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Now retired but busy still living..

Tuesday 24 January 2012


Back in October I posted a picture of my Son-in-Law Scott and the road bike that he had purchased on e-bay. 
Since then he has not done much in the way of riding it- but has told me about some of the road riding plans that he has. These included  an early season Sportive and later in the year a mini Triathlon. In actual fact he has only ridden the bike on one 16 mile ride with a friend of his who is by all account some kind of super sportsman. 

I thought that it was about time that he started getting some miles in on his bike so that he could get an idea of where he is bike fitness wise and to allow him to see the amount of work he needs to put in to achieve his cycling goals. (Scott is quite fit in a general sports way.)

Scott isn't completely a bike ride virgin as my daughter and he do manage to put in some mountain bike riding together but he is new to the road riding discipline.
I suggested that we rode together around my short training loop....from my home to the Bramble Bush ferry out to Corfe via Studland and then up Kingston hill down to Swanage and back to the ferry again. This is a good ride of 30 miles that would give him some idea of the type of terrain that is included in most sportives. 

During the season I often ride this route on a Sunday morning before breakfast the main attraction being that it takes you through some wonderful Purbeck scenery. The ride is a reasonable test of hill climbing ability and overall endurance levels. 
Yesterday morning we set off.......
The first five miles to the ferry went well. 
I had been given strict instructions by my wife Anne not to go 'too fast and show off 'as she puts it....no soul crushing allowed on this ride.... so I kept my speed down to an average of about 16 mph...a speed which Scott seemed quite happy with. 
When we arrived at the ferry you could tell that there was a bit of a wind  by the roughness of the water in Poole Bay....wind speed was about 15/20 mph. 

After the short ferry crossing we cruised along at a steady 'touring' speed up through Studland and on to the 'Hill of Death' (HOD). 
This hill is known as the HOD because most new riders feel like death on their first attempt.... Scott rode it well...managing to hold my wheel all the way to the top and shortly after I stopped to allow him to get his breath back not wanting to wear him out too soon. 

A few minutes later and we were off again on the next five mile section to Corfe....a few minor climbs- but most of this section is a lumpy downhill. We then headed through Corfe village and then headed off towards Kingston....the road takes a minor climb before dropping down again before you hit the 16% of Kingston hill which is used in the local club hill climb series. 

I had advised Scott to pace himself up this hill but he saw the opportunity to pass me on the approach and took it (a mistake he probably regretted  by the end of the ride) I let him go and paced myself at a steady cadence for the 16%. 
There are a few mild hairpins on this hill and Scott disappeared around the first one....a few cars passed me and after the bend I could see that I was already starting to gain on him. Around the next bend I could see Scott still managing to continue in an upward direction and I was even closer. 

A few more bends later and I negotiated the final bend only to find that all the cars that had passed me had stopped.   Stopped on a 16% hill ! 
No sign of Scott. 
I stopped behind the cars but as there was no movement from them I decided to try and get started again and pass them. 

Just as I came up behind the car at the front I could see the problem. 
It was a learner driver....trying to get restarted on the hill....just as I went to pass him the learner managed to jerk and jump away on his hill start and I followed behind. 
I passed the pub that marks the end of the climb and there was Scott standing at the side of the road. 
When I told him about the learner trying to get re started on the hill Scott told me that it was probably his fault. He said that he had slowed so much on the hill that he had started to wobble around and had caused the poor learner to stall. 

We carried on towards Swanage....mainly downhill and a lovely run with a tail wind. On arrival at the seafront we took a short break and I gave Scott an energy bar which he seemed to need. Scott told me that he felt pretty well done in.....(shouldn't have tried to fly up the 16% Scott). We still had the 5 miles approx back to the ferry and another 5 miles back home from there........

For the rest of the ride Scott struggled.....The first part of the section back to the ferry is uphill again and Scott told me that he crawled it at about 7 mph. We continued the ride with me going on ahead and waiting at junctions etc. When we finally arrived home Scott admitted to me that on the last hill about half a mile from my house he had to get off the bike and walk up.....Sounds like a touch of 'the bonk' to me.....
He told me that I might not have crushed his soul but that his body felt  pretty well crushed.

Overall Scott did pretty well and he has the ability to get up hills... but if anything, our ride together has shown him that he needs to work on base fitness and endurance levels. I have suggested that he aim for an Autumn sportive and work his training towards that as a goal..... 

I will keep you updated on how he does.


scott said...

Thanks for the write up Trevor, the legs are already recovering and I might do a short easy spell on the exercise bike later to help loosen them up. Thanks again for the support and encouragement.
The Wobbly Legged One

Tracy W said...

It doesn't just happen to new riders. Pretty much the same issue happened to my friend Mike a week or so ago on a tough, windy, 40 miler. His problem wasn't so much the bonk, but cramps.

He's not been riding.....and you could tell.

TrevorW�� said...

You did OK Scott.....

*Tracy W*
I think we have all been there at some point Tracy..

limom said...

That'll teach them young'ns!
Poor guy, hiding his face in shame.
Trevor the Merciless.

TrevorW�� said...

Do you know..you are so right....they need to learn their place in the world..

50KM said...

Good afternoon, the photos are very good.

TrevorW�� said...

Thanks Alex...

GreenComotion said...

Nice story, Trevor! I agree with you: A good foundation, in any walk of life, goes a long way!

Paz :)

TrevorW�� said...

Thanks for the comment Chandra....That's true of course...Scott needs to build a solid foundation on which to build the rest of his cycling...as you say it applies to everything.

Dan O said...

Fun report. After a few weeks of riding, Scott will be flying and enjoying it more.

TrevorW�� said...

*Dan O*
I'm sure he will.....

Six weeks off.

 The visit to see the Consultant went quite well really ...   My ' numbers' have started to creep up again so I am going to be given...