Ride London 100 - too little too late?

by djtheot   July 29, 2014  

So first of all hello, this is my first post on here.

I am here looking for moral support or a slap round the face or someone to say your crazy.

Here is the thing, Last summer I really got into cycling. I have always loved it and have commuted a few days a week on a bike for several years in London. Last year I was commuting 22 miles a day 2-3 days a week with a weekend ride and I did my first sportive (London to Cambridge). I was overweight but losing the pounds and as fit as I have been in my 30s - I am 38 now. Winter came, then I reduced my cycling (to a complete stop by January). Then I got a new job in March, new office has no bike room or shower and I was travelling abroad a hell of a lot in the first 3 months. Anyway you can guess what has happened I got fatter and lost fitness.

This was all with the backdrop of having got a ballot place in the Ride London 100 next week.

5 weeks ago my travel eased off and I panicked so I joined a gym, got a personal trainer 3 times a week and went for my first ride since april this weekend (20miles). I have lost a couple of Kilos in that time and plan do commute in on my bike tomorrow (22miles plus an extra 10 on the way home) and a long ride this weekend 40 - 50 miles.

I really want to do the ride, so practical question. How bad is it going to be and is it too little too late? I know the answer but think I can still make it, I should add my longest ride ever was just over 70 mile last summer when I was fit and I was fine with that.

I allowed work circumstances and poor willpower take control so very disappointed with myself. Anyway, anecdotes, advice and constructive comments welcome and gratefully received.

Thx

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Give a thought to the many riders who struggled through winter putting in the miles but never got a place. Realise how lucky you are to have a place and get on your bike

HMCC

Beefy's picture

posted by Beefy [125 posts]
30th July 2014 - 0:02

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sergius wrote:
For me it's not Leith Hill that's the problem, it's White Down Lane (I think it's called) which generally follows a couple of miles after it - if you are heading back through Dorking at least....

Now that hill is a bitch.

Whitedown is indeed a mean bastard of a climb but worry not as it is not on the route.
There are only three vaguely meaningful climbs in the form of newlands corner, leith hill & box hill. As mentioned above, wimbledon hill is a sting in the tail but that is it really.
Mind over matter and you'll be fine

posted by arfa [513 posts]
30th July 2014 - 4:42

1 Like

I'm going to have to look up Newlands Corner Smile I didn't get a spot on Ride100, but I do like to know all the hills my in manor - as someone said earlier, the second time you do a climb it's always much easier.

posted by sergius [70 posts]
30th July 2014 - 9:01

1 Like

When people are training for their first century, my advice is always, if tight on time, just do the hills, anyone can do the distance, but you need need elevation in those legs.

This is easy for me to say though, living in Scotland, with all sorts of long and steep horrible climbs available locally, might not be so easy in other regions.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [597 posts]
30th July 2014 - 9:41

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Bit of a shortage of hills in Essex. However, Epping Forest has some nasty ones so I guess a few laps of those will have to do.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [896 posts]
30th July 2014 - 13:43

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If Boris can get round (in 8:04) then, unless you are significantly larger and less fit than he, so can you (or anyone for that matter). Don't worry about the climbs - you can get off and walk if needs be without being much slower than trying to grind up them - and apart from the 3 main ones (and Coombe Hill and Wimbledon Hill toward the end) there really isn't much in the way of undulation. The 8:30 cut-off time is really for those that set off in the last wave - you just need to get to the finish by 17:00.
If the weather is as good as it was last year it will be a fantastic day - just remember to apply sunscreen and drink plenty - go out and enjoy the ride. There was plenty of support on the roadside to spur you on.

posted by allezrider [78 posts]
30th July 2014 - 13:47

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Long-range weather forecast is for cloudy and 17-22 degC. And - interestingly - a 10mph south-westerly wind. So it'll be headwind on the way out and tailwind back... that'll help.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [896 posts]
30th July 2014 - 13:55

1 Like

Just been along Parvis Road in West Byfleet. Road widening works started on Monday and the sign says for 6 weeks.

posted by freespirit1 [173 posts]
30th July 2014 - 15:53

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Thanks all, totally going to do it. Quick questions on tyres, I am running Gator Hardskins (I have Mavic Ksyrium SLR wheel set but have kept getting punctures on their stock tyres). Obviously the hard skins are wonderful for puncture resistances but I definitely notice the ride is harsher with the Conti's. Any recommendations for the day? Fast with some puncture resistance?

BTW commuted in this morning for first time in a while and it appears the gym work has been paying off, was not blowing out my arse! So thats a good sign. Was going at the same pace as previous to my sabbatical. Real test this weekend....

Also I should add this forum is pretty great, its nice to get the positive comments. Was convinced most would say your mad!

posted by djtheot [3 posts]
30th July 2014 - 16:44

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Gp4000's all the way - will be a joy to rude on them compared to gatorskins !

posted by arfa [513 posts]
30th July 2014 - 16:51

4 Likes

djtheot wrote:
Any recommendations for the day? Fast with some puncture resistance?

Stuff puncture resistance, get some Vittoria Open Corsa (SC or CX).
They fly, corner brilliantly, not punctured any of the sets I've had yet.

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [468 posts]
30th July 2014 - 17:02

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djtheot wrote:

Also I should add this forum is pretty great, its nice to get the positive comments. Was convinced most would say your mad!

We might be thinking that.... Wink .

posted by allezrider [78 posts]
30th July 2014 - 17:36

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Quote:
Thanks all, totally going to do it. Quick questions on tyres, I am running Gator Hardskins (I have Mavic Ksyrium SLR wheel set but have kept getting punctures on their stock tyres). Obviously the hard skins are wonderful for puncture resistances but I definitely notice the ride is harsher with the Conti's. Any recommendations for the day? Fast with some puncture resistance?

If you are going to change anything on the bike do it NOW and get a ride or two in at the weekend. That'll give you time to get used to it.

11pm Saturday night before the ride is not the time to discover that your new tyres are so tight you need a 2ft tyre lever to get them off or that the ride on them is so harsh you rattle all your teeth out!

Same with clothing, contact points etc. Don't go out and buy it now, it's too late.

And a suggestion re the tyres - go for 25mm, they'll be nice and comfy. I really like Schwalbe Durano tyres, they're fast rolling but have good puncture protection.

posted by crazy-legs [537 posts]
30th July 2014 - 18:30

2 Likes

You've had one or two bike rides since April, that's how well you're going to go. Unfortunately the shape you're in now will be what you start with. Try to resist doing too much this week, you should really be tapering from about 10 days out, not doing more.

What I don't understand is the personal trainer thing... didn't they come up with a training plan for you and why didn't this involve riding a bike?

On the plus side I'm fairly sure you're going up one of the easier roads on Leith Hill and Newlands Corner and Box Hill are nothing to worry about either.

Your tyres.. Why risk it? If you're carrying a bit of timber then probably best to go for something on the more robust side and make sure your pressures are right. I live in the Surrey Hills and the lanes around here are always covered in that nasty sharp gravel. Leith Hill is particularly good for flint chippings as well.

Just enjoy it for what it is.. a bike ride with lots of other people, some will be quicker, some will be slower!

posted by realdeal [21 posts]
30th July 2014 - 18:45

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A shortage of riding may mean you don't get round as quickly, but don't be put off. Lots of people commit to do stuff like this without putting enough time in.

My suggestions: don't start too fast, hide in the wheels and shelter. Drink and eat little & often (but don't overdo it, you're not riding the Tour de France), stop for a break if you feel the need and, most of all savour the experience.

Even if for some reason you don't get round, always remember it's better to try and fail then never to have tried at all.

Finally, a quote that resonates with me is by Ken Chlouber, organiser of the Leadville 100 mile MTB event:

You're better than you think you are, you can do more than you think you can.

So true! Cool

Go for it, and enjoy the day.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2000 posts]
30th July 2014 - 21:45

3 Likes

JUST DO IT

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1170 posts]
31st July 2014 - 0:55

0 Likes

allezrider wrote:
Don't worry about the climbs - you can get off and walk if needs be.

You can't walk up the climbs; it is not allowed.



Suffering from Low Cadence.

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posted by bikeboy76 [1348 posts]
31st July 2014 - 1:15

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Not sure how tongue in cheek this is comment is but there was more than a fare share walking up Leith Hill last year. I reckon if you take on a bit of fuel on the stretch between Newlands corner and Abinger Hammer it'll have sunk in enough before you hit the climb.

+1 for the extra speed you get on closed roads and cycling in a pack. You'll gain an extra couple of mph just from that. If you can share the load out on the fast roads to Newlands corner into the headwind then the rest is pretty much a tail wind.

Wimbledon hill really caught people out last year. A lot of cursing from the people riding around me.

As has been said enjoy it. Don't go flying off the start. Absorb the fact you're riding through the middle of London which is lovely and flat and devoid of cars for a change.

posted by Maggers [57 posts]
31st July 2014 - 10:08

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Im a bit worried too, started cycling last year and took on my first sportive last August - 70 miles which was a shock to the system to an overweight bloke like myself. I am actually heavier now but a year on considerably more experienced after 6 sportive's this year of various lengths and a member of a cycle club too. Even though I am in the slow group in the club which has been renamed the steady group as we have upped our average within group work from 14 to 18 mph this year.

My question is the talk of drafting is fine but finding a group where you can sort of take your time but still get to the front and take your turn? I don't particularly want to sit on the back of strangers letting them do the work.

So to those who did it last year, I obviously put a time down (6hrs 30 mins) which will put me in a starting group with others of similar ability so I am not trying to hang onto the back of people who are going to rip my legs to bits?

To the original poster. what group you in etc?

posted by mickcee [35 posts]
31st July 2014 - 10:52

1 Like

Isnt it mostly flat, there arent any hills down that neck of the woods. If Boris can do it...

Leodis's picture

posted by Leodis [227 posts]
31st July 2014 - 11:11

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Leodis wrote:
Isnt it mostly flat, there arent any hills down that neck of the woods. If Boris can do it...

Why is the area between Clandon and Dorking/Leith Hill called Surrey Hills then?

Box Hill must need it's name changing soon too!

posted by freespirit1 [173 posts]
31st July 2014 - 12:07

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Pace yourself and you'll get round OK.

I did my first and only century last year (a charity ride). As there were two food/drink stops I just treated it as 3 x 30 odd mile efforts and had a little break at each stop. It seemed much easier to get my head round that way having done 45-50 mile efforts when training.

posted by Matt eaton [410 posts]
31st July 2014 - 12:54

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I'm also doing this though so far this year I've done 2,000 miles of training and 57,000 feet+ of ascending. Leith is the hardest of the three bigger hills, as long as you take them steady and not try to go up them like a pro I think you'll be ok. Psychology pays a big factor concentrate on a few feet ahead of you not 100 meters, I try to save a gear for the final ascent along with getting out the saddle for a final push if need be and have it in the back of your mind on the way up three lovely descents await! I'm taking plenty of Gels, salted nuts & Carbs along two water bottles with High5 electrolyte mix inside as well.

Enjoy it!

O and i'm 47 Big Grin

posted by chivers67 [4 posts]
1st August 2014 - 16:54

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chivers67 wrote:
I'm also doing this though so far this year I've done 2,000 miles of training and 57,000 feet+ of ascending. Big Grin

Let's not start a bragging war on how much or how little training we've done - though for my 2ps worth I did 1100 miles in July last year for the Ride London (mainly because I hadn't done enough in the months before) Wink

posted by allezrider [78 posts]
1st August 2014 - 17:33

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allezrider wrote:
chivers67 wrote:
I'm also doing this though so far this year I've done 2,000 miles of training and 57,000 feet+ of ascending.

Let's not start a bragging war on how much or how little training we've done - though for my 2ps worth I did 1100 miles in July last year for the Ride London (mainly because I hadn't done enough in the months before) Wink
hmm bit of mis-quoting there, my smilie was after my age not my training stats Big Grin

posted by chivers67 [4 posts]
3rd August 2014 - 18:29

1 Like

Anyway here's some info for those using rail to spectate;

http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/RideLondon2014.aspx

posted by freespirit1 [173 posts]
3rd August 2014 - 18:52

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So, last big ride for me today before the event... 86km done and dusted and I feel relatively human. It was going to be 105km but the headwind on the way back killed me, so I trimmed it. Not worried about that next week though - I'll draft people, and the headwind will be on the first half so as soon as we turn back toward London it'll be tailwind all the way.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [896 posts]
3rd August 2014 - 18:56

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@djtheot: how did you get on then?

posted by crazy-legs [537 posts]
10th August 2014 - 13:50

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Maybe he's still riding!

posted by realdeal [21 posts]
12th August 2014 - 11:14

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I don't think I was trained well enough but it was brilliant and easily the best challenge (because of the weather) I have ever taking part in.

I will need to come back and complete the full ride. I never got in the ballet 2 years in a row so took a charity place this year and just scraped the target. I am not a proactive person when it comes to asking people for sponsorship and been on Facebook doesn't help! I think my wife and parents post's helped more then me asking around!!!!

So hopefully 3rd year lucky this year....I loved it!

posted by mickcee [35 posts]
12th August 2014 - 14:46

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