system.  Bikely suffers from being on unreliable servers and from a total lack of development.  Fair enough; it’s free after all.

I have looked at a few others over the years but they have either been rather scruffy or cluttered with ads.

However Ride with GPS seems excellent.  It does everything I need including exporting directly into the all-important TCX format.

Goodwood 11th April 2010

Not too bad-wood anyway.

Much better outing today.  I decided early on that a dull “tactical” ride was not for me so rode in a manner much more natural for me.  Fortunately a couple of other riders were of a similar frame of mind and so it ended up being a nice spirited race.

Despite the pace being the same as the last race (average 39kmph) it felt windy practically for the whole lap which meant that a) it was hard work and b) there was little chance of a break getting away.

I spent most of the race in the first 3 or 4 places doing good long turns on the front.  Tactically unsound of course but a much more enjoyable way to spend time.  In contrast to the last race where the entire 75-strong bunch stayed together today’s effort was more fragmented; and the better for it.

I had another pathetic dig off the front which came to nothing.  With 3 laps to go no-one else seemed keen to pull the remainder of the peloton around so I did.  With less than half a lap to the end I expected riders to come flying by me as I was pretty knackered.  They did but I should have had a little more faith as I was able to start re-taking the lost places on the hill.

I finished up outside the top 10 but reasonably strongly considering the efforts that I’ve made during the race.

Average power (normalized) for the ride was 323W for 1hr17 minutes; the best  20 minutes was 336W.  The figures sound pretty good but my race-craft is still sadly lacking.

Not too sure what happened to ReubenE but he was still showing pretty strongly at the end so he can’t have been doing too badly.  More importantly he was great company which made for another enjoyable outing.

Rouleur Magazine

Receiving Rouleur Magazine is always a bit of a treat.  Each one is a thing of beauty and there are usually an article or two of interest.  However, this quarter’s is fantastic.  The contents are as follows

  • Jan Hirt by Herbie Sykes and Ben Ingham
  • Never Give an Inch by Johnny Green
  • Shimano: Part Two by Guy Andrews and Taz Darling
  • Gino by Herbie Sykes
  • England by Rouleur Photographers
  • Columbus by Guy Andrews and Ben Ingham
  • Le Metier by Michael Barry and Camille J McMillan
  • The Knowledge by William Fotheringham

The Jan Hirt thing looks particularly fascinating as it follows a 18 year old as he tries to cut it becoming a pro.  This will be an ongoing feature in coming magazines.

And, of course, it’s chock full of beautiful photography, including some from the UK.