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Mike's in training for something, but what does it take to get fit for a big challenge?...

If you've ever watched a Cyclefilm etape recce you'll probably recognise Mike Cotty as the guinea pig sent out to try out the parcours for you. He's a fit chap, Mike: a former cyclocross champion and record holder for the South Downs Double (the full return trip) and first British finisher in the Etape and the Marmotte. Now he's eyeing up a new challenge.

We don't know what that challenge is just yet. Whatever it is, it involves riding quite fast for quite a long time, because his current regime involves some rides like this one: 300 miles from Herne Bay in Kent back to base in Southampton. The pretty way, with over 6,000m of climbing. It's an interesting glimpse into Mike's life, which very much revolves around riding bikes fast, and it had us thinking two things. Firstly, we should never forget just how beautiful riding in the UK can be: this ride looks lovely. And secondly, why haven't we got a car following us around on our training rides? We're sure we could crack off 300 miles in 19 hours too, if we did. Ahem.

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

61 comments

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koko56 [330 posts] 3 years ago
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Holy f&&&cakes!

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ScotchPoth (not verified) [368 posts] 3 years ago
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Good video but had to put it on mute due to the obligatory shitty lame acoustic whining,why soundtrack with such shit?

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Mike Cotty [64 posts] 3 years ago
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Hi ScotchPoth. Glad you like the vid. I've made a note - "must try harder with the music" - for next time. What's your preference? Mike

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ScotchPoth (not verified) [368 posts] 3 years ago
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Hi Mike,sorry about the nasty comment,i just thought it was a random video link for this site to fill up a slow news day,didnt realise you may reply
If you like the music,its fine,i cant recommend anything because you'd probably hate it but maybe something instrumental? Kraftwerk?
Apologies again,i wish i could delete my comment
You are a great cyclist,i only wish i could reach your level,ive only managed 68 miles furthest so far but im working on it(lots of hills where i live!)
all the best

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RPK [93 posts] 3 years ago
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Do you want some ointment for that burn?  19

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Yennings [237 posts] 3 years ago
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This comments thread is one of the best things I've ever read.

Well done, Mike - you made that look easy, not sure I'd still be smiling after 300 miles.

And for what it's worth, I think acoustic tracks are ideal for this kind of journey. Save the electronica for crit racing videos.

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themartincox [532 posts] 3 years ago
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Just watched the video thanks to the free Wi-fi of Safeway in Trinidad Colorado during the rest break of day 5 of the Race Across America

Good stuff Mike

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vahengel [1 post] 3 years ago
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noticed that he's wearing two different helmets in the ride: initially a yellow mavic helmet and towards the night a white'sh...

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Dave_B [3 posts] 3 years ago
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Great video, looked like an awesome day in the saddle. Ha, I really liked the music and had even looked it up by Googling the lyrics before I read this thread!

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Mike Cotty [64 posts] 3 years ago
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Thanks for all the support chaps. Much appreciated!  1

Oh, reason for helmet change was one for day (yellow) and one pre set up with the helmet light for night (white).

All the best.

Mike

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Mike Cotty [64 posts] 3 years ago
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No stress. Music is a personal thing. No right or wrong really. Now let me get on iTunes and have a listen to Kraftwerk. Ride safe

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zalamanda [12 posts] 3 years ago
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I agree the music is dreadful; but I admire your determination and commitment for your 'challenge'. I was wondering if you're sponsored by Mavic or you just like it.

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STATO [514 posts] 3 years ago
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I did 300 miles a few weeks ago, took 3 days tho.

Have to agree with the comment near the end of the article, there really is some beautiful riding in the UK if you take yourself away from the built up areas and look for the little back roads. So many riders seem to miss roads like those in the vid, too stuck in the 'car mentality' of bigger and more direct roads.

Good video and ride Mike.

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Cycle_Jim [264 posts] 3 years ago
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Stunning! I'm planing riding from Leicester to Norfolk in august, any tips for route planning when you don't 100% know the roads? I'm good for about 60% of it but the other is looking a bit sketchy, steering clear of main roads but gets difficult!

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Leviathan [2280 posts] 3 years ago
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koko56 wrote:

Holy f&&&cakes!

Pam?

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malinphoto [4 posts] 3 years ago
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Thanks for the great comments!

Cycle-Jim, the route was new to us, we mapped it using ride with GPS, aiming to stay on the yellow B roads and adding in some white lanes to mix up the views. In some cases we had to think on our feet on the day, we had road closures to deal with but you can get around it with a cool head and logic.

There are always times when a few hundred metres of A road may be unavoidable but you can often street view to see just how big they are before mapping.

If using Ride with GPS it only works in the UK when set to driving or walking mode. We kept it on driving obviously as we had the support car.

I hope this helps, it sounds like a great ride!

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malinphoto [4 posts] 3 years ago
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themartincox Got to love the free wi-fi! It sounds like you're on a pretty cool adventure too! I hope all goes well.

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Jasonahewitt [16 posts] 3 years ago
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What a gent.
Great ride, nice video and a masterclass in dealing with a troll.
Class

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Cycle_Jim [264 posts] 3 years ago
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@Malinphoto Thanks for the reply, spend the wet afternoon planning the ride more then!

Not too bothered about the A roads for short periods, I'm more worried about 100miles in on an A road and a momentary slip of concentration making me strawberry jam!

When your on long rides do you rely purely on GPS/Phones/sat navs or do you take a paper map as a just in case scenario

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malinphoto [4 posts] 3 years ago
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Cycle_Jim for sure always try to avoid or minimise the A roads especially when on a long ride. You may however have to add the miles on to avoid them.

For the 300 ride we just used the bike Garmin, they got us out of trouble on a few occasions I had one in the car and Mike had his, both had the route uploaded. More recently I found the i-phone maps were a great back up for more detail, the only downside being bad signal if you are in the sticks.

We only use paper maps when in Europe but we do have the luxury of a support car which if you don't have can be a bit lumpy to stick in your jersey. If you have the capacity to carry one then I would always say take one as a backup, at least just for the areas you don't know, obviously with the scale and the distance it can be a big map.

We have also done screen grabs and taken photos of sections of the maps, if you have a smart phone the zoom is really clear and is much more convenient to carry.

I hope this helps!

Good luck with the mapping!

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Mike Cotty [64 posts] 3 years ago
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Hi Zalamanda. I've used Mavic equipment for many years through choice as I personally found it to be good quality gear that did what I wanted it to. Over time I got to know the brand a little more and now I receive some support from them which I'm very grateful for as it's what I was using already. Everything that you may see me riding with is through choice. Products / brands that I like and that I've found work well for the type of riding I do.

All the best,

Mike

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koko56 [330 posts] 3 years ago
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bikeboy76 wrote:
koko56 wrote:

Holy f&&&cakes!

Pam?

First I hear about it!

Sunflower!

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GMC61_NewburyRC [10 posts] 3 years ago
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Mike,

With this long ride, are you preparing for a tilt at the Paris-Brest-Paris or Bordeaux-Paris run perhaps ?

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Mike Cotty [64 posts] 3 years ago
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@GMC61_NewburyRC I've got a little personal challenge whirling around my slightly mountain obsessed mind  1 More to come in a few weeks. Stay tuned!

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Mike Cotty [64 posts] 3 years ago
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@themartincox Go Team Hoppo!!!

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Roberj4 [221 posts] 3 years ago
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We'll done Mike, respect and a great bike as all ways sure helps. Exposure looked to be the front light? What model for the rear? Look forward to the next instalment/adventure

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Bez [602 posts] 3 years ago
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"We're sure we could crack off 300 miles in 19 hours too"

Yeah, yeah, you turned down this one, though, didn't you  3

"With this long ride, are you preparing for a tilt at the Paris-Brest-Paris or Bordeaux-Paris run perhaps ?"

They both seem a bit tame given that he's already done the Raid Pyrénéen (690km, 11000m) in under 31 hours...

Can't wait to see what the next thing is.

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Mike Cotty [64 posts] 3 years ago
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@Roberj4. It sure does help to have a fast rolling bike! Lights were - Reflex (bike), Joystick (helmet) and the new "Blaze" for the rear (all by Exposure Lights). All this talk of lights.....oooh, I feel another night ride coming on!  1

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Mike Cotty [64 posts] 3 years ago
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@Bez - wow, you have a great memory!

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Gossa [78 posts] 3 years ago
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Well done Mike, very inspiring!

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