So………just 31 brief days to go before the big day out in London on the Prudential Ride 100.
If this is your first Ride 100 then this blog is aimed at you because I was that Ride 100 virgin this time last year so I think I know how you’re feeling. Probably veering wildly somewhere between occasional bouts of quiet confidence (after a good training ride) and buttock-clenching near panic the rest of the time.
Time to try and help put things into perspective for both of us with nuggets of truth I gleaned from last year: –
- The prime reason you’re putting yourself through this pain and grief is to raise money for MACS. A brilliant charity that needs our help. When you’re ‘counting gravel’ up your least favourite hill, or you’re still 17 ½ miles from home and the legs and backside are complaining; just have a little think about MACS. Won’t make the pain go away but it’ll give you something else to think about.
- Stick to your training plan. It’s really tempting at this stage to do those few extra miles or push that little bit too hard in an attempt to ‘catch up’ if you’ve missed a couple of sessions. Best not to take this route since it’s the path to pains and sprains.
- Get your bike booked in for the last minute check over during the week or so before the event. You should be in ‘rest’ mode in that final week so there’s plenty of time to get the bike sorted, and you’ll feel great knowing the bike is in top nick and ready for the big day.
- Try and get a couple of big rides in the bag before the London ride. You don’t need to break your body by doing the magic 100; save that for the big day. Do have a go at hitting 80-85 miles on a couple of long days and don’t fret about the speed/timing. Just get your body a bit more used to long days in the saddle.
- Have a think about how you’re going to tackle the Prudential Ride 100 on the day. 100 miles is a looooong way so have an outline plan for rest/food/wee wee stops and break the ride into manageable ‘chunks’ you can tick off as the day unfolds. Last year, despite my best efforts, I found myself at the top of Newlands Corner having not stopped at all and feeling a bit ropey. Normal service was resumed with the aid of 7 (yes seven!) packets of biscuits, sundry bananas and other goodies. This is NOT the way to do it and I won’t make the same mistake again this year.
Time to share what I’ve been up to with my own training malarkey and it’s a bit of a mixed bag really.
Ages ago, in the bleak midwinter, my wife and I booked a 2 week gentle cycling trip along the River Danube (wife not a cyclist so emphasis on the ‘gentle’ in that phrase). Trouble is, this fantastic holiday (and I can really recommend it) came smack in the middle of my training plan and said plan does not include 25 mile per day spins, copious volumes of Austrian beer, chocolate Sachertorte and Weiner Schnitzel.
So I’m a bit behind the schedule but sticking to my own advice above and quietly clawing my way back on track without hitting the panic button (yet!).
I’ve also made a bit of an important decision on the gearing front. I am of a ‘certain age’ – you know, the one when the Government give you back some spending money they’ve being looking after for 40 years (oddly, without the compound interest though).
I’m in pretty good nick but, truth be told, after 75 miles on the bike the 550 ft climb back to the house for the last 2 miles gets to be a bit testing so……………….I’ve swallowed what little pride I have left and had some properly low gears fitted to the TREK.
With a triple crankset (very much NOT in vogue) and a medium arm Shimano 105 rear mech I can now enjoy the benefits of a low gear of 30 X 32 which suits me just fine and is the best day’s work I’ve done in ages.
Credit to you if you can pound up Leith Hill with a 52 X 18 gear, but if you can’t then have a serious think about your ratios and get them sorted now, rather than wishing you had when you’re halfway up Box Hill.
Right…..time to chase up a couple of people who promised to sponsor me, and then back to training with a 40 miler tomorrow and a 70 miler on Sunday that will probably hurt a bit!
Good luck with all your training and look forward to a brilliant, brilliant day.