Monday, 14 July 2014

Ride report: Southdowns Way and the Pyrenees

I've been fairly quiet on here, if truth be told I haven't been racing much at all, I decided to put my xc racing on hold, I struggle to motivate myself to spend several hours sitting in the van for 1 hour and a bit of racing, so I've been training hard. 

May and June were both 1000+ mile months. One particular week saw me head back to the southdowns way for a fast one way attempt. I decided to leave Winchester early, I got there for 4:30am, rolling by 4:40am partly to beat the heat and partly to save my bike from the Friday afternoon commuter bikes on the train journey back to Winchester. I had a great ride, no mechanical issues and only minor navigation errors. I finished in 8hours 20 at the new finish at the seafront of Eastbourne, I know of a few times around 7.5hrs, I know I could have gone faster but happy with a trouble free ride.

I had wanted to fit in a riding holiday for a few weeks before Bontrager 24:12. I chose the Pyrenees due to the classic cycling history and wide array of mountain passes. I was undecided which bike to take, i settled on taking my road bike, its titanium so very comfortable, although i use Non-compact style cranks, so i was concerned i'd be over geared. 

After a long drive down the first day was a gentle ride, enjoying the scenery, i had been awake for 20hours! the next day I was keen to ride the Tourmalet, it started 20km from our B + B which gave me a chance to stretch my legs. The official Strava segment was 10.7miles, just over 4000feet elevation change, as it stands i'm 64 out of 2496, which i was happy with as a first attempt! 

The next few days were spent exploring local Cols, including Col Du Soulor, Col d'Aspin, Horquetter and The Hautacam, on the last day I rode three Cols in a day, around 13,000feet of climbing, but I felt in my element, improving on my climbing and descending techniques. By the end of the week I had ridden 360miles with 50,000feet of climbing, happy and feeling strong.
it is less than two weeks until Bontrager 24:12 and my first 24hour solo, usual mad rush to get bikes finished and kit sorted.

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