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Thread: This year's Pain? ... Joy? ... Insanity?

  1. #1
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    This year's Pain? ... Joy? ... Insanity?

    As a few of you may remember, last year I tackled the Tour de Yorkshire ride and had an amazing time. Then in the summer I talked my partner into a gruelling few hours on some of the finest and toughest off-road tracks the Peak District has to offer (seemed only reasonable, since I live here ).

    Well, we both had a fantastic time doing that, so this year I've signed us up again ... and added a few more rides to the list! It's put me at five organised events this year, so I'd really appreciate a bit of motivation from the incredibly supportive hexus massive and in return I'll drop in some details, pictures, and maybe even a few videos from my new action-cam (a Christmas present from my step-son, God love him ).

    Here's the calendar:

    February 4th: Evans RIDE IT Rochdale Road Sportive, medium route (50 miles) event page - event route - Event cancelled due to weather.
    May 5th: Tour de Yorkshire Ride, long route (80 miles) event page - event route
    July 7th: Evans RIDE IT Leeds 100, short route (38 miles) event page - event route
    August 17th: Evans RIDE IT Peak District MTB, short route (15 miles) event page - event route
    August 18th: Evans RIDE IT Peak District Road, medium route (55 miles) event page - event route

    If you want to follow my training and how I do on the rides in more detail feel free to check out my strava page (and follow me if you want): https://www.strava.com/athletes/2527050

    I generally post more pictures of my rides (including lots of bad selfies) on twitter and facebook - if you're really interested drop me a PM and I'll let you have my details for those sites. Fair warning though, I also often use social media to try to guilt people into sponsoring me for rides

    If you fancy joining me for any of the above rides feel free to register and let me know, and we'll try to sort out meeting up at the start.
    Last edited by scaryjim; 11-04-2019 at 06:17 PM. Reason: route updates

  2. #2
    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Re: This year's Pain? ... Joy? ... Insanity?

    excercise, when succesfulyl achieved and goals are met, is addictive

    that's some schedule... is it hittable ?
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

  3. #3
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: This year's Pain? ... Joy? ... Insanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zak33 View Post
    ... is it hittable ?
    Oh, totally - they're all well within my wheelhouse as far as biking goes. I'll be doing a lot more miles in total this year than I've listed here. I mean, my round trip commute is almost 28 miles

    In fact, this year's TdY route is slightly less tough than the one I completed last year. The trick is going to be timings and segments. I'm a bit of a big lad for climbing hills, so ideally I'll be looking to lose a few more pounds before May, and then going for a couple of PRs on the hills, as well as having a couple of targets for both moving and elapsed times.

    I was planning to get out for a training ride this afternoon, but we've got winds gusting up to not far off 50mph at the minute, so that one's on hold Going to have an indoor climbing session this evening instead.

    EDIT:
    Just realised I didn't mention my other motivation for this lot: Charity! (mate ). Three of these rides will be sponsored for charities that are important to me and/or my family: The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation for the TdY ride; The Alzheimer's Society for the Leeds 100; and (as is becoming traditional) Glossop Mountain Rescue Team for the Peaks MTB. I'll be posting full details of that on facebook, twitter and probably Strava (in the descriptions of my training rides).
    Last edited by scaryjim; 13-01-2019 at 03:11 PM.

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    Best of luck to you.

    Best of luck scaryjim with your endeavors.

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  6. #5
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: This year's Pain? ... Joy? ... Insanity?

    Update:

    So, after a relatively lean January* for biking, and with my first sportive coming up fast, I finally got out on Monday for a proper yomp: https://www.strava.com/activities/2109105048

    That's a ~ 54 mile route with 4000ft of climbing - I'd planned one with ~ 1000ft more climbing, but the first 8 miles were slippery and treacherous where the trees shaded the road, and I decided that bombing down windy Pennine passes might not be a great plan

    It was an enjoyable ride, but pretty tiring (I always forget how much the cold saps the strength out of your legs) and the second half was mostly into a biting headwind that all but froze my fingers off. Still, it got the required miles under my belt, convinced me that I could still do such distances even in the cold weather, and I got to eat lunch surrounded by some amazing scenery:


    So, starting to feel pretty good about Sunday, I decided to work from home today so I could get out and try some more hills then have a rest day tomorrow ... and the ride just got cancelled for the weather! It's understandable: a lot of the organising team from Evans Cycles live down south which has been hammered by snow, the temperatures are not going to get much above freezing, and there is some rain or snow forecast for the afternoon. I can understand them not wanting to take any risks.

    OTOH it does leave me down one ride, which was an integral part of my prep towards the Tour de Yorkshire. I'll have to plot how to replace it in my schedule...!


    *to be fair, I haven't done a ride over 15 miles since August, and nothing over 22 miles since the end of June, so trying to claim it's just January is a bit rich

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  8. #6
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: This year's Pain? ... Joy? ... Insanity?

    UPDATE: Get Some Friends!

    Yep. You heard me. Get some. Now!

    OK, this update is almost a week late, but better late than never … just like finding some cycling friends! Last week I was reading some blogs, and one of them mentioned an organised ride a few years back that basically starts on my doorstep, organised by the local cycling club. Well, I'd known there was a cycling club locally, but I'm always a bit nervous about meeting new people, and I know I'm not particularly nippy on a bike, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to have a quick look at the club. So I checked out their website, which said "Join our facebook group, come on a couple of social rides, and see if you like us before you join". Well, that sounded painless enough, so I dropped in a request to the facebook group.

    Within a couple of hours I not only had access to the group, but someone had posted that they were going out for a ride the next day - a day I'd already planned to head out and get some more miles in! So I said I'd join them, and here's what happened: https://www.strava.com/activities/2148528345

    48 miles, > 4000ft of elevation, and, as usual some fantastic views over the dales once I'd got up the hills!


    Cycling with other people is a hugely different experience to cycling on your own - the camaraderie of struggling against the weather and up the hills together really adds to the experience, as well as helping fight the fatigue. Can't wait for the next one

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: This year's Pain? ... Joy? ... Insanity?

    Stony silence for almost 3 months? Have a fallen into a hole, or had a recurrence of my serious back problems?

    Nope, just been having too much fun out on my bike to write about it

    Now, if you've been following along with my calendar you'll have noticed that Sunday was the Tour de Yorkshire Ride. Buty, before we rush into the meat, let's have some hors d'ouvre, shall we?

    Since the lat time I wrote I've been out three times with the club's midweek social (the RASRs - Retirees and Skivers Rides - guess which I am ). That helped me slowly build up to 65 miles by mid April. In between I was pushing my legs with commutes and shorter workout rides (including some mountain biking to give the legs a eral workout), all leading up to the big day.

    Then last week it was time to get serious. Tuesday saw me do this:

    an 80 mile bike ride including ascents of Cragg Vale (the longest continuous gradient in England, alledgedly) and Holme Moss. That was a proper warm up and no mistake!

    Then on Friday, what better way to get my bike to Leeds than to ride it there!

    38ish miles, knocked off in just 3 and a half hours of total travelling time (and less than 3 hours actually moving). Who said that cycling isn't a viable form of transportation

    That gave me Saturday to rest, and spend time with the family who came over to cheer me on, before things got serious on the Sunday...

  10. #8
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: This year's Pain? ... Joy? ... Insanity?

    So, up bright and early Sunday morning, head up to the start, pump my tires up at the maintenance station before rolling into the starting pen, and is it happens I manage to exactly hit my allocated start slot: the hooter sounds and at 7:02am I roll out of the starting pen.

    At 7:05am I try to shift onto the big front cog and nothing happens. Or to be more precise, my front deraillieur moves, but not far enough to push my chain up onto the cog. Queue a quick roadside maintenance session as I realign the deraillieur, overcook it and the chain overshoots, and adjust back so the gear changes smooothly. At 7.13am, I've lost almost ten minutes but I'm back on my bike and pedalling hard.

    At 7.15am, there's a smap and a slither and:


    I am 13 minutes ... just a shade over one mile .. into the ride and my chain breaks. It actually slithered beautifully through the drivetrain and lay on the road in front of a group of oncoming riders: this picture is after I'd collected it and started the repair.

    Fortunately (as anyone who's followed the Every Day Carry thread will know) one of the pieces of kit I keep on my road bike at all times is a multi-tool with a chain breaker and a couple of spare quick links. That turned this from a day breaker into a time-chewer - it was almost half an hour after I set off before I was back in the saddle and turning the pedals, and I was feeling pretty miffed about it (as well as worrying that I'd miss my dinner reservation back in Leeds ).

    It's possible the breakdown gave me a little motivation: I hammered the next 15 miles - including two category 4 climbs - in just over an hour, before rolling into the first feed station and desperately trying to scrub the chain gunk off my hands (spoilers: they're still not properly clean two days later).

    From there it was a surprisingly uneventful ride: no more technical issues, no scares - the most notable thing about the day was just strong and fit I was feeling throughout - last year I was flagging hard by the last 15 miles, but this year no such issues: here's my silly grin at the top of Col d'Otley Chevin - a vicious climb with an overall gradient of 9.4%, but the first kilometer averages 12% before it levels out.


    Last year I got off and walked most of that, and was still grimacing when I got back on my bike. This year I just ground up it and was smiling at the top: such a result.

    The biggest downside from there - I biked too fast after the final feedstation and most of my welcoming party missed me biking up the Headrow! We met up for dinner straight after though, so it was all good in the end

    I had set myself a target (based on last year's 7:40 total time, 6:15 moving time) of 7 hours total, 6 hours moving. Sadly the chain issues put paid to the total time target, but I was still very pleased with the 7:09 total time given how much the technical issues cost me. And the moving time? Smashed it at 5:33.

    I honestly don't feel that much fitter than I did a year ago, and I'm not training particularly hard, but I am definitely putting more thought into how I bike, and it's clearly paying off. Got to be very happy with those efforts

    Strava trace: https://www.strava.com/activities/2343903103
    More selfies and pics on twitter: https://twitter.com/waywardjim/

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    Re: This year's Pain? ... Joy? ... Insanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    UPDATE: Get Some Friends!

    Yep. You heard me. Get some. Now!

    OK, this update is almost a week late, but better late than never … just like finding some cycling friends! Last week I was reading some blogs, and one of them mentioned an organised ride a few years back that basically starts on my doorstep, organised by the local cycling club. Well, I'd known there was a cycling club locally, but I'm always a bit nervous about meeting new people, and I know I'm not particularly nippy on a bike, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to have a quick look at the club. So I checked out their website, which said "Join our facebook group, come on a couple of social rides, and see if you like us before you join". Well, that sounded painless enough, so I dropped in a request to the facebook group.

    Within a couple of hours I not only had access to the group, but someone had posted that they were going out for a ride the next day - a day I'd already planned to head out and get some more miles in! So I said I'd join them, and here's what happened: https://www.strava.com/activities/2148528345

    48 miles, > 4000ft of elevation, and, as usual some fantastic views over the dales once I'd got up the hills!


    Cycling with other people is a hugely different experience to cycling on your own - the camaraderie of struggling against the weather and up the hills together really adds to the experience, as well as helping fight the fatigue. Can't wait for the next one
    Life in general is a hugely different experience than going it alone. : S

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    Re: This year's Pain? ... Joy? ... Insanity?

    That is such a mesmerizing view, I feel like I will always ride my bike if that is the kind of view that I will see.

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