Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Day Two of 10in10 Training Camp

This morning was spent on  a photo shoot with a photographer from Cycling Active....he had us in the middle of a main road while he took the shots. We had to wait for traffic free shots so you can imagine how difficult that was on a main road. The reason for having to be on that kind of road was that it gave the right scenery and perspective.....apparently!!
This afternoon we went for a 40 miler...Si Chapman who lives in the village led the ride. After just a couple of miles, Scott my son in law who joined us for the ride had a puncture...mind you if you had seen his tyres you wouldn't have been surprised.
Don't think that it was all riding either, we even found the time to stop off at Lorenzo's coffee shop for an Italian coffee...


Monday, 29 April 2013

First Day at 10in10 Training Camp

Today was the first Day of our training camp. All the guys have met up at the Church Farm campsite at Sixpenny Handley . We did a short ride as a leg spinner followed by coffee back at camp. One of the great things about having an Italian on the team is we are having genuine Italian coffee.....he even brought his own coffee machine with him!!!!!  Check it out in today's photo. More from 10in10 training camp tomorrow.


Monday, 22 April 2013

I Just Couldn't Wait.....

The Tifosi's Cockpit.....my view for the ride...
In my last blog post just a few days ago I said that what I needed to do now was to slowly start building my ride mileage up in preparation for the 10in10 ride in June.... 
Well if the truth be told I just couldn't wait...having only ridden about four loops of 30 miles, plus a ride with the 10in10 lads of 51 miles I seemed to be a long way behind in my training......

Now in no way would I recommend to any one to go about their training the way that I've done things this year...and I certainly wouldn't recommend what I did on Saturday to everyone....but here it is...

Saturdays weather was bright and dry but just a bit chilly and I woke up with the burning desire to get out and ride....a call from Peter Calcutt (backpackers club)  the previous night letting me know that he would be out camping at The 'Tom's Field Campsite' in Langton Matravers helped set my plan. 
I would ride out to just beyond Studland and pick up the course of the Jurassic Beast Sportive...and then on the way round stop off at Tom's Field and have breakfast with Peter before carrying on with the rest of the 'beast' before the return home... 

So that is what I did...
The Jurassic Beast Sportive standard distance is 62 miles, plus when you add on the distance to and from the course my total mileage for the day was 76 miles... 
I completed the first 40 miles at an average speed of 14.6mph....however I only completed the last 36 miles at an average speed of just 13.2 mph.... It was certainly reassuring to know that with so little proper road miles this year I could go out and lay down 76 miles and still feel fine at the end of it. 
Obviously the mileage in the bank from last year really has had an ongoing effect for me......
Peter Calcutt at the entrance to 'Tom's Field Campsite'
I arrived at the campsite in good time for breakfast...I found Peter's tent and he was only just getting up....
We had a really nice breakfast--Coffee & Sausage sandwich--sitting out in the sun and talking over old times... 

A few years ago we used to have regular weekend camps at this site and at only £5 a night and with a shop and small cafe plus a designated area for backpackers and cycle tourists it offers really good value....Also a great pub in the village as well. 
As I said, a few years ago we had quite a few well attended 'backpackers club' weekend camps here and as Peter and I munched our way through breakfast we were able to reminisce over some of those enjoyable weekends....
The Little on-site Shop at Tom's Field Campsite
Just over an hour later it was time for me to continue on my 'Jurrasic Beast' journey and Peter had to make up his mind how he was going to do his return trip to home. 
He had been complaining of a blister which was caused by his previous day's walk. 
Spending most of his time cycling  his feet were not really match fit for the walking....mind you neither would mine be these days. 
Amazing to think that it was only about seven years ago that we walked the length of the Pennine Way together....but that's a whole different story...

I am glad that I did the ride on Saturday....after all last year almost every ride I did was the length of the beast and I just needed to confirm to myself that after everything that's gone on this year I still had the distance in my legs....Job done! Proof collected!...

One thing that I will mention is that I found out the other day that on the Wiggle Sportives of which the Jurassic Beast is one in their series, there is no age/gender adjustment for gold/silver timings..
If I  was in my twenties or thirties I wouldn't care less...at my age of 65 I do care.. 

No matter how fit you are at 65 it is going to be a tougher call to reach those gold/silver timings. I've never ridden a Wiggle event before and all my previous sportive events have had age/gender adjustments built in....
Strikes me it is weighted for only fit younger males to achieve those levels....What's your opinion? After all if a 65+ year old does manage to get to a gold/silver time it has to be a far bigger achievement than a fit young male in his 20s/30s anyway.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

I'm back and at it again....

Typical traffic through Corfe..
Yes, following my recent spell of illness and my decision to take some time out down in Devon and have a total and complete break from the bike I am now back and at it.....Cycling that is..!

With less than eight weeks to go before I head off with the rest of the lads from the 10in10 team on our Ten Countries in Ten Days ride I am now having to put some serious work in to ensure that I am up to the mammoth task that we have set ourselves....
Checkout the Dorset Flag.....Always nice to see
It would be a major challenge to take on if I was in my mid twenties....at my age and with my health issues it put's the whole thing into a totally different league.... 

Trying to put some proper training in this year has been problematic to say the least....
In actual fact I've only been out on about four separate training rides this year...everything else has been done indoors on my static bike with very targeted training concentrating on both power and speed. 

The prolonged bad weather did not help nor did the health problems...in the end I felt that not being able to get out on the roads was dragging me down and it was starting to affect my focus......so I thought if I were to have time away from everything I could reboot both my body and my mind and come back with renewed vigour....

 It seems to have worked..... 
I have been out on a couple of short rides of about 30miles and it seems that I have not fallen any further behind with my form....Indeed on a ride I did with JD yesterday we experienced some brutal winds with gusts along the open coastal road of up to 39mph and I still managed to complete the ride at an average speed in excess of 15+mph.
 I felt pretty good after the ride too and that is probably more important than the ride itself....

JD on the other hand did struggle badly against the winds, so I felt that I had put in an acceptable performance..... What I need to be concentrating on now is slowly building up my ride distances again....
Having said that I don't see it as a problem as I have a huge base mileage of 11,000+ from last year which must put me in a strong position......

So there you have it...that's where I am right now....
You will start to see more regular blog posts here at purpletraveller from now on as we get closer to the big ride....
Before that of course we have a weeks training camp for the team and I plan on blogging each day from the camp with a blow by blow account of how we are doing. 
Then a week after that we will all be riding in the Jurassic Beast Sportive and I will obviously be giving you a full report on that as well......

Sorry that I have not been posting over the past couple of weeks but I really did need to get away from everything in order to realign myself....all done now so it's head down....focus...and go for it!!                             

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Taking time out......

Traditional Devon Thatched Farmhouse
 With the cold weather still refusing to give way to spring I decided to take some time out and come down to the West Country and spend the Easter weekend and this following week with Anne's family...... 
We are staying in the thatched farmhouse shown above, which is situated in a small valley set right in the heart of the Devon countryside.......
I decided that what I needed was a complete break from the 'on /off' training that I have been doing and give myself a proper chance to get over the viral infection.  
Then, when I get back home I  can restart my cycling with a fresh mind and body, by which time hopefully some warmer weather will have kicked in to make the whole thing a lot more of a pleasure than it has been recently.........
Some of the horses in the paddock 
Mini tractor/ grass cutter
I made a point of leaving all my bikes at home as what I wanted was a solid break.....so no road cycling or even mountain biking for me for the rest of this week.....
Mind you I could always take one of the horses for a ride....four legs instead of two wheels for a change....and when I get fed up with that there is always one of the mini tractor/grass cutting machines that I can have a ride on.....
Mucking out in the stables
 For some additional fitness training there is always mucking out in the stables...although I have to admit that I have managed to avoid that particular activity up to now......
Over the Easter weekend and so far this week the weather has been really nice with bright sun and clear skies but still bitterly cold.... Looking at the longer range weather forecasts we should be seeing some warmer weather by about the middle of April and I have to say that for me it can't come soon enough.....

With the extra long winter we have been having this year...my illness... and now trying to get over this viral infection, my original training plan has gone a little wrong to say the least.
One of the problems I find, is that since my treatment it seems to take me a lot longer to get over even the most minor of things such as a cold or virus....just one of the side effects of the treatment I suppose, but it does seem to interfere with my training.......

When I get home it will be back to the bikes on an almost full time basis. I have re-scheduled my training plan to take account of the fewer weeks in which I have left to prepare for the 10in10 ride from the UK to Italy.... 
At the end of April we have our one week training camp arranged...a week following that the team is entered into the Jurassic Beast Sportive which is one of the Wiggle Super Series. After that there is just a further four weeks before we all set off....

I can't remember any other ride that I have done in the past where I have been so far behind on my training plans....there again I have never set off on an event where I have had over 11,000 miles of solid mileage in the previous year.....hopefully it will all come together at the right time.

A step closer to what is normal........

Over this past week our campsite has taken a step closer to what we think of as normality...  The sign that was put out at the entrance to ...