Sunday 5 September 2010

Planning is overrated

A few weeks ago I outlined my plans for August and September. From what I remember, these were
  • Go to Afan with Jon and ride all the waymarked trails in a day
  • Ride the off-road coast to coast with Darren
  • Do a 12 hour solo at the Gorrick 12:12 Torq in Your Sleep
  • Ride the South Downs Way in a day, again with Darren
These have turned into
  • Fours hours of local biking, as Jon was ill
  • Tick (minus 30km in the middle. And lots was walking rather than riding)
  • Rode as part of the Torq Development four man team at the Gorrick 12:12 Torq in Your Sleep
  • 100km road ride
The last two probably need a little explaining. I was all set up to ride the 12 hour race - to the point of signing in and collecting my race numbers - when I was grabbed by one of the Torq riders to fill in a last minute gap. I didn't really have any expectations about the 12 hour solo (I only entered solo as I couldn't get a team together) so I accepted. There are a couple of differences between riding solo and riding with a team of fast people.
  • Solo: Ride slowly for 12 hours.
  • Team: Ride as fast as you can for 45 minutes, rest for two and a bit hours. Repeat four times. This hurts, especially when you haven't riden like this for about 18 months.
  • Solo: Be self suficient. Have 10 litres of energy drink made up, an organised box of food, a bike that is comfortable for 12 hours and plenty of tools and spares.
  • Team: Hang out at the team truck, under their gazebo, with all-you-can-eat energy bars, gels, drink and recovery. Watch the really good riders warming up on rollers and the mechanic fix all the bikes
  • Solo: Let almost everyone overtake. Only overtake other soloists. Be very keen on pulling over to let others past.
  • Team: Rarely get passed. Be accused of riding faster uphill than people ride downhill (hard to believe, but true). Be very very polite in asking people to make space where convenient.
  • Solo: Carry on through fatigue and finish sometime after midnight
  • Team: Finish your last lap at 1030, and be munching on a sausage, fried onion and brown sauce bap by 1045.
I could get used to it.

The South Downs Way ride has been postponed due to Darren's dodgy knee. If anyone has a spare (preferably right, but I'm sure we could make a left one fit) let me know.

So, various unexpected things have happened. One extremely positive one is that I've ended up with a new track bike - one that fits better, is a kilo lighter and has gold bits on it. All for not very much more money, thanks to Darren and Banjo Cycles. It's clearly way better than I am, and came with several warning stickers, two of which are now on my toolbox.

It also has a ma-hoosive chain, clearly needed to cope with the 35 watts of power I'll be putting through it.

Finally, in all its glory:

Overall, it's been an interesting month. I'm not planning anything for September. Let's see wht happens.


Pommers said...

Sounds like a good few Sessions Bryan, and it's always good to be flexible in your plans though.
The single speed bike looks interesting - Where have you used it? Not on any public thoroughfares presumably :-)

Unknown said...

Calcot Velodrome, near Southampton. It's a bit of a drive but Darren and I alternate. We've been 4 times now, and will probably be going every couple of weeks through the winter. Lots of fun and slightly scary too.

Lee said...

How do you stop with no brakes? Do you just keep going round and round until friction finally slows you down?

Unknown said...

Pretty much. Track bikes are fixed wheel - so the pedals will always turn when the back wheel is turning - so you can apply some braking force with your legs. It still takes a couple of laps to slow and come to a stop though.