The training for my 24 hour ride from Newcastle to London (20-21 August)… continues. I can’t say whether it’s going well, or going badly – but I’m going to err on the side of caution and suggest that perhaps I’m not quite as far advanced as I should be.
I ride my bike whenever time permits (which is less than I’d like), and generally the bike that I ride is a 2006 model Dahon Cadenza which might be a reasonable folding bike – but it’s a dreadful bike to do any distance on. It weighs about 14Kg, the gearing is awful and the tyres rob me of about 30watts. Oh, and it desperately requires servicing. It’s like riding with lead weights around my ankles (which is all to the good – if not terribly enjoyable).
For the first time in a long time I took my Dawes Horizon touring bike out on Sunday for the Reading Sportive (63 miles, 3700 feet according to Evans). It was a breath of fresh air to ride. It weighs about the same as the Cadenza – but it is nicely geared, and the tyres (Schwalbe Marathon Plus) rob me of only about 25watts (every little helps). Oh, and it has drop handlebars too – which, on the whole, I prefer. Never the less, my bum was definitely ready for a softer, wider, seat by the end of the ride – and my shoulders were more than somewhat uncomfortable. I’ll be going for a fitting on Thursday to get my bike re-setup for me to fix the latter, and I’ve bought some padded shorts (as recommended by Simeon) to sort the former. Hopefully all of this will help next Sunday when GULPINACC does the Hatfield Sportive (84 miles, 5100 feet according to Evans).
There are a few more rides planned after this one and before the big event – not least the GULPINACC Coast to Coast, and a night ride that Martin and I are planning to do in order to get the feel of riding in the dark. I’m also considering the Cotswold Sportive (87 miles, 4200 feet)
As for the Newcastle to London, I’ll be making things as easy as possible for myself with a Trek 5000 OCLV 120 – more or less the same bike that Lance Armstrong piloted to victory in the Tour de France. Admittedly, the rider (me) will be somewhat less powerful – but I have huge admiration for Lance (and a really nice picture of him hanging in my house), so maybe the tenuous association will give me a bit of an additional boost. Perhaps more measurably though, the Trek weighs a feather light 8Kg and (when re-shod with Schwalbe One tyres) has a rolling resistance of only 11.8 watts. Thanks Fred (who lent me the bike).
This has turned out to be a bit of a name-checky post – but, since I’ve already name-checked Sim (for his shorts recommendations), Martin (who’s riding with me and is therefore quite, quite mad), Lance (never met the man, but for being a cycling hero) and Fred (for lending me his Carbon Fibre bike), I’d also like to name-check:
My mum (for getting me into this cycling malarkey.)
Steve (for demonstrating the art of the possible with his own cycling.)
Simon (because, as far as I’m concerned, it was his damn fool idea in the first place #bemoresimon)
Sarah (for giving up her husband to his bike far too much this year.)
Viv (for giving up her husband to cycle with me.)
Tom (for doing the Newcastle to London too – albeit cheating by doing far more training than me!)
Everyone in GULPINACC (for being damn good company.)
Everyone who has donated so far…
…and everyone who hasn’t, but who will be donating soon.
To donate, just follow the donation links (Parkinsons – https://www.justgiving.com/Pascal-Harris, British Heart Foundation – https://www.justgiving.com/Pascal-Harris1). Be generous. And please leave a message too.