Sunday, 31 August 2014

ElliptiGO - Evans 'Ride It' Liphook Sportive‏ Report

I'm continuing to train for the Thruxton 100 which is just one week away now and will see whether I can break the 100 mile ElliptiGO WR (5h50m). Two weekends ago I took part in an Evans Ride It Sportive. These events are really good value all priced at £17.50 regardless of the distance you select. And there's usually 3-4 distances to cater for all abilities. 

I went for the value for money 90 mile option and had booked this whilst holidaying in Hungary as something to focus on when I returned and get me straight back into it. I had a good drive down to Liphook (South of Farnborough). For most folk a 70 mile trip isn't something you have to plan for... You just jump in the car, tap in the postcode and off you go right. But things change when you own a full electric car. I'd identified a rapid charger on the M3 (Fleet Sevices) which charge the Leaf to 80% battery capacity in just 45 mins. And it worked out perfectly to get me there and back home  So with the Leaf fully laden with the ElliptiGO I set off. One cappuccino and a breakfast wrap later the Leaf was charged and I was soon at Liphook school and registering. 

I chose the earliest depart time (8:30am) and lined up alongside other cyclists. The GO getting a bit of attention from the organisers. When there's different distances the question is always - "are you doing the long route"!? A smile and positive affirmation is my usual response.

The route difficulty was categorised as a 3/5 so it was by no means flat and would meander through the best countryside that Hampshire has to offer with many climbs on route. Some steep and some long, but with plenty of flattish sections too. The Elevation profile from Strava is below:

When I registered for the event my only intention was to get the miles in and not to ride at a particular pace or push it to hard. But with Thruxton only weeks away and little doubts over my fitness and ability to challenge the World Record creeping in I needed to put in a performance that would encourage me and show that the record attempt is a possibility. So I decided to push the pace hard from start to finish.

This was also the first real test too of the new 11-speed hub in 'race conditions'. This would give me more top end speed and enable me to push on whilst riding the flatter sections and even downhill maintaining a much higher tempo.

It was a great ride, well organised with bright pink arrows at every turn so you couldn't go wrong. The roads left a little to be desired with many surfaces sending constant vibrations through the handle bars. But the scenery on route as you rolled through the English countryside kept me engaged throughout as the miles rolled on. 

The other 'dry run' for Thruxton was to not stop at any of the aid stations on route but ride straight through. I had enough fluids for the 90 miles plus some cereal bars. It all worked out great and I pushed hard throughout the ride especially on the hills to strengthen the legs and hopefully make a very flat Thruxton race track feel that bit easier.

The summary stats of my ride are as follows:

I managed to maintain 17mph average speed for the first 50 miles (which is the speed I need for Thruxton) but the hills got steeper and longer in the second half so obviously the average speed dropped. I was still very happy however to maintain 16mph over 90 miles and finish in a time of 5:38. An honest morning's work which has given me a lot more confidence for Thruxton :-)

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