Cycling News and Training Journal
Over 12 hours into the day already and its 6.45pm as I commence the climb from the hamlet of La Vega Riosa ..... Read the full report of the Cycling Challenge
Right, Photo of TV Interview for Central News
The interview was broadcasted on Central News on 7th July 2004
September 3 only 2 days to go
Well it should be only 2 days to go but its now 3 ? Reason being that Easyjet have cancelled the flight out now Brian and I will fly out Wednesday instead. Unfortunately due to commitments we still have to fly back on Thursday afternoon which is a shame.
However that is the least of my worries as an upset stomach and a bout of diarrhea put pay to my final serious training session prior to the big challenge. I feel weak and very tender but just hoping that the final 48 hours will give me enough recovery time. What else can go wrong before were due to leave ?
August 13 only 3 weeks to go
Looking OK entering the final month of preparations. Yesterday drove up to Castleton in North Derbyshire for more on the mighty mile climb up Winnetts Pass. Whilst a 20% incline does not sound totally crippling there's no respite and gets tougher the higher you go. This baby is twice as hard as Sutton Bank which is 25%
Today I pledged to climb it three times in succession First time from Castleton to warm up and by the steep last 300 yards I'm sweating a lot despite cold weather at 9.30 and breathing heavily but I make it to the top. Turn round at the grid and down to the bottom grid and up we go again dropping down a gear this time and surprisingly its a seems little easier breathing. Third climb I drop down to the bottom crawler gear and it's no problem at all and I feel good at the top.
Good session of climbing and a vital lesson learnt to warm up properly which I clearly did not do.
But hey - hat trick on Winnetts ain't bad !!!
July 23 only 6 weeks to go
Past fortnight has again been pretty good apart from a mishap last Thursday night.Whilst on an attempt of my usual route of hills around the Crich area I had a nasty fall.
A left hand bend on a narrow remote road was totally covered in dust and loose stone which when encountered, the front wheel slid away and I hit the road on my elbow and hip. Result was a very bloody arm and bruising but after a minute to recover I remounted and completed a very good 2 hour session on climbing on a very warm summer evening.
Congratulations to Floyd Landis and Phonak team on winning The Tour De France this weekend.However I cant help feeling it was a bit tame after this years Giro D'Italia in late May/ June.Sadly the scourge of drugs tainted the event again
July 9 only 8 weeks to go
Pretty good training week was concluded I thought ! on Saturday night with a visit to my regular venue of Crich in Derbyshire.
I love these hills and Holly Lane is a toughie which my old mate Martin and I start with and round a few more culminating with a 17% beauty into and though Holloway village.
After 1 hour 45 mins of climbs and descents, surprisingly, I still feel really good and strong. however just as I begin to descend on the way back to our original starting point at Bulls Bridge. Bang I hit a pot hole and the Kevlar band tyre on the front goes down flat as a pancake.
It was a 5 mile walk back pushing the bike (yes I know you should have an inner tube) and you've guessed it - down came the rain. It was another 1 hour 15 mins of walking
making a 3 hour training session in total and I didn't feel so great by the end of it !
July 2 only 9 weeks to go
Decided to drive up to the Yorkshire Moors for a testing double header of steep climbs.
Sutton Bank on the A170 Scarborough Road was first on the agenda with a gradient of 25%. Surprisingly this proved to be relatively comfortable with my new Cannondale bike's low gearing proving a wise investment and providing less need for strain. As one would expect on a main holiday route road, the odd idiot driving a car gave cause for concern.
Whilst 25% incline sounds very impressive - in reality this was a breeze compared to Winnetts Pass as it has respite areas and doesn't grind you relentlessly. Now for the big one just 20 miles down the road. Rosedale Chimney Bank whilst only 1,390 metres it has a worrying gradient of a mind blowing 33%.
Having read about the notorious 2 hairpin bends that beats many a good cyclist I tentatively start and climb such steepness that I have never seen on any road in England or indeed anywhere else. Not surprisingly there are few vehicles using the road which helps me to concentrate on the job in hand. Up and up around the first hairpin which is crippling. Soon after the second one bends the opposite way and whilst I'm sweating and puffing so far so good.
Well over half way and I feel I'm sure to crack this, when for a split second I must have lost concentration and slightly leant a little more upright (not backwards) resulting in the bikes front wheel lifting off the ground. Sadly my natural split second reaction saw me panic and regrettably have to put a toe down on the tarmac.
Motionless and distraught with total disappointment, I stand and ponder the possibilities for about a minute.Conclusion of thoughts are no way I'm not getting up this. Thankfully after a slightly sideways move I get going again. Obviously concentration is now intense on leaning forward. I want to get out the saddle but dare not on such an incline. At the top onlookers smile and shout "well done" to me. Whilst appreciated it is scant consolation after a stop. Although I pedalled every inch up this brutal climb, a toe down is a failure as far as I am concerned.
What was almost an incredible day - is now a good day. At the top a sign declares - cyclists please dismount, obviously considered to steep to even ride down. I do ride down it, all be it very very cautiously and gather my thoughts on the days events.
Conclusion is - a big step forward - but you aint that good yet !
After a winter using the training bike in the gym back out on the road again now with a real bike.
If they call Jose Enrique Gutierrez "El Buffle" which is "The Buffalo" as he weighs 78 kilos. What does that make me at 88 kilos ? No answers necessary thank you.Dieting and pledged to drop 3k - 7lbs.
Did Derbyshire's Winnets Pass yesterday. At 20% its not as steep as The Angliru but its a very tough mile without respite and at 80 degrees was a good work out immediate repeat attempt proved too ambitious !
So far there are just 2 of us making the trip to Northern Spain. Myself and Brian Haywood who I did The Ventoux with in 2005 As the campaign gears up and season starts this will increase.We seek an event manager to help handle various aspects like sponsorship and other important non riding duties of the event.
Looking for Team Members and Sponsors News of this year cycling challenge in L'Agiliru in North Spain, will appear here. We are currently looking for cyclists and sponsors.