Archive for the ‘routes’ Category

North Downs Century 1

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Here’s the route I rode Saturday with Jock and Millsy. I started out from Archway at 8am, stopped off at Regent’s Park to pick up Mills, then met Jock at 9.15 at the café on Richmond Park. I made it all the way round Crawley and back to Epsom for about 3.30, I guess with about 30 mins of breaks / map-checks along the way.

Unfortunately it was a day of injury niggles for my two comrades. Jock actually bowed out after riding 2 sides of Richmond Park – he has shin-splints and an Ironman to do in 3 months. Mills had a back-of-knee issue that saw him head back north from Rusper for a more sedate 80-miler.

The 100 mile route (which includes the 6 miles back from Waterloo to Hornsey Lane) takes a pretty decent line out via Richmond Park, Kingston, Esher and Cobham, where it finally gets properly rural. The big drag over to Ewhurst from Shere gets you going, then it’s mainly flat until the little spikes around Ardingly. The killer is the climb up Pebblemill Road from the station at Betchworth. I’d swapped my 13-29 cassette for my older Veloce 13-26 so it was a real grinder. Then I sat down for a break on an ants’ nest.

If this route sounds like your cup of lukewarm SIS maltodextrin, check out the route of the Granfondo Luciano sportive on 28 June, which I followed parts of.

Sevenoaks loop: the Ashdown in reverse

Rode a 65 mile loop from Sevenoaks today with Millsy. My plan was to ride most of the Hell of the Ashdown route, but I didn’t check which direction it had gone. For the first 2 hours I was wondering why I couldn’t remember anything about the route. Had I blanked the trauma from my memory? In fact not – we were just going in reverse. The flashbacks came later. (more…)

Ride of the year

Today’s 4.5 hr circuit from Epsom was the ride of 2009. Sun, actual sun, clear blue skies and dry roads. Millsy and I rode a combination of this loop (from Epsom down to Rusper and up to Capel), the Pyreneen through to Ewhurst, joining this northerly loop into Shere, over to Ockham and then back up to Ranmore to finish on Box Hill. 

We bumped into Jock at the top of the zigzags and finished up with a brisk 20 min scramble back to Epsom. I still had more in the tank as well. Can’t wait for the Puncheur next Sunday…

Totally done with winter

I fell off my bike today, twice. I was attempting another run at the Gerrard’s Cross loop (without the extension):

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This is a nice route which I did a fortnight ago. It was cold then, and it was cold today – but today, after the snow and then the heavy rain over the weekend, the quieter roads were slick with ice. I saw one major vehicle stack-up, and another smashed car abandoned in a ditch.

I powered through the slush for about 2 hours before coming off on the 13% gradient down from St Leonards. I trudged through snow until the slope flattened out, then remounted. Then fell off again. Following this I decided to cut the ride short and headed back through Wendover to Princes Risborough.

It must be spring soon.

Hell of the Ashdown


Thanks to Catford CC for organising the above event on Sunday and finally kick-starting my ‘season’. (more…)

Epsom +distance

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Rode this one today with Jonny. 54 miles, we did it in 4-5 hrs including a couple of breaks. I felt fine after the short layoff, but ate badly so bonked twice. Had to refuel in Peaslake (chicken samosa, ham sandwich). Really need to remember to eat more in the first 60-90 mins of riding, and not wait until 90 mins before having a banana. Sloppy eating = bonk. Believe.

HRMax once again set to 150, I rode Box Hill at a steady 160, although hit 164 at one point.

It’s good to be back though. This week I booked La Marmotte and the Ventoux – Beaumes de Venise sportive in early June. No better time to remember that I have legs and need to use them.

Epsom 45-miler

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Rode this last Sunday with Joe, who was over for a Christmas visit. It came after 5 days of parties and not much sleep, and the temperature was sub-zero: the water in our bottles was slush after a couple of hours. We completed it in 3 hours.

I am now ill and missing out on this weekend’s training!

Stoke: Christmas routes #3

This morning I rode Stoke loop #2 in reverse, via Beech extension #1 (a different way of reaching the Yarnfield roundabout – this adds 1 mile and means more climbing straight off). I set the HRM to 150 max after reading Joe Beer’s zoning article which indicates that Zone 1 is 60-80% of HRmax. 150 isn’t 80% of my max, but setting an upper limit at 140 was leaving me feeling cold on the bike, so considering it was 3 degrees out today, I upped it.

Even though I was riding harder, the ride took 2hrs 45mins, 5 mins longer than when I rode loop #2 on Christmas Eve. I did extend the route, and put more hills in as a result, but even so it was surprising. I did also have to deal with some pretty strong headwinds though so perhaps they were a major factor.

Felt good though. Compared to 140 max, riding at 150 max results in:

  • significantly more sweating
  • marginally more pressure on the legs
  • very slightly harder breathing
  • more speed and aggression

Stoke: Christmas routes #2

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A 40-miler that took 2hrs 40mins at 140 bpm max. Slow, but good long, steady distance I reckon.

Stoke: Christmas routes #1

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I’m at home at my parents’ place in Stoke, flushing my system of party toxins and doing some easy base training.

The above 18-miler took 75 mins setting a limit of 140 beats per minute on the HRM. On 26/12 I did it in 70 mins on the same upper limit, despite a sore throat.

Incidentally my current weight is 11st 12 – 5-6 pounds over my Southern Sportive form.