Thursday, 27 June 2013

It's an unlicensed boxing match. It's not a tickling competition. These lads are out to hurt each other...*

Christ I'm fed up with working in an office.

So haven't updated this since before the weekend, mainly because it's been a bit busy at work.  Consequently its meant I've not ridden either (since Saturday) so I'm currently climbing the walls, I'm even fatter and my back hurts from not exercising.  Jesus, what did I say about not whinging?

Saturday and the ride with a couple of lads off of STW.  Well, two things - it confirmed that both Nick and Craig are as quick as I thought they would be and I'm as slow as I thought I was.  The ride was actually really good, I got shown around the Surrey hills trails such as 3 Amigo's, Barry knows Best and actually really enjoyed myself.  It's also about 6 miles from where I live so I know I can get a lot more rides in during the weekday evenings. Which is nice.  We managed about 20 miles and about a million ft of climbing before I had to call it a day and head back to base.

Since then I've done nowt.  Which is ideal preparation for the Thetford Enduro this weekend. I can't tell you my race number yet (not yet published) so you can't hunt me down and laugh at me, but I can tell you that I'm doing the 6 hour solo and will be riding round, at the back, very slowly.  I've decided to do the 6 hour mainly because it'll be my longest ride for a while and my back is still pretty bad.  If you've not ridden Thetford before then you won't have experienced 'Thetford Back' but it normally hits after about an hour and gets steadily worse.  So ideal conditions for someone with a bad back then!

On the upside my mate Flynny is taking his Tramper Van.  A tramper van is similar to a camper van, but older.  Like from the 80's old.  Its awesome, and will be a nice place to sit when its pissing down and my back hurts a lot.  I'm taking the jetwash and a bike stand so we'll look proper pro, think of it as the hospitality unit.

I'm still undecided about what to do about fueling.  I've always raced for no more than two hours with the exception of D2D which I've consistently got gloriously wrong.  The first year my girlfriend at the time made me a stunning array of foods, homemade chocolate brownies, home made soup - loads of stuff.  What I didn't bet on was my weak guts not being able to handle rich food while riding and it made my stomach cramp with the obvious results.  Believe me, a trip into the bushes on a 12 hour through the night ride isn't fun for anyone - least of all the marshals that had to witness it, especially as they use the local Cadet corp as they're cheaper than fully grown adults.  I'm pretty certain those two teenage girls will never recover from the image of me running through ferns trying to get out of my bib shorts.  My thoughts go out to their friends and family.

The second year I panic bought a load of pre made pasta from Tesco, chosen for its high calorie content.  I don't know how they cram 1000 calories into a small pot of pasta but I do know that they use a lot of fat to lubricate its way into the pot.  So another night of projectile shitting in Thetford forest ensued.

The third year I did as a team, the weather was so bad we pulled at about 3am.  The solo rider who won it, won with 8 laps having gone home at 4am so you know the conditions were bad.  Last year I made a fine selection of sandwiches featuring peanut butter, nutella and banana.  However by this time I was well into my turning up and quitting after an hour phase so most went in the bin.

So what to eat for this 6 hour slog? My original idea was just to make six bottles of Torq up, have a few gels and a some bars.  However as this is all training for TD (eventually) I figure I should maybe run with just water and go for proper food.  I need to get used to not having carbs via my drink and its easy to become quite reliant on them.  So 6 bottles of water and maybe more sandwiches.  I've got the Dr Allan Lim book which has some amazing recipes for food you can carry with you.  I recently saw on Neils blog (read abaaaat it here) that he's made some of them and they look awesome.  However at the moment said book is stopping my spice rack falling over and I'm not nearly well organised enough to have made anything in preparation.  Sandwiches it is then.

Tyre choice I hear you ask? Well, I've recently converted to 29er and only have one set.  So that choice is easily made.  They're a posh french brand called Clement which are suitably Euro in specification.  That being they're narrow, don't like being run tubeless and have bugger all grip.  I like this type of tyre though, you know its predictably shit in all conditions so nothing to take you by surprise.  There's nothing I hate more than a tyre that grips and grips then lets go.  I just like to crash early on and get it out the way.  Clements therefore are the tool for the job.  Forks will be a fine set of X-fusion slides run at the appropriate pressures. Bars will be a carbon riser bar and I like em wide so 780mm.  I'm still undecided as to whether the fine folk of Norfolk deserve the image of me riding round in lycra or whether I'll wimp out and wear baggies.

So - the aim of this is to just 'get round'.  I need to do a longer ride (or at least start doing them) and this could be ideal.  Not much climbing and fairly interesting route will help and it'll also tell me whether the position of things (bars, saddle, cleats) suits me for that distance.

Fingers crossed, I'll report back on Monday!

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