Up a gear

This Sunday will be my first comparative test of fitness in the real world. I’ll see and feel how I get on against hundreds of other MAMILs over the 42 miles of the Surrey Cyclone Sportive. (In the virtual world I’ve been obsessively pouring over my Strava stats following each ride.)

During my only previous Sportive (the morning after Galps and Jo’s wedding last year), it felt like – and I think I probably was – overtaken by every other competitor. So in an effort to at least keep up with Hux and Phil, I head out on Saturday morning and take on the “Etape du Lazarus”; 50 miles with three steep hills.

This was my attempt of Yorks Hill on the higher gears of the Cannondale; really pleased that I made it up, and I even still felt “ok” by Fordcombe. However I was really suffering by the time I slowly ground up The Wall, and although it’s short, I buried myself by the Beacon.


But overall averaged 15mph – which will put me into the silver category on Sunday.

Buoyed by this, I popped into the work gym to measure progress on the Watt Bike. I set it up on a slightly higher gear and for the 5 minute test I average 325 watts / 27.5 mph. Watts per kilo up to 4.12. Although I note on Andrew Critchlow’s comeback blog he’s getting up at 4:45am for twice weekly 90 minutes sessions…

Team Sky’s Ben Swift’s tips echo all the other advice – don’t set off too quickly and find your right pace – but I’m a bit concerned by “relax into the pain”…

Up a gear

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