Thursday 29 July 2010

Big Red Ride Report

Well, I did it! Last Sunday I completed 83 miles cycling from London Blackheath Hill to Eastbourne. The ride took me about 8 and a half hours total.

The ride was tough – a lot harder than I thought it would be and a lot harder than the 53 miles that I did on my London to Brighton ride.

The first 30 – 35 miles were fine. From around 35 miles up to I think about 57 miles it was ALL hills. Literally. I was either struggling up a hill at around 5 or 6 MPH or flying down a hill at around 30 MPH dodging oncoming traffic. Obviously it took a lot longer going up the hills than it did to come back down again.

After about 57 miles the ride was pretty good again apart from one steepish hill and Beachy Head which was a very long but not very steep climb. It was very tough though as it was right at the end and pretty much every part of my body was hurting by then.

The last mile or so was fantastic as it was downhill all the way right to the finish line. It was a real relief to finish.

I was very sore. My legs were sore, my knees were very painful whenever I moved them, my back, arms and neck were sore and could no longer find a pain-free way of sitting on my saddle.

At the finish line the Red Cross provided a masseuse who did help my back. We also got a goody bag with a medal in and a water bottle.

Honestly most of this ride was hell and wasn’t enjoyable. There weren’t that many people either and although I chatted to a few people for a lot of the ride it was just me with no other cyclists visible.

I am not sure I’ll do it again next year. Having said that I should be fitter and have lost more weight by then so it should be easier. I think I will do the London to Brighton Ride net year as it is fairly easy and I think very popular.

I did very well with my sponsorship and was the second or third highest fund raiser and raised a total of £530.

Many thanks to all the people who sponsored me.

This week I have not been cycling as I am still saddle sore. I am really looking forward to getting back on the bike next week though.

There are a few photos of the day here.

Exercise Time: 8:34:56
kcal: 5994
Distance: 83 miles
Average Speed: 11.2
Max Speed: 37.6
Ride Time: 7:18:56

Tuesday 13 July 2010

London to Brighton

As it’s only 2 weeks to go before the Big Red Ride I need to rack up the miles a bit in preparation. Last week I did the Peak District Ride and although it was hilly and hard work it was only just over 40 miles.

As I wasn’t doing anything this weekend I decided to do the London to Brighton ride. This is a popular charity ride that many people take part in. I didn’t do the actual charity ride that was a few weeks ago so it was just me on Sunday but I did follow the same route.

The route generally wasn’t too hilly except for Ditchling Beacon at the end which is very steep, although no worse than the Peak District ride.

I did enjoy the ride but I was quite pleased when it was over. My legs did get pretty tired and were quite sore the next day. I also got pretty uncomfortable on my saddle at about the halfway point.

It has given me more confidence that I’ll be able to do the Big Red Ride but it has also highlighted that it’s going to be tough.

This is taken from the bottom of Ditchling Beacon. You have to climb all the way up to the top of those hills in the distance:

And the view from the top:

Total Time: 5:10.48
Average Heart Rate: 132
Max Heart Rate 169
Kcal 3366
Miles: 53.6
Average Speed: 12.9
Max Speed: 40
Ride time: 4:08.08

Monday 5 July 2010

Evans Ride it – Peak District

Yesterday – Sunday 4th July I did another Evans Ride It event. My first was a few weeks ago when I did the Dorking Downs Run.

The last run I did was the short route, about 30 miles. This run was supposed to be 60 miles which is fairly close to the 80 on the Big Red Ride. If I could do 60 miles then I would be fairly confident that I could do 80. The routes for the Peaks were changed though because of the amount of climbing. The medium route was reduced to 43 miles.

I did think that maybe I could do the long route (about 68 miles) but I am very glad I didn’t.

For most of the route I wasn’t too bad. I had some energy bars and some energy drink which I think must have helped. Up to about 30 miles I was doing ok. There was LOTS of climbing – but mostly it was long not too steep climbs instead of short very steep climbs.

Despite the weather forecast reporting heavy rain I didn’t get rained on at all. The weather did have it’s part to play though and it was INCREDIBLY windy! At the top of one of the 2 huge climbs I actually had to pedal down the other side of the hill just to get to 15 MPH because it was so windy. The wind frequently pushed me off course when it was sideways.

The last 10 miles was really tough. There were a couple of climbs, the first was fairly long but not too steep. The second, in the last 2 miles of the route was short but it was really steep. For the entire 43 miles I didn’t walk at all but I did have to stop about 3 times on that last climb.

My legs were very tired at the end of the ride. I was expecting them to be very sore today but they were actually fine. In fact I broke my record for best time cycling into work today and I think I probably broke my record cycling back as well. I wasn’t really trying to go quick, I just didn’t hold back as I was last week in an effort to save my legs.

The fact that I was still able to cycle today has made me think that the 80 mile ride will be fine. I would like to do a 60 mile ride between now and then but I am running out of weekends. I’ll see if I feel like it this Saturday but it would be nice to just have a relaxed weekend this time round.

View Peak District in a larger map