Archive for May, 2012

Busted front mech

Busted front mech

Busted front mech

Seems like everything on my road bike is breaking. Within 3 weeks:

  • freehub body
  • front mech
  • front shifter

The mech cage plate snapped on a down-shift at the bottom of the bank just north of Brasted.

Scott Long Leg

Tough sportive yesterday courtesy of the Scott Long Leg, which I rode with Jonny, Millsy, Andy and Max. The event itself had an easy-going first half – which our group made even easier by spinning along and socialising – followed by a very spiky, hard second half – which Jonny and I made harder by chasing each other up the steepest climbs of the day.

In view of the fact that I’m supposed to be riding the Etape du Dales in a fortnight, and that 85 miles is the farthest I’ve ridden in training so far this year, I figured I needed to extend the Long Leg’s 70 mile distance. Therefore Millsy and I started the day in Epsom, and rode to and from the start line.

We’re into our fourth consecutive week of wet weather here, so it was no surprise to find some of the narrower roads in a really poor state – in fact no better than forest tracks. Millsy and Andy both flatted, and there were further mechanicals: Millsy’s rear mech broke after 30 miles, restricting him to a 3-speed drivetrain, and my front shifter broke after the second feed stop. Unable to shift into the big ring, I was forced to keep the cadence high – but actually I found this beneficial. Since I was never tempted to squeeze out extra revolutions from a big gear on an ascent, my legs felt faster and fresher.

I got impatient with the pace early on and made a break, but I didn’t sustain it, partly thanks to a random rider who latched himself onto my back wheel and then started chatting to me. We re-grouped at the second feed. As the gradient really kicked up for the first time, I paid the price for eating a whole chocolate brownie at the feed stop, and struggled with a ball of butter in my stomach. I fell back from Jonny’s pace on the climb, then I lost him for good without a big ring on the descent. In the end he took 6 minutes from me – but I had us at 10th and 11th fastest on the day.

The day’s heroics culminated in a climb over Box Hill on the way back to Epsom.

It’s been a while since I’ve been as wiped out by a ride as I felt last night.

The Tour of the North – debrief and microsite

It’s been 4 weeks since The Tour of the North. My rig is long since cleaned and put away in the shed, the Deuter lies in storage, the tub of Sudocrem isĀ sitting like a trophy on the mantelpiece now hidden from site in a bathroom cupboard. My legs recovered well – in fact the experience transformed my form, and after a week I noticed a big speed and strength boost on the road bike.

Note: this debrief never made it into full post form – but here is the microsite I created for the Tour:

Rapha: Sella