Sunday 17 October 2010

Centurion Super-Grimpeur

Not a good week for my poor cycling buddy Dave Cross. Dave spent 2 days in hospital after being knocked off his bicycle cycling home from work on Wednesday. He has had scans and x-rays and, thanks be to God, the doctors report there appears to be no internal damage or broken bones, but lots of bruising and pain. Well wishes to Dave, let's hope he makes a speedy recovery!

Was a better week for my work colleague Max. I donated 'the Specialized', my 'old' mountain bike to him. Was kind of sad seeing the Specialized go - she had a pretty naff frame, but some lovely components (including Hope hubs and disc brakes, SID team forks, Mavic wheels and XT throughout). I had not ridden the Specialized for so long and she was just stuck at work with a flat front tyre. I'm sure Max will give her the loving she deserves.

Not a bad week (on the cycling front at least) for me either. The bi-monthly work newsletter 'Trust Talk' printed an article about my LEJOG 2010 adventure (thanks to Carmel for contacting publisher). The article had the heading 'Tim gets back in the saddle to raise thousands for charity'.

Took 'young' Dave Bushell's advice and purchased a floor fan to use with my rollers. I didn't go to Argos though, this fan (actually an air circulator) came from B&Q. This fan really does make a huge difference - my body drips with way less sweat, am not having to towel my face all the while and sweat in the eye is a thing of the past. Thanks for the practical advice Dave!
Training went real well this week too. I trained on 4 seperate occasions and completed my 9th audax too! 2 of my training sessions were indoors with the rollers (plus new fan). 1 training session took Ron and I on a 'new' ride. We largely followed the no.5 cycle path and incorparated visits to Morton Stanley Park, Webheath Woods (navigating through the woods proved quite difficult even with ay-up's) where we bombed down the larger downhill and succesfully climbed the other large hill, Arrow Vale and Studley. Ron and I were both in good form this week and raced up St Judes Avenue ... where my chain snapped! Ron kindly pushed me home then. Replaced chain (it had snapped twice) following day and took myself on a familiar cross country trek through 'naughty woods', Coughton and past Studley Castle before returning home.

Succesfully completed my 9th audax. This audax was the Centurion Super-Grimpeur (108k). I was initially a bit anxious about this ride as the organiser sent a letter stating 'please note this is a very hilly ride with steep (>1 in 4) hills... you may at times wish you were on a mountain bike'. I was right to be anxious, as soon as I left the start control at Daglingworth Village Hall a hill was encountered almost straight away. The hills didn't stop coming either - they were relentless and the whole ride was like a roller coaster. The hills were seriously hilly and coming down hill was just plain scarey. The down-hills were seriously steep, had switch backs and at times were blocked by passing traffic. Following the ride my wrists ached from constant braking and my backside was numb from constant butt cheek twitching. The controls were few and basic. However, the second control provided a free iced bun. The third (and final before finish) control sold meat pasta and a banana for £5 which was very welcome, as it was this or nothing! Weather was great on the whole, it just rained for the last 5 miles. By the time I had reached the finish control my energy was about spent. This control provided free cake and tea though, which was nice and gave me the necessary carbs to climb one last hill and return to my parked car! I didn't collect a 100k medal for this event (even though I could have), however I was awarded a 'Les Randonneurs Europeens Audax U.K. (gold) Grimpeur' medal for completing an 100k audax event that had 2.5 or more AAA points. This was the first event that I have riden that awarded AAA points and this particular event awarded 2.5 points (for a total climb of 2490 metres). AAA points are Audax Altitude Award points. The Aims of the AAA are to encourage participation in hilly events and offer a challenge to regular long distance riders and also to those who do not wish to ride the longest events but who enjoy hard riding. It is popular, not only because of the challenge, but also because of the scenery it has to offer. Happy daze! The pic below was taken in France by my cycling buddy Juliette, but demonstartes the same irrational excitement I had upon completing event.
During audax, I cycled 69.39 miles at an average speed of 12mph and a max speed of 38.2mph.

A chap called Finley kindly posted on my blog last week. Finley was suggesting I enter the 'Kilotogo' event, namely the 'Verenti Tour of the Peak 2010'. This sportive event is a 97 mile corker! It includes 3 of the most revered climbs in the UK, including the 'Cat and Fiddle' (tough and nearly 7 miles long), the notoriously steep 'Winnats Pass' and 'Holme Moss'. I told myself, 'if I complete the Centurion Super-Grimpeur audax, I'll enter the Kilotogo event'. On friday gone, I was kinda pleased to see that the Kilotogo event was full, haha. On saturday I was pleased to have completed said audax event. On sunday, I notice more places have been made available for the Kilotogo event. Damn! Silly me, I have now entered probably the most difficult event of my cycling career! This event is less than 2 weeks away.
* Please note, I do not know who 'Finley' is, but he's in trouble now!
The pic above was randomly found whilst surfing the internet. Let's hope it's true. With this mantra perhaps I'll be able to focus on training.

Weekly totals: Cycled a distance of 139 miles.


  1. I'm gonna try & do the kilo too mate
    but the 67 mile option so we can start together for the first section
    Will let you know if I enter!

  2. Clive, please enter, that would be great!


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