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Really worried about sportive coming up

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  • flycop2000flycop2000 Posts: 55
    Hi redrabbit,

    I done my first sportive yesterday, a 109 miler with plenty hills thrown in along with showers and winds gusting to 40mph. I was nervous just like you were but its not a race, take your time and don't get carried away at the start getting pulled along with the faster riders. The longest training ride I had done was 80 miles a few weeks ago. Drink plenty and eat small and frequent, make use of all the feed stations. I never used any gels but did have a couple Torque bars and added High5+ energy powders to my water bottles.
    Best of luck.
  • mugensimugensi Posts: 558
    redrabbit wrote:
    Another Update
    Within 5 mins of setting off I was so uncomfortable. It's obvious now that the bike just isn't fitted to me properly.

    Issues I noticed were:

    - the seat position is good I think
    - the handle bar stem is too long
    - I felt I was sitting on the very edge of the seat
    - my hands hurt from almost pushing me up and holding my weight
    - within minutes my bum and back was sore

    So in short I need a new saddle and a shorter stem. I've booked myself in for a re-fit in about 12 days time (when I'm back off holiday). They will put me on turbo.

    I don't know what saddle to get though - any ideas?

    What size is your bike? Are you sure its the correct size for you?

    I ride a 56cm bike which is the correct size according to the manufacturers website, I'm 181cm and I fall right in the middle of that frame size recommendation however a mate of mine has the exact same bike in 54cm and I am so much more comfortable on it. I'm not exactly uncomfortable on my own, its just I'm very comfortable on his as I borrowed it for a 80km spin and couldnt get over the difference. I did have to fit a shorter stem and in-line seat post on my own bike which have helped but like has been said above, changing the saddle position also changes leg/feet angle/position relative to cranks and so while it helps, it doesnt completely eliminate position discomfort.

    As for hills, I dont exactly like them either but what i do is get in a comfortable gear at the bottom and always leave myself a gear or two just in case things get steeper. I was doing a sportive last year on a route I didnt know, the last 6km was a 6/7% climb with short steep 12-15% sections along the way. Once the road ramped up I was on the small ring and kept a nice steady cadence (in the 80's) It was a tough climb made tougher on the day by the fact that it was very warm and sunny with absolutely no breeze of any sort however what helped me was passing other cyclists that i knew were muh faster than me on the level and hearing them near wheezing as they pedalled and while I was breathing heavily too, my steady pace meant i was passing them on the steeper ramps and they would then tear off when it leveled off slightly but I'd catch them again on the steeper sections. We all finished around the same time except I was probably fresher than they were (not by much though!)
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    mugensi wrote:
    ....... however what helped me was passing other cyclists that i knew were muh faster than me on the level and hearing them near wheezing as they pedalled and while I was breathing heavily too, my steady pace meant i was passing them on the steeper ramps and they would then tear off when it leveled off slightly but I'd catch them again on the steeper sections. We all finished around the same time except I was probably fresher than they were (not by much though!)
    One thing to bear in mind is that the fact you passed these guys on the climb and they then went past on the flatter sections isn't necessarily a reflection of inconsistent pacing on the hills. It might be, but more likely they were heavier riders. The pace of a heavier rider will always be more effected by changes in gradient than a lighter rider. They have to do more work to climb, a fairly similar amount for a given speed on the flat and less to maintain speed descending. When I ride in a group on a sportive I'm always aware that if the pace suits me on the flat, I'll probably fall out the back on any long climbs. Any groups that climb at a similar pace to me are frustratingly slow on the flat.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    I would do some hill repeats as I feel they help with the three things you need for hills (technique, attitude and physical ability).
    Going up a hill once in a training ride will probably be 'oh censored hill soon', oh censored hill now, 'I cannot wait till this is over', and 'thank fcuk thats over'.

    Try to stop, rest and re start if you blow up on a hill, rather than give up and walk.
    That way you are mentally prepared to cycle up it (even if not in one go) rather than contemplating failure before you have even begun.
  • You must be built like a frickin' tank! ;-) I'm 5ft 7 and 66kg.

    A bit harsh. BMI of 27 is overweight but not by much.

    It was a compliment. OP says he's lean so that's a lot of muscle. I'm skinny.

    :D:D:D

    I misunderstood. But it's not a compliment I'll try on my wife anytime soon ...
    Never be tempted to race against a Barclays Cycle Hire bike. If you do, there are only two outcomes. Of these, by far the better is that you now have the scalp of a Boris Bike.
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    ai_1 wrote:
    One thing to bear in mind is that the fact you passed these guys on the climb and they then went past on the flatter sections isn't necessarily a reflection of inconsistent pacing on the hills. It might be, but more likely they were heavier riders. The pace of a heavier rider will always be more effected by changes in gradient than a lighter rider. They have to do more work to climb, a fairly similar amount for a given speed on the flat and less to maintain speed descending. When I ride in a group on a sportive I'm always aware that if the pace suits me on the flat, I'll probably fall out the back on any long climbs. Any groups that climb at a similar pace to me are frustratingly slow on the flat.

    I guess its that thing that you cant really judge what the spread of abilities or bike setup is on a sportive just by how people seem to be matching you on certain segments, but I was surprised when I did a sportive how easily I passed people who appeared to be in the same overall average speed grouping, on the hillier sections, as Im rubbish at climbing and was packing far more weight than any of they were, but they were stuck in grind them gears into the ground mode, whilst I could just spin up past them in a lower gearing

    but then back on the flat theyd catch up again once theyd recovered, as I wasnt able to push onto the top speeds they could maintain, but weird thing where you just keep interacting with the same groups of riders on different bits, but seemingly you feel you shouldnt be.
  • wide philwide phil Posts: 51
    At least at the top of Caerphilly mountain is a burger bar to fill you up !!
    On the plus side only the first part of that climb is a stem chewing grueller the last part is just spin as best as pos. I live at the foot of that mountain and either I go out climbing it or come home doing it and it never gets easy..... but then I am 17 st and an ex prop , on a Giant defy 3 also and its got good gearing for it. Enjoy it
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    redrabbit wrote:
    Hi everyone,

    I'm due to do the Velothon in Wales which is on 14th June - so basically a month away. This is 86 miles and around 6000ft elevation so quite hilly and also long. However it is on closed roads which will help, with 3 feed stops.

    I'm quite new to road cycling, I've had my road bike a year but my longest ride has been 56 miles, and I stopped over the winter.

    Although the ride is a month away, I'm away for around 11 days of that on holiday. I will be doing general training as the hotel has a gym and I like to exercise, so will do some cardio and weights.

    A few issues and questions
    You can ride round with me and I will pace you lol I am in a worse state than you.
    I entered it ages ago and for many reasons have not managed to do "any" training and I am doing the long ride and too tight not to ride having paid lol
    So what is my plan?
    Hardest thing is not let your ego rule your effort, do not cchace any fat guys who pass you, let them go, then laugh when you pass them in 20 miles lol.
    I will start slow and just ride for fun and enjoy not being buzzed by white vans and bmw's. I will go my own pace and if a group passes me about 3mph faster I will join and sit in to conserve energy.
    Any road with an incline more than a flyover and I will stick it in my lowest gear ane leave it there and put minimum effort to get up, then legs will have no problem making it round.
    I am judging my ride so my effort will be thrashing it down Caerphilly mountain and to the finish which is more or less all downhill :D
    It is not a race, it is a fun ride on open roads, and with 20 000 riders there will not beenough road to race rund even if you were Sir Brad ;-)

    1) Hills absolutely destroy me, I just can't do them. I'm into weight lifting more than anything, and due to having big broad shoulders, big back, and arms, I'm just not made for it...

    2) Based on the above, should I focus a lot more now on hills, such as riding shorter distances but hillier sections, or maybe even doing a loop of a few big hills, as opposed to just doing for high mileage?

    3) I get very stiff and sore shoulders, as well as lower back. The bike has been professionally fitted, and I think it is correct ... in theory anyway. However, I just find that after about 20 miles, my shoulders began to ache a tiny bit, then 30-35 a bit more. By 40 miles in my neck and shoulders ache quite a lot and it gets worse and worse. It really effects me. Maybe I should ask the bike shop to raise the handle bars just a fraction?

    Thanks everyone for your help,
    Redrabbit
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Why did you enter then (and pay that silly money)
    I take it your still riding a raleigh chopper and not paid silly money for a carbon bike and conti tyres?
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Hi

    Try to think about the end of the ride and how you'll feel having completed it, not the start the ride and how the hell you are going to do it. Assuming you have family, think about them when the going gets tough, how would they feel if you didn't make it up that hill or didn't make it to the end?

    As others have said, it's not a race, just ride within yourself for the first 20-30 miles and remember that with so many other riders around you, you should be able to take shelter behind them for a lot of the way which will save you energy and also give you encouragement along the way. Chances are you will latch on to someone will similar ability and you can help each other. Keep sipping your drink, make you sure you keep eating something along the way.

    Look at the route, be aware of what is coming up and when you know you can take a breather, stay relaxed and just keep those pedals turning.
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