Back on the Bike

20180505_180548Well, it’s been a while since I broke my collar bone in June last year, It’s all gone wrong! and it has been a long journey getting back on the bike again with any sort of consistency. Initially it was just over 3 months before my first post accident ride, then after a few weeks I suffered a bad chest infection, we had several spells of bad weather  plus a couple of minor injuries which all meant I was never able to build up any level of consistency with my riding. I manged (barely) a 200km Audax in January in very cold weather and then another one at the end of March, again these were punctuated by periods of time off of the bike. I was off the bike again for another 3 weeks following the March 200km ride with a really sore knee, only to find that I had set my cleats up wrong when I replaced them.

I had had a 400km (250mile) Audax  scheduled for early May and was seriously worried about my ability to start the event, let alone finish it, however, once I had reset my cleats and done 2 or 3 short training rides I felt much better and decided to go for it.

The ride started at 6am on Saturday 5th May with approximately 119 cyclists starting off. The ride started off relatively flat but then we hit the hills of the Cotswolds, nothing major but a constant ride of up then down then up then down and so on, this was a repeated pattern throughout the ride and I soon realised that what I lacked more than anything was climbing strength and stamina. This was  soonScreenshot_20180504-142941_Ride with GPS evidenced by my lack of speed going up hill and having to get off and walk on two steep sections which I would have normally expected to be able to ride up.

I finished the ride 23 hours later at 05:00 on Sunday morning tired bit overall I was satisfied with my effort over the distance (400km/250miles), however I was well aware that I needed to get more hill training done in readiness for future rides.

StravaStats

It’s all gone wrong!

11th June, 8am out on the bike for a quick hour or two before the day gets going and I run into the back of a van, don’t ask me how cos I do not know. The sudden impact sends me over the handlebars onto the tarmac, breaking my collar bone and damaging ligments and hamstring in my right leg. It’s now early September and I am only just getting back onto the bike as the leg has taken so long to heal. I missed the London-Edinburgh-London (1400km) ride at the end of July and I have missed most of the good summer weather and long light nights. I was gutted (to say the least), but am getting over it and looking to set myself some new goals for the next 12 months. The first goal though is to get back to the long distances as soon as possible with the aim of riding my next 200km Audax in October. I have started to recover my fitness on a turbo in the back yard and expect to be back out on the road within the next week or so.

Of course the bike needs a rebuild as well with a new wheelset and shifters required, thank goodness for insurance covering accidental damage.

 

Cycling Goals 2017

There is only one cycle ride that matters this year, it starts on Sunday 30th July in London and over the period of 116hours and 40minutes goes 700km north to Edingburgh and then 700km back to the start in London, everything else is just a warm up / training for this one event.    lel2017_route

London-Edinburgh-London (LEL2017) , the 8th edition of this event, is run under the Audax UK flag and is held once every four years and is a noncompetitive endurance cycling event. LEL2017 is the largest yet with 1500 entrants from 55 different countries. There is a time limit of 116 hours and 40 minutes which includes all food and sleep stops. The food and sleeping facilities are arranged at a number of mandatory “Controls” along the route, an advisory route which navigates through the “Controls” is provided and generally followed by the vast majority of entrants. The controls are at St Ives, Spalding, Louth, Pocklington, Thirsk, Barnard Castle, Brampton, Moffat, Edinburgh, Innerleithen, Eskdalemuir, Brampton, Barnard Castle, Thirsk, Pocklington, Louth, Spalding, St Ives and Great Easton.

LEL has been described as a contender for hardest cycling event in the United kingdom, however it is most certainly a tough sleep deprived ride known to make (one or two) grown men cry, hallucinate (are thise sheep or white lines on the road?) and wonder why on earth did I think this was a good idea. The elevation is, apparently, not too bad with only one major hill, though you do climb it going north and then on the return leg as well. The north bound elevation profile is shown below, Southbound retraces much the same route.

lel2017_elevation

All I need to do now is a bit of training, set my bike up, get to the start line fit & well and I am good to go. BUT i’ll cover those another day 🙂

Tear Fund Tour of Scotland 2015

Being a keen recreational cyclist and wanting to do something more that just cycle for fun, I have signed up for the 2015 Tear Fund Tour of Scotland to raise money for Tearfunds Children at Risk project. This is a hilly 500 mile / 7 day cycle ride in June 2015, starting in Inverness, up to Ullapool and then working down the west coast to Glasgow. The full route can be found here.

The reason for this is that over 8.4 million children are in slavery and we must do everything in our power to stop this horror. Which is why Tearfund want to protect 50,000 children vulnerable to trafficking, disease and disaster.
Trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world, ravaging the lives of 1.2 million children across the world every year. Tearfund’s staff and partners are doing all they can to protect children like Nang from trafficking.

I have pledged to raise a minimum of £500 for this cause, please consider sponsoring me using my JustGiving page.

Thanks for your support

Andrew