On the day that lockdown restrictions ease in England, it is with trepidation and a modicum of fear I realise I have less than a week to my first cycling event since…I actually don’t know. I think it was the Mad March Hare Sportive in 2019. The event, the Black Rat Gran Fondo. Just a simple 181km/112 miles to ease myself into Summer with…..
Earlier this year I went on a bit of an entry spree spunking some well earned dollar on a few events to give me some focus this Summer. The irony of that being since then, my actual cycling has diminished from the cycling to work a couple of times a week to almost nil outdoor cycling due to a temporary work secondment to Bristol. The M5 motorway is my life at the moment and I hate it.
It’s no lie then to say I’m feeling particularly under-prepared for such a long event. Decades of cycling experience tell me a diet of indoor, high-intensity workouts just don’t give you the 6hr+ endurance I’ll need or the climbing legs. There was a glimmer of hope recently as I did a couple of hours on my gravel bike with my mate Chris then left him and carried on to knock out 5hrs without too much bother but I have only done one, yes one ride on my best bike.
I’m so desperate now, I’ve pinched the rear mech and 11-34T cassette off my gravel bike and fitted that and popped the bike on my Wahoo Kickr to train on this week to ‘get used’ to it lol.
The real downer was a course switch last minute. The original event attracted me because it took me over the iconic Severn Bridge before a lumpy circuit up through the Forest of Dean then an ascent of Gospel Pass, a bucket-list climb before back to base and back over the Severn Bridge again. It appears, although restrictions have been eased, they haven’t been lifted and mass participation events are limited to 50 riders in Wales for now so the organisers had to switch the course to an England-only route which now takes me up through Nailsworth and Stroud, deep into the Cotswolds, skirting Bourton-on-the-Water before a return via Cirencester and Tetbury. Still a testing and tasty route but no less climbing and will be a feat to complete for me.
So here’s to a week of emergency training and then my first real test of endurance and century ride in a while. I’ve now got a 36x34T low gear on. The plan is low n slow, enjoy the day and see the sights. The time is irrelevant.
2 thoughts on “It’ll be low n slow”
It’ll be alright on the night!
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If you’ve done five hours on the gravel bike, I’m sure you’ll be fine. Draft some wheels over the flatter sections to save some energy then don’t blow too early on the climbs. Always handy to have that “bail out” lower gear, just in case!
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