With just two days to go until the team road.cc/Aldi squad take to the Le Mans style start of 24hr relay revolve24 we thought it'd be time to discuss the finer points of the setup, the kit and clothing we're using plus the focus, like for any endurance event, is on nutrition.
Before we look at all that though we'd like to mention that we are fundraising on behalf of Breast Cancer Care and we've set a target of £500 which we are about 40% to achieving. If you can spare a few quid it would be so gratefully appreciated.
Last year we were blessed with wall to wall sunshine on both the Saturday and Sunday which meant summer clothing throughout the daylight shifts but considering we're edging towards the middle of September when the sun goes down it doesn't half get chilly.
The coldness really seemed to set in during those early morning hours, 2 - 4am when you're tired and grabbing an hours sleep here and there, not sure whether to eat, drink, pass out...whatever. In fact you just want to get on your bike because at least you're doing something to keep yourself semi-warm.
This year, as you've probably guessed by the team name, we are being sponsored by Aldi UK who have supplied each member of the team with a pair of thermal bibtights, a jacket, some waterproof socks and a pair of thermal gloves from their upcoming winter range.
Team member Ian Upham takes you through them here in fact......
We're going to be using the kit over the weekend (probably overnight to be fair considering the current mild temperatures but there is some rain on the way so you never know) to give you some initial feedback on our findings before the clothing hits the shelves.
With each rider looking to cover seventy or so miles over the course of the 24hrs at quite a high intensity we are certainly going to be looking at comfort, performance and breathability.
Photo by Joolze Dymond
As an ex-year round commuter I find it amazing how many riders never actually ride in the dark. I love it (which came in handy obviously as I spent six months of the year heading to work and back without sunlight) and that's why the night section of revolve24 is my favourite part.
Away from the pit lane Brands Hatch is properly dark and with a decent set of high powered lights it's amazing how much time per lap you can take out of those less equipped in the lumen department especially on the first couple of descents where speeds can reach between 40-50mph and you're looking for the apex of the next bend.
Why do I need two lights?
Well I'm taking two bikes for which which reasons will become clear in later blogs. Did someone mention onboard race footage of our team.......sssssssshhhhhhh!
It's worth noting too that if you're riding the event you don't need a massively bright, flashing rear light. For once something constant and red will do the job.
You are what you eat.......
The time on the track might not be massive for some of you reading this, about three hours for each rider but every single team member regardless of fitness or power is going to be out there smashing themselves to bits for each thirty minute stint which is why nutrition and recovery is so important.
As far as I'm concerned I'm not a big lover of energy products, I've always got on with 'real' food and much prefer savoury than sweet if I'm honest. You've got to go with what works best for you though especially in those critical minutes after finishing each session.
I'm guessing we'll see plenty of variations of a theme throughout the weekend.
Alongside this little lot......
I'm also looking at knocking up a pasta bake too, plus there has been a mention of cake - a lot of cake!!!
To finish I thought I'd leave you with team member Peter's take on nutrition, the Keith Floyd diet I think they call it......
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!