Friday, 20 March 2015

ElliptiGO 200k PBP training ride

Sunset over Northamptonshire turbines
A little late with this post but here's a recap on last weekend's ElliptiGO PBP training ride...

I sent a message to ElliptiGO training partner Idai on the Thursday to see what his training plans were for the weekend. I knew I had to get some miles in but wasn't feeling particularly motivated to ride alone. With Mothers day on Sunday the options were a little limited but we settled on a late afternoon getaway on the Saturday and looking to finish around midnight to the early hours. It was a relief to be riding with someone and I was already looking forward to the ride. 

The route would take us North from Milton Keynes from Northamptonshire and into Cambridgeshire. A mix of some fast main country roads as well as some more pleasant back country roads which I prefer. The total loop was 110 miles with some extra bonus miles having ridden from Leighton Buzzard to MK first.

Idai and I getting ready to GO!
I'd also managed to download the route to my Garmin eTrex from Idai's Strava page. Many may not know this but you can click on anyone's ride on Strava, and go into the setting for that ride and export either a GPX or TCX file. You can even edit the route first straight from the map extending the start or end of the route. Awesome feature which I will definitely be using again.

Returning to the ride we had a strongish head wind for the first 60 miles and whilst when we turned for the return leg it died down a little it didn't feel like we were benefiting as much as we should. Why is that! The worst thing about the wind though was the cold. I'd checked the temperature before hand and it was forecast around 5 degrees. Not too cold so I thought I'd be ok with a base layer, cycle Jersey and wind proof jacket. But it wasn't enough and I was pretty cold throughout the ride which made for what should have been an easy ride tougher than it should ever have been. But it's these mistakes in training that helps to ensure you don't make them for the main event. Whatever the forecast in future I will never not take a spare base layer. Lesson learnt! 

Oundle High Street, Northamptonshire
So another 132 miles (203k) in the training bank. I got home at 1am after splitting off from Idai to return home our separate ways at Junction 13 - M1. 

Highlight of the ride was riding through Oundle which was a beautiful English town - a real gem of Northampshire. 

Also sharing this ride with Idai made such a difference on this occasion. Even though we are now riding this distance almost weekly it doesn't make the time go any quicker. It's still 10 hours plus of riding which in those conditions would have been pure misery riding alone.

My next Audax/PBP qualifier is The Dean 300k from Oxford at the end of the March. Looking forward to that one and thankfully will have company for that too with Alan McDonogh also riding it. The cut off is 20 hours which should be enough for us to ride a easy/steady pace. There is however over 3000 metres of climbing so our stopping and fuelling strategy will also be key as we can't afford to waste too much time stationary.

This weekend I may ride the Chiltern100 route but haven't decided yet when I can fit that in.

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