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Sportive Stories

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1 Sportive Stories on Mon 10 May 2010, 05:01

Dear All,

Any chance you could share your sportive adventures with us?

How did you feel? Did you enjoy it? Did it go to plan? Would you do anything different?

I hope you can give us your review of the sportive overall? It will hopefully give us an idea for our diary's next year.

Many Thanks


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2 Re: Sportive Stories on Mon 10 May 2010, 06:26

I rode out on my first Sportive ever today, started with Paul, Rob & Sam. Paul & I did the short route (37 odd miles) so we split up with Rob & Sam who were doing the long route, when the signs advised...

It was freezing but great - the route was well planned and well signed. We had a full safety briefing before we set off, and a free cup of tea when we got back! Refreshments along the way were provided & easy to access and personally I felt it was a well organised ride.

It was great to ride with Paul again & I was really happy that I completed all the hills and passed a number of fellow riders on one particularly steep one!!!

The Sunday training has definately helped and having completed this I reckon I'm gonna try and get on a 55 or 75 mile one before the Mega Meon 95. So anyone who'd like to join me - let me know...

Key learnings for me - I didn't eat properly the night before so really felt (and was) slow for the first 15 miles - then using the technique you wrote about, Rich, the food and drink kicked in, meaning the last 20+ miles felt a lot better. Would do it all over again - so that probably sums it up! Very Happy bounce bounce

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3 Re: Sportive Stories on Mon 10 May 2010, 21:12


I to rode my first ever sportive yesterday, we all set out together before splitting for our separate routes. I was a little concerned when we set off for Lisa who confessed she hadn't ate at all during Friday because she had forgot??? and Saturday couldn't as was nursing a hangover lol!
Well our ride started o.k, took a bit of time to warm up, it was very cold and very very windy at points, most of the roads were good, with a few pot holey ones, our average mph eventually started to creep up and then we met some challenging hills, although they weren't enough to conquer us! I have to say I got a big shot of confidence when I was struggling on a particularly nasty hill when in the distance I could see two men walking, uh uh no way was that gonna be me and Im pleased to say it never was!!!! I really enjoyed being on a bit of road which I cant remember the name of but we got our speed up to 20mph and that was fun, but being such kind hearted people we picked up a straggler and tried to let him sit on our wheel but he just dropped off so we slowed right down and let him catch up, he confessed his mates told him he'd be fine on this ride yet he'd only been cycling since Novemeber and only had a couple of energy bars, so we pulled over and fed him bananas and flap jacks then got him back on our wheel for a short distance before pulling away.
Ok our average did drop (sorry Rob) and at just over 60miles I was starting to slow and then at 70miles I was starting to count down the miles home, it was cold and I can honestly say I dont think Ive ever rode so many hills in one bike ride, but I did, and the free cup of tea seemed to be the best ever.
I had a really good day, the route was sign posted brilliantly and I had awesome company and encouragement, for which Im grateful.
I would definately do it again, be good to see some girls on the longer ride next time as I only saw one.

Great day, would recommend it.

4 Re: Sportive Stories on Tue 11 May 2010, 00:19

Now we all know Richard keeps nagging us on these weekend club runs to eat and drink while on the bike. This is of the uttermost importance if you wish to complete a ride of any substantial distance, and stay upright afterwards. As Sam wrote, we were happily rolling alone at 20mph through Chilgrove (B2141) where came across a rider spining away then coasting, spining away then coasting. Tell tale signs that the sugar levels are dropping. We told him to jump on the back and get a tow as we were going into a head wind, he did but only managed to keep with us for a while, and dropped off about half a mile from the turn juction with the A286. We stopped and fed him as Sam said, telling him that pre-loading has to be done to get around this kind of distance. As it happens, he did complete the distance all but a bit slower than he anticipated and a little worse for wear. A little something that will stick with him and hopefully warn him to eat heartily beforehand.

Our stomachs on though were always topped up, with flap jack, banana's and jelly cubes. All high in what you need to achieve the distance. When the drink ran out, water and NuNN tablets were used. An odd taste, but it puts back what you've lost.

The roads were great, hills as you'd expect - some off the scale. affraid Down Place was Sam's challenge. But managed it with a good bit of coaxing. The other beast was Harvesting lane, which was achieved by playing Eye Spy! It worked ok!!! All the others were just like lumps in the road (Sure Sam would back me up with that one).

It was a blustery day, but then you need days like that to make it feel like you've worked hard and to improve your workout. The sun popped out briefly, but I think it had a better offer elsewhere and it buggered off again. So we had to rely on the food to work twice as hard both to sustain our efforts and keep us warm. Luckily we thought ahead and wore longs, overshoes, ample layers, arm warmers and long fingered gloves. Where as some other riders just went round in racing layers. (will they ever learn?)

The checkpoints were plentyful of food and drink and very supportive to each rider that passed through, telling all to eat plenty and take extra if they so desired. One can only eat so much even if it is free.

There are always sportives being done by riders within the club, the next I am doing is the Mega Meon. But there is the Little Lumpy beforehand.

No excuses, enter one and make the group bigger for the next one.

Oh and don't forget to eat afterwards too.

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5 Re: Sportive Stories on Tue 11 May 2010, 03:14

Rob...does that mean you & Sam are gonna do the little lumpy - Mark B was asking - I'm up for it and if there are a lot of us - and in club colours - reckon it'll be fab - let me know as I'll splash the cash later this week

reckon I should have an open house the night before & put on a vat of pasta - that way I know I'll have to eat - ! - sorry Sam didn't want to worry you - I should know better by now ! Embarassed Embarassed

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6 Re: Sportive Stories on Tue 11 May 2010, 03:29

On the 16th May, the day of The Little Lumpy. (it's a big lumpy really)
I'll be doing the 50M TT. Start at 06:45.

So sorry to say I won't be able to join you all. No

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7 Re: Sportive Stories on Tue 11 May 2010, 04:51


I can't do the little lumpy either or whichever it is on the 16th May 2010 as Im on night shifts.

8 Sportive Stories on Wed 09 Jun 2010, 09:37

Hi Rich,

I don't have any stories but maybe it would be a good idea to have a pre mega meon sportive team brief so that we all know what to do. We could all meet in the pub and discuss tips and strategy. What do you think?


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9 Re: Sportive Stories on Wed 09 Jun 2010, 19:28

bounce If you did have a meet prior to the Mega Meon and it was in the pub, that would be a Saturday? In an ideal world you could have a Pasta munching session too! [I expect the landlord would have other plans] or better still perhaps the Monday club meet prior to the sunday a briefing - rolling powerpoint on one of the laptops maybe? - depicting the 'team plan';emergencies;back-up plan for breakdowns;suggested onboard food (you've tried before ideally);pre-loading suggestion, pasta etc. bounce

affraid I joked previously about 'winging it', having a triathlon background and something in my legs I could get away with it BUT definately DO NOT recomend it! Good luck getting the miles in, food, teamwork and remember kit....get it 'broken in' make sure that isn't going to 'rub you up the wrong way'! (Vaseline - top tip!) lol!

British Cycling Level 3 Road & Time-trial Coach alien
Performance Coaching: Monthly Training Plans: Youth & Junior Development
m: 07483944230
e:  trigwill@gmail.com

Regular U18 coaching sessions @ South Downs College Saturday's 0900-1130
www.pnecc.co.uk/coaching.html for further details

bounce PNECC Members get FREE British Cycling RACE BRONZE for 12 months (Quote code: NEWCMRA)  bounce
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10 Re: Sportive Stories on Tue 17 May 2011, 09:46

The thread was starting to look a little lonley so thought i'd resurrect it.

Yesterday I completed the 'Etap du Dales' sportive in the Yorkshire Dales. I have to admit it was probably one of the toughest physical challenges I have ever completed, it was advertised as being 112 miles with 3500ft of catergorised climbing so not to be taken lightly.

I set off at 7am with a cloudy sky with the odd finger of sunshine poking thru and a hope in my heart, although this was destroyed by the first climb of the day at a little over 15 miles in, a cat 3 climb, 3 miles in length and ascending 875ft. This was merely the hors d'oeuvres for the next ascent 4 miles later, a whopper of a cat 2 climb at 3.36 miles in length and going skywards for 900ft!! I was already chewing my bars and hadn't even reached 30 miles!!
I could continue with describing the rest of the first half of the ride but to sum it up for you it basically went uphill!!!

The organisation was spot on and they had very well stocked feed stops with plenty of free gels, energy bars, flapjack, bannanas, energy drink & water (which was just as well!!) I seem to remember there being 4 or 5 around the course.
At the half way point was the feed stop at the highest pub in the land (fact), the 'Tan Hill Inn'.
Here they served up tea, coffee, sandwiches (which were a welcome relief from the sweet and sticky energy goods), and piles of cake. Feeling a little better I set off for the second half.

Whilst climbing up Tan Hill the weather had taken a turn for the worse and the wind was howling across the dales and then the rain started!! The temperature had dropped off and after my sunny training rides on the south coast was a little disappointed to find myself in sub 10 degree weather!! The descent from Tan Hill was a cracker although a little sketchy because of the greasy roads so held back a little and the cross winds didnt help much either!!

I made it to the 70 mile feed stop having nursed some cramp on the inside of my thighs (1st for me) and loaded up on the good stuff. Soon after setting off I was faced with the most ridiculous climb I have ever attempted. Im not sure what it was called but it was endless!! My garmin pauses itself with a little beep if I go below 3mph and all I will say it was like a disco tune going off on my handlebars!!!! 'Map my ride' showed it as just over 2 miles, 643ft and at an average of 6%, to be honest it felt a lot worse!! As the weather had worsened and the cloud/mist got lower this climb actually went through the clouds (another 1st for me) and up the top was a photographer waiting to capture the pained faces on display. Heres the link to mine - http://www.sportsunday.co.uk/photo10027392.html That took just about all the energy I had at that point.

On the descent from this whopper I started working with a couple of guys from Ashwell CC whom I had been bumping into on and off for the previous 50 miles. They looked about in as worse as state as me and we shared the pain for the final 30 odd miles. I wish I could say it was a flat run in from here but the Etap had one more sting in its tail for us. We heaved ourselves over the final climb and on the descent things got a bit hairy. I was following one of the guys from Ashwell CC on the descent and a left hander caught us both out. It was a bit sharper than we'd expected and luckily for us as the road turned to the left, the right hand side, rather than dropping away over the edge, provided us with a steep grassy bank to ride up!! We hit this at about 35-40mph and I somehow managed to stay upright as Mr.Ashwell CC took a dive into the grass. Thankfully no injuries were sustained other than dented pride and we sheepishly crept back to the road and continued on our way.

The final 10/15 miles were a flattish run back to the start with what im sure was the first tailwind of the day. I crossed the line in 8hr 30mins feeling a little the worse foe wear but otherwise elated I had finished the challenge!!

Other than being a little expensive to enter (its a charity ride), I can thouroughly recommend the Etap Du Dales (if your a sadist,or a bit mental!!), its well organised, well marshalled and a good atmos. It would have been nice if the sun had come out to play but hey, it is Yorkshire after all!!

Final stats - 110 miles covered
11,500ft ascended
7500 calories burnt
163bpm av.HR
200bpm max.HR

Heres the links to my Garmin stats and the 'Map my ride' climb stats,

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11 Re: Sportive Stories on Tue 17 May 2011, 20:01

Very Happy Picture looks great - dig the red tights?
Have tried the MapMyRide link but it specifies you'll only share routes with 'friends' so you may have to make the ride 'public'. I sent a friend request anyhow.

I'm hoping we get an even better turn out for the Mega Meon - and that will take some beating from last year! Very Happy

British Cycling Level 3 Road & Time-trial Coach alien
Performance Coaching: Monthly Training Plans: Youth & Junior Development
m: 07483944230
e:  trigwill@gmail.com

Regular U18 coaching sessions @ South Downs College Saturday's 0900-1130
www.pnecc.co.uk/coaching.html for further details

bounce PNECC Members get FREE British Cycling RACE BRONZE for 12 months (Quote code: NEWCMRA)  bounce
0161 274 2010 ...you've nothing to lose?
bouncePNECC Youth Members get FREE British Cycling Membership & RACE Licence (first 12 months).......what you waiting for?   affraid
View user profile http://www.trigwillcyclecoaching.com

12 Re: Sportive Stories on Tue 17 May 2011, 23:58

Hi James,
Awesome effort mate!

The cramp on the inner thigh is something I have encountered in the past. Generally after spending a lot of time climbing (which it sounds as though you have been doing a little bit of!!). The first time i ever had this was after climbing over the Ditchling Beacon (Brighton). It does improve over time and yes you guessed it, after much practice.

So did you have any issues with nutrition or hydration? Would you do anything differently there?

Hopefully you can tell us all about it on Sunday. Long one planned and we are all available I think.


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13 Re: Sportive Stories on Wed 18 May 2011, 03:16

Apologies on the Map my Ride link, have now made it public.
As far as nutrition and hydration went think I pretty much nailed it. A big brekkie of porridge and crumpets with peanut butter got me started and I tended to graze throughout the ride on energy bars (pinacolada Mule bars were a fave), on about the hour or just over. At half way I took advantage of an egg roll and a coffee.
I tended to switch to the gels once past the 5hr mark. I also swigged away regularly on energy drink (High5 4:1) and again, once past the 3 hour mark started swigging on water with a Nuun electrolyte tab thrown in.
I felt pretty good throughout and never came close to 'bonking' which I have in the past and never wish to again!!

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14 Re: Sportive Stories on Thu 19 May 2011, 04:17

Hi J,

I'm glad you were able to get it right mate, as you sound as though you are aware of what it’s like when you get it wrong. It is so easy to do as well.

You really have to read your body, would you agree or did you stick to a routine (eat on the hour, drink every 20mins)? Maybe a combination of both yes?

The routine method works fine and will stave off all but the most severe debts caused by a demanding route.

Can you tell us a little about your recovery? If not what you were able to do perhaps what you had planned as an ideal?

I have a specific routine i follow to stave off the Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) what’s your secret? The dreaded lactate build-up takes some managing eh!?

Obviously we can discuss this on Sunday but for the other readers can you elaborate?


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15 Re: Sportive Stories on Thu 19 May 2011, 07:14

I set out with the intention of swigging every 15mins but in reality it was probably more like evry 30mins or so. It was an overcast rainy day so you tend to get fooled into thinking you're not thirsty or losing too many fluids but you probably are!!

As for the food I planned on having half an energy bar every hour on the hour or more if I felt hungry. As it turned out I probably used the listen to your body method! I think if I recall correctly, over the course of 8.30hrs I ate 3 energy bars, an egg roll and 3 or 4 energy gels, which looking at it on 'paper' doesn't seem like a lot but I certainly never felt hungry or close to the bonk.

Recovery wise I hadn't planned a lot. I had a protein recovery bar ready for when I finished along with a chocolate Nesquik, which I swear by!! Good balance of protein and minerals for recovery apparently, always works for me!! Then a big old dinner that evening!!
The days following I did some gentle stretching of the quads, hamstrings and calves which felt a little tight! My inner thigh cramping caused the most grief and its only today that they feel back to normal. Planning on getting back out tomorrow for a spin after work and see how I go!!

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