Iona at Peterborough Crit

Iona at Peterborough Crit

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

A suffolk Sportive followed by Death by Little One... Or was it?

The title of this blog tells a tale, a long tale.....

Once upon a time the little One (Nicola Soden) came to sunny suffolk to ride a suffolk sportive, followed by a bit of more riding on the Sunday. 
Friday night came, and the little one arrived after a long trip from Manchester, (neither of us had any better offers on valentines night) so fed and watered we set to bed ready for the Amis Velo Valentines Sportive the next day.

On waking up we both talked about the winds the night before. We decided to text Mary as she too was meeting up with us and see what she thought about the current wind situation.
It was decided that it was far far too dangerous to go out on a sportive, so we ate, we watched TV and then at about 11:30/12 we decided that we would go out.....Hmmmm thinking the winds had died down it appeared that the winds picked up, and were rather gusty, and we both agreed a wise decision was made earlier in the day to not ride the sportive, especially as we both got blown across the rode at certain points.

Sunday however I found another local sportive, so not all was lost. Mary sadly couldn't join us, as she was riding with others, going slightly further afield, so 100km of sunny suffolk roads were to be had, we turned up, got asked if it was because of us arriving that the sun was shinning......... Now in normal circumstances I don't fall for quick witted chat up lines , and come back equally quick with a more quick witted response, instead we just agreed that yes, it was down to us, only to be told, I've asked 5 others so far........either way it made us chuckle, a good start.....

So we register sit in the car wait, then get ready..... We decided we would go in the medium group that went off first, reason I think, not wanting to hammer it, however , hammer it we did, I know what I was thinking "I don't want my heart rate to be here , not for this long, not now" trying to follow a good wheel as well Prooved difficult so I ended up 2 behind Nic's watching hers as the person in front of me weaved about like a wiggly worm.....
Still thinking 45 minutes in, ok we are hammering it, and I don't want to be here, saw Nic stick her thumb up and I thought "oh blast, she's signalling she's ok" so I muttered a long resounding yeeeeaaaap
Silly Sandra Dee
I then decided to pull alongside and say, "I think I fancy a bit of a recovery" and to my delight we both sat up, discussing the fact that we both didn't really need to be going this hard.....and that left about 12 guys in the main group...

We carried on our merry way, recovering, then picked another group, and then puncture, yes my faithful turby decided he wanted to have a rest, so on the side of the road, puncture fixing we set off again.....

Now I'm not really too sure at what point things happened , but let's just say, I didn't feel the full sandwich, and legs were dead , maybe too many hard efforts,  heart rate way too high for what I was doing, and so I guess you call it the wall or the, being a local I knew a few shortcuts and we got back to HQ still with 58 miles in the legs, but me feeling not the best....I was nursed back for about 20 miles by Nicola, I tried not to moan too much....

The best suggestion all day was lets get chips on the way home, so back near mine the little one popped out of the car and bought back salt and vinegar soaked chips, I took one chip, it hit my lips and mouth and nom nom nom, a chip had never tasted so good, it was as if my body wrapped itself around this one chip and the sensation of yummy yummy and give me more , and lots of other yummy noises were made, so home and chips and lasagne .....just the job.......

The following weekend was up in Manchester , with the peaks on the menu, so lots more efforts up hills etc, including Wynnats pass and Mam Nick........ so having bonked Sunday, I spent a bit of time loading food, maybe I'd cut the wrong things out, and hadn't got the right stuff in my body, but that whole week I loaded, road when I wanted to  leading up to a fitness test on Friday, which I have to say went fairly well.....

Friday I arrived in Manchester, told that I was going to be fed properly ready for Saturdays ride.....sounds good to me, I never argue where foods concerned, unless there is none!!
So like a savage who hasn't eaten for a week, I sit down to diner and rip into the garlic bread pulling it apart with the eagerness to taste the smell of garlic, .......whilst happily eating I notice Nicola staring at her lovely painted green wall........there are a few spots on it.....what can it be??
Garlic from the ripped into garlic bread???


Ahhhhhh but yes,, and it has stained said wall

So just found out Nic's rest day is re painting her wall, 
Watch out I'm back in 2 weeks time 😝 

Saturday morning came, we left later than planned, but we set off to Sett Valley Cycles in New Mills To get brakes sorted on Nic's bike, by the wonderful Stu and Sam, and also to be told all the horror stories of today's steepest of climbs, which silently un nerves me, especially when boys shake their heads, 
When it comes to downhill and bomb holes I never like to look, I just want to go, otherwise I analyse far too much and that nasty chimp sits on my shoulder talking me out of such we left the shop, down the hill and boom, cerveee punctured, it sounded like an air compressor going off, so he too wasn't keen on too much hard work back to the shop, once again for the 2nd time all sorted and off we went, for real this time, no turning back, no punctures, up snake pass and other bumps I'm not used to in suffolk, but with doubt in my head, following last weeks bad Sunday ride, it had affected me, can I do it? will I do it?the doubt monkey was talking a lot louder than I normally let him, and my confidence monkey was no where to be seen. 

This is when you need your team mates around you, this is when you need the right things to be said, even if it is said in silence, you know your team mates understand, having been there before themselves to have had all the doubts that are now filling up in your head.......
But I hadn't been like this in a long time, doubting if I could climb, visualising myself walking my bike up the 25/28% ramps of wynnats pass.......instead of my usual positive visualisation work that I do , on the approach I slowed back off Nic's wheel having an argument with myself, I was really winding myself up about something that now I can see is so simple, something you should enjoy..... 
But it was a confidence issue, so basically failure isn't an option, was repeated over and over and over, knowing Nic would be just up front ahead of me helped, she said the right things prior to me slowing up......but once over that cattle grid, that was it........ 
Failure wasn't an option, the walking the bike up had gone, focus was now the option, focus and a few expletives to ones self over took that doubt monkey who was left sitting at the cattle grid.......... It was hard, it was windy, I could see Nic climbing, and I could see how it was, but kept calm and just plugged away, to the cattle grid at the end, it was shorter than I thought, but done, and I said to Nic at the top, "I NEED a hug" didn't get one, just got to man up really, but job jobbed, and so it was now a few moments away to filling ones tummy monster with food.......I felt good, the confidence was back, and the doubt for today was gone..... 

We set off downhill then up to go down Mam Nick, then to a nice little cafe to get some lunch.
Leaving the cafe behind us we set off again concerned that maybe the light was against us, up Mam nick and then off we set.....
The last bit of a test for the day was Long hill, which was about 4 miles gradual to the top, which we did together to the top and then back down and back to the start some maybe 10/15 minutes away from the start, pretty chuffed that we got another 58 miles in , but Hilly, so both happy and both ready for a good feed.

Saturday evening saw us pretty tired, got some good food, and Sunday we had a more flattish ride around Cheshire, a thoroughly great weekend, absolutely loved it, and really needed a good ride to just give back that lost confidence, Nic really helped, and that's the beauty of team mates, we are always there for each other, and always willing to help out, it's what Team GB Cycles is all well as the racing 😄.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

In Spain with Iona.........

Day 3 and another 4hr day planned.  This time up the climb we had descend on the first day, Val d' Ebo.  Then the roller coaster of a road, as it's nothing but steep ramps up and down.

Just over 2 hrs in and after just stopping for water, going up another series of ramps, my right gear lever decided to just stop working!  Brand new cables, cables are fine, the shifter just breaks!  Fantastic!  So luckily i'm stuck in a gear I'm able to get home in, well over the ramps at least, 39/25!   But after that not so lucky as it was down hill all the way!  Down the super highway  from Castells....not so happy, it was spin spin spin, aero tuck trying to carry as much speed as I could in the 53/25!

By the time we got back to the apartment I'd come to the conclusion that pedaling is over rated!

Next thing new shifters for bike, so a trip to local bike shop!  It could have been worse I guess, (apart form the cost), at least it happened day before a planned easy/rest day.

Tuesday, day 4.
After a couple of trips to bike shop, I finally got my bike back at 2:30, half an hour after the bike shop supposedly shut for lunch!

Bike back and I notice there was a chain ring bolt missing!  Grrrr another trip back to the bike shop then, from where I'd just been, only problem, it now didn't open again until 4:30!

Is it really that cold in spain? I wasn't even dressed like that for a ride in the dark here :-)

So an hours spin on the bikes, then back to shop and new bolt for chain ring.  Finally problem solved!  For the past 3 day's my bike's been creaking up every hill, and felt like something was moving when climbing out of saddle.  So hopefully that was the issue all along and so maybe it's problem solved! 

Report back tomorrow, a long 5 or 6 hour day is the plan!

Team Training Weekend in Lumpy Leicestershire

So the weekend started off on Friday night, with ride fuel of chilli and jacket potatoes.  We had a longish ride ahead the next day so it was an early night, well for all apart from the sleepover girls in the room downstairs.  There was raucous laughter and loads of giggling going on, I nearly moved my bed downstairs so as not to miss out...Apparently it was something to do with a half naked man swinging on a huge metal ball (don’t ask!!) or was that Saturday...

Anyway, back to the cycling, the plan was to do one of my normal winter training routes which was around the Vale of Belvoir, the flattest route around, apart from a 19% climb out the Vale (well done little Soden for QOM on that one)!

The wind gave us a real battering throughout and I had a good lesson in what I should be eating by bonking half way round (how embarrassing), but we carried on and feedback was that the Yorkshire lasses enjoyed the flat terrain as it was a nice change from the norm. 

Saturday night included a feast of bangers and mash by head chef Karen (spot on) and more sleepover laughs.

On Sunday, I decided to take the GB team out around the Charnwood Forest and sample a few of the hills, including (hill climb race) Polly Botts, Beacon Hill and the lumps around Whitwick.  

Overall a fantastic weekend, great to ride with teamies, thanks all! 

by Linda 

Feb 2014

Monday, 17 February 2014

Iona out in Spain with Team GB Cycles

Friday and a train ride to the airport.

Then just in time for the winds to pick up, it was a bummpy take off from Manchester airport, as we left the gale force winds behind and headed for the warmer sunnier weather in Spain!
We arrived at apartment late, so time for cake!

Not much cake left now!

Day 1, glorious sunny weather and 25 degrees for the first ride, a steady 3 hr 40 min warm up.
Time for a water stop.

Top of Val d' Ebo.

View for the balcony, got to go in at some point!

Day 2 and up Col d' Rates climb, not too long not too steep, awesome climb!
Reached the top, to find next to ride up was Lizzie Armistead and the rest of her team.  We were then all nearly mowed down by the cafe owner at top of Rates, as he accelerated his car towards us, angry that we we're standing in the way, blocking the entry to his cafe!

Back along the main road, and a road i don't remember too fondly, as it came at the end of a 6 hour ride last year, and it drags on and on!