May Update: Ride with mates!

May has been a great month for enjoying riding my bike. I’ve ridden further in May than any other before, and have had the best time doing it. Riding with mates makes training so much easier, and much more fun! I’m really quite fortunate to be part of a small group of really good friends who are more than crazy enough to take on some bizarre challenges on two wheels. This month especially so.

London 2 Paris 24h / Paris 2 London Solo 24h

So what’s been going on? This month started with an absolutely fantastic weekend cycling to Paris and then back again. You can read (and probably more importantly, see) all about this here: https://b1rdmn.exposure.co/.

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Time Trials! – strava file 1 file 2

Following that, I’ve continued with some Individual 10 mile Time Trials with Westerley CC at Hillingdon. This is one part training and one part meeting cool new people, and is genuinely great fun. Smashing it around Hillingdon away from all the traffic means you can just enjoy riding hard. Training and experience is always a good thing. If I’m honest, I not really sure how much this will help a great deal in getting to Turkey, but for me it’s just another way to enjoy riding my bike.

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Night Rider – strava

If that wasn’t enough, my birthday weekend early in May involved a rather special all night long ride with some great friends I’ve met through the bike. We all convened at a pub in Esher on a Friday night at 10pm, before setting off on a 10 hour /240km tour of the south of England. Riding through the night was hard work, but I’ve taken so many things from the ride that I know will help me get through some tough nights en-route to Çanakkale in the TCR. In my mind, all of the guys on this ride will be with me helping through some of the toughest times one can have on a bike.

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G!RO Sundays – strava

Ride with mates. Hard to describe how much I enjoyed the Sunday shop ride after night ride. I chose a really glorious route that took in as many bluebell woods as I could recall, and it genuinely was one of my favourite rides of the year. Green Deene, Radnor, back of Coldharbour, and Denbies wine estate. And the most perfect weather. This was a winning Sunday, and continued through the afternoon at the Wheatsheaf in the afternoon Esher sunshine. Beer flowed most freely!

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London Revolution

The next weekend was one thats been on the calendar for the past 4 years – the London Revolution. I met some guys who were training for the RAB on the first one I did and have been enjoying riding with them each time since. I’ve not yet ridden with them outside of this event, but always look forward to catching up with them at the start of this unique two day sportive around London.

Day 1 is a spin south through London from the Lee Valley athletics centre near Enfield, pushing over the North Downs into Edenbridge and heading west across to Ascot for the finish of day 1. This is a great route, timed perfectly to get the sun in Surrey. I don’t know who they pay to get the weather for these two days each year, but so far it’s not failed us.

A good bit of team work always gets a good group to the foot of Pitch Hill in Ewhurst where it traditionally becomes everyone for themselves until Ascot, for the last 30 km or so. This is fine, and always makes for an interesting run in to the day 1 finish. The last 3 years now we’ve always managed the first 10 finishers on Day 1.

Day 2 heads north from Ascot and into the Chilterns. These roads are some of my favourite in the South East, and always a good leveler in the event. As has been the case for the last few years, no one wants to sit on the front of the first group from the start. I can’t blame others for this, but personally, sitting on the front is the place where I’m happiest. Control freak? Perhaps, but it’s judging by the train following, everyone else was also happy thats where I was!

The group selection has been very similar for the last couple years, and it was the usuals again this time around. Doing rides like these with regulars that know how each other ride is great fun. Once some of the major climbs are cleared, the route angles gradually downhill for about 20 km. Averaging 40 kph for long periods really gives the you a boost. We all smashed it and were again the first group to the finish. Plans and promises were made for more rides together soon.

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G!RO Prestige Racing – training

G!RO cafe in Esher has joined up with a youth development team to create G!RO Prestige Racing team. It’s a neat set up, where we have some invaluable and regular coached training sessions at Kempton Park. This is a great way to practice race techniques and fitness training that can only add a huge advantage when it comes to racing.

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G!RO Crew!

The best part of riding my bike is riding with mates that I’ve met through G!RO Cycles cafe in Esher. Be it the regular Sunday shop ride from G!RO, bizarre 200+km all nighters, Chaingang rides or Dawn Raids; I’m incredibly lucky to have some good and down right crazy bike riders to join me at all sorts of times on all sorts of rides.

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Month Stats – biggest one yet!

  • What a month! Biggest distance ridden in 1 month: 2,467 km
  • Elevation Gain: 22,901 m
  • Moving Time: 3d 19h 35m
  • Training Log

Whats Next?

Coming up next:

  • 2 months till TCR START!
  • Dragon Ride  (TBC): Getting there, and away…!
  • G!RO 100’s revival June 11th
  • Druid ride – dusk till dawn on the 18th June
  • Final preparations for the TCR
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April Update – Cold Inspiration

The past month has been an interesting time, with lots of plans rewritten as a result of a spell of illness and not the best of weather for this time of year. It’s been far from a bad month, just one that hasn’t gone to plan.

Tour of Flanders

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A lads weekend away to watch the Ronde van Vlaanderan. What could go wrong? At the last minute, our driver and organiser and all round legend Jordan, had to drop out at the last minute to look after work commitments, which mean that we had a last minute call to fill the space, and I needed to drive the van and bike to Ghent.

It was a great weekend, and Jordan turned up late on the first night after driving separately once the work commitments were sorted. We were all basically wasted by this point, but ended up going out again…!

The Sunday was spent watching the Tour of Flanders while I (not so quietly suffered). Watching both the men’s and women’s pro teams battle up the Oude Kwaermont is one of my favouite places to watch bike racing.

We stayed over on a much more subdued Sunday night (I’d only managed to keep anything down till late in the afternoon…) and went for a ride on some of the best cobbled sectors on Monday. Early morning rain, followed by some steady winds and strong sun made for a really awesome day out on the bike.

Audax UK Heart of England 300

My First Audax in the fabulous English countryside was a lot shorter than advertised. I really enjoyed the whole vibe, but shortly after we left the church hall in Cirencester snow started to fall. Gradually, this snow got worse and worse, and even though we added layers and layers, the cold got into our fingers and legs. The pain from this cold is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. The snow began to settle, and with the lack of braking and finger dexterity, James and I decided to call it a day and headed to the nearest town where we hugged radiators while waiting for the taxi to arrive to take us back to the car

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Hills Hills Hills!

Making people suffer, or at least making them enjoy suffering and giving a sense of achievement is something that I enjoy. What started with a couple of friends taking on lots of hills turned into a large group ride with 12 showing up.

It was a great opportunity to find new climbs and join them up together with some of the old favourites. 140 km in the Surrey hills with 2,000 m of elevation in some fantastic weather made for a great day out with some great mates – old and new, and was good training to boot.

London to Paris 24 Hours… and back again!

Finding inspiration when I was just going for a bike ride (well, a really long one) – the people you meet through cycling always never fails to make me happy.

300 km to Paris in 24 hours, a short break and 260 km back home. I’ve written up a separate photo blog over here: http://b1rdmn.exposure.co/

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Whats next?

May is promising to be a fairly epic month, following hotly on the heels of London-Paris-London

  • Racing – Time Trial series with Westerley CC 10 Mile Time Trial at Hillingdon & Race Training with G!RO Prestige Racing
  • All night long – overnight ride with some crazy mates: 225 km over 9 hours
  • London Revolution – A clockwise circuit of London
  • … Some more hilly epics to come. Watch this space!