Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The hill that beat me (reprise)...

A couple of years ago I posted a... Post. About training in Richmond park. I'd just bought my current bike and Ken was doing his best to prepare us for our LEJOG effort. Today I went back for the first time to see how I would do in Richmond park given that I'm now nearly three years older but have ridden a lot more.

Despite conflicting ideas about where the park may be... Thanks Richmond council man... I found the park and set off to try my luck.

The loop is not an easy ride by any stretch of the imagination. It is full of headwinds, false flats, climbs and descents. Needless to say the hill did not beat me this time and part of me is surprised it did the first time. It really helps to know that you are climbing the back of Richmond hill which I had already climbed to get into the park today.

Richmond park is 11km approx as a loop. You WILL be passed by men practicing on time trial bikes but this is ok.

Entering at the roehampton gate turn left and follow the road round to the left. Then climb the hill. Then descend. Then climb a bit. Roundabout. Descend then climb a bit. Roundabout. Climb then descend. Then undulate. Roundabout. Then have no idea where you are then climb then descend. Roundabout finish.

Did I mention the wind? It's always bloody windy. It's like a practice Cornwall.

As I lay there on the grass after my last attempt an old guy, maybe 70, pulled up, put his bike in an old estate car, grinned at me and left.

Richmond park is the best practice for a big ride on small roads.

Love it because that's easier than hating it.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

List of weird things about the Dunwich Dynamo

So after yesterday's brief rant, here are some slightly weird facts that I hadn't realised. Some from research in general and some from Southwark Cyclists.

So it's going to get dark at 21:06. That's less than an hour after we set off. Most of the ride is on unlit roads so I will definitely need spare batteries. Weirdly Sunrise is at 05:09 the following day... so I've got 8 out of the 10 hours riding in pitch black.

Apparently there are quite a lot of bats

Last year 1500 riders took part. That's quite a lot. Less than  that cycled back.

Here is a lovely description of riding the event

That's all at the moment.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Dunwich Dynamo 2013

It's something I've been meaning to do for the last couple of years, but the timing has never been quite right. The Dunwich Dynamo is a 200km 180km ride from London Fields (Which is unsuprisingly in London) to Dunwich (Which I was suprised to realise is in Norfolk Suffolk).

This is a little further than I have ridden before. About 43km more. Or to put it another way just under 2 hours more.

It is also at night.

Admittedly it's in July so the "night" is only dark for about 5-6 hours.Or half the ride. (edit: I've just discovered it will be dark for 8 hours that night)

So 200km at night. Why would anyone do that?

Because we can. Because I can imagine what it feels like to cycle through the darkest hours of the day. trying to eat a flapjack in a pitch black country lane.What it must be like to feel the first rays of sun on your face as you see the sun come over the horizon about 7 hours in.To eat a portion of chips for breakfast soaking wet because I've just been swimming fully clothed. Snoozing on the bus back.

There are a couple of stops during the night to pick up more food and water but It's probably 9-10 hours cycling. This is either going to burn...

a)6990Kcal using a weight*distance*kcal per lb/mile. Or
b)4000Kcal using 400 Kcal an hour

Luckily I'm carrying about 30,000 spare Kcals in a handy front mounted storage container (Or belly)

My bike has been serviced by the lovely people at Comptons. It's been reshod following advice from the guys at 2 wheels Good. I've got a possy of people to ride with. Now I only have to decide what to wear for the ride.