Christmas 2014 – Alcohol, Mince Pies and Riding

This Christmas period was exciting as Francis is old enough this year to understand that you get presents for Christmas. He’s 2 so that’s about it. We showed him Santa aka the International Space Station flying over. #Very exciting few weeks.

I however had a silly idea of doing what I did in 2013 and ride 500km over the Christmas period. I didn’t want it to  affect family life so planned well in advance. How hard is riding 500km between Christmas Eve and NewYear?

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With Alcohol nearly everyday and trying to be good I still managed to put on a few kg in weight. I guess that’s what happens when you take Christmas cake as riding fuel.  A few friends had this crazy idea as well, we started off with a big ride on Christmas eve, better to get the big one out of the way… 130miles…

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In total between 22nd and the 31st December I clocked up 603km (375 Miles)

November: Upgrades and shiny bits

New shoes & Power meter

I been struggling with bike fit issues for the last year, mainly with my feet. My riding mates  take the mick as I’ve been through 4 pairs of shoes this year alone. Started with Bont A2’s, Bont Vapour+, Bont vapour and now Northwave Extreme 2015.

I always thought I had wide feet so went for the Bonts, as always suffered from pressure on the outside of my right foot. I think I got sucked in to the whole custom moulding to your feet… Well I think finally December 2014 I have found ‘my’ shoes. I’ve now ridden 12 hours and are by far the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. No shims and 100% comfort. It helps that the Speedplay interface is 100% flat, Bont shoes are not compatible with Speedplay in my opinion, Bonts are overrated and the marketing BS regarding the bath tub style sole… Rant for another Day. Love my new Northwave.

shoes

 

Power2Max Power meter

In the aid of training smarter, rather than going hammer and tongs every day until I shatter my self out. Which seems to be the way 2014 has gone, Racing tired doesn’t really show my true potential.

After months of research I purchased the Power2max Classic as there was a deal, essentially the old stock. I purchased the FSA K-force light Power 2 Max classic for little over £500.00 (obviously taking in to account selling my existing chainset)

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December – edit – OK so I have used this for approximately 3 weeks and have enjoyed using it. More info in another post.

However It kept coming loose with a lateral rocking on the bearings. After a long email conversation with Power2max with information given to me by Live2Ride shop. It has been diagnosed that power meter isn’t compatible with Treks BB90. Although P2M website and there support saying it is. The FSA axel was too long and not 24mm but 24.5mm (I measured it)

They have however agreed to swap the unit out with a Rotor 3d Type S Which I know is compatible with All things shimano and is the newest version of their Power meter range.So all in all its worked out in the end. I get a higher end power meter for a little hassle & no extra money.

http://www.power2max.de/europe/en/Produkt/bestsellers/power2max-type-s-rotor-3d-road/

Thanks to Live2Ride for advice and Power2max support. Very helpful.

First race back was always going to be difficult, mentally.

I wasn’t planning to race so early on in to my recovery, My arm or even my whole body wasn’t up to the strength that it was in May two months earlier. I didn’t even have my Trek back repaired so had to race on the Van Nic, that I built up one armed a few weeks earlier.

I didn’t think I was ready to mix it up with a bunch. I was feeling quite apprehensive. Anyway, whilst at work I found out that Richard Evans (Live2Ride shop owner) would be watching the race at Odd Down Bath that evening, Luke & Carl would be doing the E12 race after the 3/4 race that I could do.  I decided to join Darren and James in the 3/4 Race.016660

I started off slow as I had no warm up, I brought all the wrong kit and was unprepared. It was last minute kind of jump in the car (I have only been driving for 2 weeks and had to take it slow)

Anyway, I was at the back of the bunch for most of the race, and something just sparked in my head. I started to smile and get my confidence back, I said to myself, if this is my last 3/4 race that would could only be a positive thing. I don’t like 3/4 racing style, dangerous…

With 3 laps to go I got in to a good position at the front, perhaps five people from the front with James hanging on my wheel, the bell went and coming to the 2nd to last straight, I saw a gap and took the final corner wide but with all my speed and sprinted for the line, I got pipped on the line to 2nd place.

Even knowing I didn’t win I still put my hand up in the air and celebrated. I thought to my self, Broken collarbone, 2 months off and still to come 2nd is probably the best achievement I’ve had all year. I was now CAT2. 

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Oh and yes I did do the E12 Race after. Got dropped after 10minutes. What an eye opener – Style of racing so much better. I was tired and pretty euphoric anyway at that point.

Road to recovery.

I was speaking to a mate of who has done the same thing, he said he was on the turbo and started training after 1 week. My wife thought I’m crazy. but….

Fist week after the OP, steady riding, 2 weeks they were full blown interval training. 1 hour in the morning, 1 hour in the evening.

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We went on holiday to the lake District, I had planned to bring the bike, doing the passes etc. Oh well Turbo had to suffice. At the 2.5 week point I managed to get my arm / hand on the bar. God it was stiff and still hurst like hell. I think The Sufferfest Revolver saved my bordem on the Turbo. 20140709_113314_Android

Im on my spare bike. Trek 5.9 turned in to a Wreck. Frame cracked on the top tube and wheels smashed. New wheels on order and Frame has been sent for repair.

http://www.carboncyclerepairs.co.uk/index.html

May – So Close!!!!

Training had been going well since the new bike, I enjoy riding it and have come in to some form. This month I decided to up my game a little and do more Crit races, Road races were scarce as they were only accepting teams of riders, Again I think a problem we have is that we’re all in different categories. alot of rejection emails…

1st May:  Castle Combe Summer Series 1(3/4)

6th Place

8th May Castle Combe Summer Series 2(3/4)

6th Place

WET WET WET. The photo shows a break froming which I instigated and lasted for 1.5 laps. Group of 4 was whittled down to just me. I got caught with 3 laps to go, recovered then sprinted for 6th.

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20th May Behind The Bikeshed Summer Series 1(3/4)

2nd Place

I was 8th position and left the sprint quite late, I went from 8th to 2nd, just missing 1st place by 1/2 meter. First time at Thruxton.

31stMay Scorpion CS Stage Race – Team Tor 2000 –

2nd Place

I woke up this morning and thought, I feel good, I’ll get my Cat2 today. Just need to get two decent results. it was a stage race at Ilton consisting of a normal hour crit race, I came second. I was leading the sprint and got pipped on the line, I probably eased off thinking I won, At least I didn’t celebrate… then a circuit race for 30mins and a TT.

31st May Scorpion CS Stage Race – Team Tor 2000 – DNF crashed.

Ouch. Well, the first picture shoes me smiling, that’ll be the Morphine. I was sent home for 2 weeks then operation in Yeovil. Thanks NHS (making me wait for operartion)  2 of the worst weeks of my life. 3 weeks after that wern’t much fun either.

 

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This is the most important part of my life, My son and wife, I was so close to giving up cycle racing…. for about 3 seconds.  Francis said man up and rule 5. I couldn’t argue with a 1 1/2 year old who couldn’t talk. Thus decided to get back on it in a big way.

Turbo, turbo, turbo and more turbo

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Oh new bike – Thanks Live2Ride

I fancy racing on something else other than a Titanium flexy thing. Although Its lovely for mile munching and I love it, so comfortable. However I want something that feels like a race bike.  Cat 2 riders in the team must ride either a Trek or Willier, although only Cat 3 I still want to race on a bike built for the purpose. You never know it may give me more motivation to continue. I fancied the 5 Series Trek frameset (budget would allow)  and would move all my existing kit over.  Its fast and is my new go to bike, The Van nic is now hanging up in the garage to be used as a winter bike.

Thanks to Rich at Live2Ride shop in Frome who did me a great deal on the bike Frameset

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March – April: Road racing season has started

I’ve only ever done one road race, that was a TLI road race in the new forest a few years back, so not allot of experience.

30 Mar 14 Bristol South Road Race(3/4) Road Regional B

 

First up was the Bristol south RR, wow what an introduction to road racing, this was a Cat3/4 race and was very difficult, Friends in previous years have been dropped early on. So to contest the sprint at the end gave me a boost. Going up Stowey hill 8 times was surprisingly fun – Oh god, I may like hill climbing.

6 Apr 14 Ham Hill & Pittards Trophy Road Races(Pittard Road Race) Road Regional B

 

This was a Cat123 race with some big teams on the start line. to cut a long story short;  Essentially I did a 100miler with a friend of mine 3 days before the race. Big mistake, 25miles in I got dropped.  I wasn’t strong enough nor was I rested. Although nothing would of changed what happened as Cat1 and 2’s looked so much stronger.

I had work to do.

18 Apr 14 Castle Combe Easter Classic(3rd Cat only) Closed Circuit Regional B

 

My team mates kept on reminding not to get stressed about gaining the points, I started to put pressure on my self and started not to enjoy racing. This was a low point for me at the start of April. I almost gave up, what’s the point in doing something you don’t enjoy right?

I decided to give myself one more go. Although I didn’t get any points, I didn’t really care as really enjoy the race and got the buzz. My little Bruv Chris was watching and had to put a show on. I didn’t have the power to break the pack but at least it was a good effort on the front for a whole lap of Castle Combe.

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March 2014: Starting my journey to Cat2

March 2014

The 2014 goal was to get to Cat 2 with my Race team. Although we had two Cat2’s and two Cat 4’s and me at Cat3. So we never really raced as a unit. This was the aim then, get to Cat2 and race with Carl and Luke.

It started well, we trained together often, and went on a training camp to Wales for a week, Especially in March I felt my fitness was coming along nicely. 300 miles in that week, thanks Chris who I know from MTB, when the rest of the team were chilling in the afternoon, we decided to go out for a recovery ride. more often and not it was longer and harder than the ride before.

69565_639466996108506_931121219_nI was looking forward to the race season starting properly. I had already gained 13points doing a few Crit races.  coming 3rd, 5th & 9th. Fitness was coming along nicely, but knew I could do better.20140309_115045_Android

Top of the Gospel Pass Brecon beacons. Great ride.

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From left to Right: Chris Noble, Tom Herbert, Luke Nolan, James Dudden. Darren Rymer, Myself and Carl Luke. 1964951_10152320975676031_1393533830_n

I’m on the right hand side