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Really worried about sportive coming up

redrabbitredrabbit Posts: 81
edited June 2015 in Road beginners
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

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
«1

Posts

  • sungodsungod Posts: 12,820
    in the time i don't think you can do too much in developing more power/endurance, based on what you say here're some ideas...

    yes, do some long hills/hill repeats, with the purpose of finding what level of effort you can comfortably sustain, don't push it, you'll want to be fresh for the event :)

    use low gears and try to keep cadence up, 70-80, low cadence straining in too high a gear is not good, stay seated as much as possible, standing takes more energy so save it for when it's the only way to keep going or for a quick stretch

    look for a pace you can keep steady, on the day stick to it, if you've got hrm it can help with this

    what chainrings/cassette are fitted? maybe fitting a cassette with a bigger cog is an option

    wrt the pain, it may be bike setup, it may be you, or both

    tight hamstrings for instance, or even core strength, your body position cycling results in different loads vs. weight lifting

    shift position regularly

    stay relaxed, do not grip the bars tightly, keep your shoulders/neck in a neutral position, don't tense them, stay aware and relax before pain starts, once it's there it will persist

    do not lean on the bars - if you have to lean, it's a sign that the bike is not set up correctly (saddle height/position needs to be the first thing checked)

    on your next ride, be aware of neck/arms/shoulders/back, does anything feel tight, are you straining/pushing to hold a position, feel for what effect it has if you shift forward/backward on the saddle, on the drops/on the tops etc. this gives clues to what could be changed to help short term
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,148
    Firstly it's not a race, longer rides are all about pace, and the right pace, for you. ie don't chase people!

    you need to get comfortable on the bike, possibly your death griping it? maybe have a chat with the bike fitter.

    it's mostly rolling hills the route, only big hill being the Blorenge the climb up known as the Tumble/fiddlers elbow and more it's 3miles 8% just use those gears and look at the view. Do have Carephiily mountain almost at the end which is short and steep, in places.

    A lot of the route is on wide trunk roads likely to be big groups form on those, enjoy those? though if you've not done any group riding? now would be a good time to practice some of it.
  • reformedfattyreformedfatty Posts: 543
    It sounds like the biggest problem you will have is your mindset.

    It's not a race, and hills are nothing to worry about - I have far too many hills around to attack them all, so I just spin away, accept that I won't be the fastest up and that it's only 15 minutes of suffering until you're at the top.

    That said, if you want to get better at them quickly, get out and do them! It's amazing how quickly the body responds to changes in activity.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    redrabbit wrote:
    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?

    To be honest, this worries me - I think there are some things that you need to resolve before you are ready.

    If hills really 'destroy' you then you need to understand why before you can work out how to address it. Being big up top isnt the reason. While excess weight might not help, it just means that your legs need to be stronger and technique needs to be right - I am normally among the first to the top of hills, often much quicker than more experienced riders, without feeling it hard and despite being a couple of stone heavier than them. If hills destroy you then either your legs arent developed enough or your technique is wrong. If it is technique then maybe you just have enough time to resolve it before the ride - it could be that you are grinding too hard in too high a gear, or that you need a lower gear on the bike.

    If you are struggling with shoulders/back/neck from as little as 20 miles then something is wrong with your setup or your body - either way this does not bode well for such a ride unless you do something to fix the problem. getting a 'proper bike setup' is not an exact science and often even the professionals get it wrong. Experimentation or another bike fit might help.

    Yes, there is enough opportunity to do the training to get you ready (just) but that wont work if there are setup/technique/body problems that you dont resolve too - you could be in for a really unpleasant experience if you are not careful...
  • TjgoodhewTjgoodhew Posts: 628
    I live in Essex so one of the flattest parts of the country. Hills used to kill me but i found it was all about technique and pacing and practice.

    Riding the same short hills over and over again helped me learn about technique, what gears to use and the sort of pace i can maintain indefinitely on a certain gradient.

    I quickly realised that i used to attack the hills at the bottom and die at the top, used higher gears with a low cadence which destroyed my legs and rode uphill in the same body position as i did on the flat.

    You havent got long to make adjustments to your fitness however pacing and technique you can change. As above use low gears with a higher cadence and get back in the saddle sitting upright, hands on the tops of the bars and use your hamstrings.

    Good luck and i am sure you will get round no problem
    Cannondale Caad8
    Canyon Aeroad 8.0

    http://www.strava.com/athletes/goodhewt
  • NapoleonDNapoleonD Posts: 18,632
    If your bike has been professionally fitted but you get those issues, ask for your money back!
    Twitter - @NapD
    Strava - Alex Taylor (sportstest.co.uk)
    ABCC Cycling Coach
  • norvernrobnorvernrob Posts: 1,410
    It's really not that hilly, I've put the route into Ridewithgps and its under 5,000ft of elevation. The original route was 120km and 1400m (about 4600ft), the organisers then added an extra 20km of virtually flat road and somehow came up with over 1800m/6000ft.

    The first 50 miles are virtually flat. Just take it easy on the Tumble, save a bit for Caerphilly mountain and you'll be fine.
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    PMA

    If you start the ride thinking you will fail, you will.

    I have only been road riding just over a year too, after about 2 months of getting the bike i was doing 30 milers ok, then done a 44 mile ride, and the following weekend we planned 65 but ended up doing 85 so added another 40 miles on with no drama.

    Its all in the mind.

    I tend to get to about 40 miles then get really uncomfortable and struggle like hell for the next 10 miles or so, but after that im usually ok if i dont cramp!

    Eat and drink little and often.
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 3,988
    OP. On what you've suggested, professional bike fit, lack of time in the saddle could mean the fit is fine and its simply down to our body not being bike fit which means chasing the perfect set up may prove elusive? That said if small adjustments make you more comfortable then go for it but record he changes if you are doing these yourself.

    As for the mileage and climbing, don't get phased by the numbers as most of the issues are mindset and confidence. The latter comes with experience, the former is your mental approach and there is some valuable advice in the above posts.

    Break the ride into bite sized chunks and set some goals for the day, from enjoy the day, don't go too quick early on to find a pace you find comfortable. You'll find a diverse range of abilities doing the same ride so treat it as a day for yourself and use a light a pressure on the pedals with a higher cadence than normal and you'll be surprised how your energy levels remain untapped. Use the feed stations to give your body a break, quality nutrition and fluids will be essential and the general rule is a little, often. Don't bring anything new into the day, energy gels etc as these can adverse consequences with your gut.

    That said a caffeine gel for the last hour, 12 to 15 miles will give you a great boost but I limit myself to one when i am on my chinstrap as a last resort.

    Above everything relax and set out to enjoy your day. :wink:
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • redrabbitredrabbit Posts: 81
    UPDATE

    I have been to the bike shop today and told them of the issues I've head. The first thing the guy said about my lower back was that it's probably the saddle. Never even thought that could cause an issue? Anyway, he mentioned the do a saddle scheme, where you pay in and they give you one to try, and you can chop and change them till you get the one you want and they order it... therefore you don't have to spend loads on them, however I've not done this yet.

    The handle bars have been lifted now by 5mm to help my shoulders relax a bit more. Also they noticed the seat was pointing downwards by a tiny fraction so they've straightened that.

    I have told them I will try this new setup out and if it's still bad they will put me on the turbo and actually book in the fitting again to check for any issues.
    sungod wrote:
    yes, do some long hills/hill repeats, with the purpose of finding what level of effort you can comfortably sustain, don't push it, you'll want to be fresh for the event :)

    use low gears and try to keep cadence up, 70-80, low cadence straining in too high a gear is not good, stay seated as much as possible, standing takes more energy so save it for when it's the only way to keep going or for a quick stretch

    wrt the pain, it may be bike setup, it may be you, or both

    stay relaxed, do not grip the bars tightly, keep your shoulders/neck in a neutral position, don't tense them, stay aware and relax before pain starts, once it's there it will persist

    do not lean on the bars - if you have to lean, it's a sign that the bike is not set up correctly (saddle height/position needs to be the first thing checked)

    on your next ride, be aware of neck/arms/shoulders/back, does anything feel tight, are you straining/pushing to hold a position, feel for what effect it has if you shift forward/backward on the saddle, on the drops/on the tops etc. this gives clues to what could be changed to help short term

    Thanks for responding, some excellent points there which I'll try and remember.

    Firstly it's not a race, longer rides are all about pace, and the right pace, for you. ie don't chase people!

    it's mostly rolling hills the route, only big hill being the Blorenge the climb up known as the Tumble/fiddlers elbow and more it's 3miles 8% just use those gears and look at the view. Do have Carephiily mountain almost at the end which is short and steep, in places.

    A lot of the route is on wide trunk roads likely to be big groups form on those, enjoy those? though if you've not done any group riding? now would be a good time to practice some of it.

    Yea when I've done sportives in the past it's SOOOO much easier cycling with others, just to see that you're not alone and everyone else is enjoying the ride, or panting, or finding it hard. It's nice to have others around you. Also yea, I've heard there are two main big hills, so will do my best to get up them.
    It sounds like the biggest problem you will have is your mindset.

    That said, if you want to get better at them quickly, get out and do them! It's amazing how quickly the body responds to changes in activity.

    You're spot on I think. I'm very anxious and actually a bit stressed about it. I'm like this whenever I tackle a new "big distance". When I did my first 50 after having the bike for a month I was like this and imagined all sorts of situations. However, the ride was actually fairly straight forward.

    I will try and do some hills. This Friday is the last ride I can do for 10 days, so I plan to drive out to the Chilterns and do a few hills around there.
    apreading wrote:
    To be honest, this worries me - I think there are some things that you need to resolve before you are ready.

    If hills really 'destroy' you then you need to understand why before you can work out how to address it. Being big up top isnt the reason. While excess weight might not help, it just means that your legs need to be stronger and technique needs to be right - I am normally among the first to the top of hills, often much quicker than more experienced riders, without feeling it hard and despite being a couple of stone heavier than them. If hills destroy you then either your legs arent developed enough or your technique is wrong. If it is technique then maybe you just have enough time to resolve it before the ride - it could be that you are grinding too hard in too high a gear, or that you need a lower gear on the bike.

    If you are struggling with shoulders/back/neck from as little as 20 miles then something is wrong with your setup or your body - either way this does not bode well for such a ride unless you do something to fix the problem. getting a 'proper bike setup' is not an exact science and often even the professionals get it wrong. Experimentation or another bike fit might help.

    Yes, there is enough opportunity to do the training to get you ready (just) but that wont work if there are setup/technique/body problems that you dont resolve too - you could be in for a really unpleasant experience if you are not careful...

    I'm not that heavy really. I'm 5ft 7 and only weigh 78kg which is 12 stone 3 lbs. I'm quite lean at the minute so you're probably right, not weight related. As I said at the top of this post, I have been back to the bike shop and had a slight adjustment. Hopefully tht will help.

    I think it may be my technique and I need to practice. So instead of going all out on the hill and treating it like a straight as I do now, I should just take it easy, find a good gear and just pedal up without grinding from the very very start.
    Tjgoodhew wrote:
    I live in Essex so one of the flattest parts of the country. Hills used to kill me but i found it was all about technique and pacing and practice.

    Riding the same short hills over and over again helped me learn about technique, what gears to use and the sort of pace i can maintain indefinitely on a certain gradient.

    I quickly realised that i used to attack the hills at the bottom and die at the top, used higher gears with a low cadence which destroyed my legs and rode uphill in the same body position as i did on the flat.

    You havent got long to make adjustments to your fitness however pacing and technique you can change. As above use low gears with a higher cadence and get back in the saddle sitting upright, hands on the tops of the bars and use your hamstrings.

    Good luck and i am sure you will get round no problem

    Thanks for the good advice and tips. I'm glad I'm not alone in living in a flat part of the country! I will try and get out this weekend and practice some hills, and just get used to them, try out the technique.

    NapoleonD wrote:
    If your bike has been professionally fitted but you get those issues, ask for your money back!

    It's OK, I think the bike is fitted correctly in theory, it's just I've not taken to it due to my own physiological make up. As above, they've adjusted it a bit and will see how I get on.
    norvernrob wrote:
    It's really not that hilly, I've put the route into Ridewithgps and its under 5,000ft of elevation. The original route was 120km and 1400m (about 4600ft), the organisers then added an extra 20km of virtually flat road and somehow came up with over 1800m/6000ft.

    The first 50 miles are virtually flat. Just take it easy on the Tumble, save a bit for Caerphilly mountain and you'll be fine.

    Phew... thanks NorvernRob - it's a relief to know it's not as bad as I've made it out to be in my mind. Will give it my best shot!
    fudgey wrote:
    PMA

    If you start the ride thinking you will fail, you will.

    I have only been road riding just over a year too, after about 2 months of getting the bike i was doing 30 milers ok, then done a 44 mile ride, and the following weekend we planned 65 but ended up doing 85 so added another 40 miles on with no drama.

    Its all in the mind.

    I tend to get to about 40 miles then get really uncomfortable and struggle like hell for the next 10 miles or so, but after that im usually ok if i dont cramp!

    Eat and drink little and often.

    Yep, I've found nutrition so important. I've now got a bar on the bag just on the top of the bar which I make sure I eat every 30-40 mins and that's helped massively.

    Good advice regarding the mindset, will stay positive!

    slowmart wrote:
    OP. On what you've suggested, professional bike fit, lack of time in the saddle could mean the fit is fine and its simply down to our body not being bike fit which means chasing the perfect set up may prove elusive? That said if small adjustments make you more comfortable then go for it but record he changes if you are doing these yourself.

    As for the mileage and climbing, don't get phased by the numbers as most of the issues are mindset and confidence. The latter comes with experience, the former is your mental approach and there is some valuable advice in the above posts.

    Break the ride into bite sized chunks and set some goals for the day, from enjoy the day, don't go too quick early on to find a pace you find comfortable. You'll find a diverse range of abilities doing the same ride so treat it as a day for yourself and use a light a pressure on the pedals with a higher cadence than normal and you'll be surprised how your energy levels remain untapped. Use the feed stations to give your body a break, quality nutrition and fluids will be essential and the general rule is a little, often. Don't bring anything new into the day, energy gels etc as these can adverse consequences with your gut.

    That said a caffeine gel for the last hour, 12 to 15 miles will give you a great boost but I limit myself to one when i am on my chinstrap as a last resort.

    Above everything relax and set out to enjoy your day. :wink:

    Great advice, and I've said similar myself above... the bike is fitted properly I think, it's just my own body struggling to adapt. They've made a few tweaks and hopefully I will find that better.

    One question, when you say no gels, do you mean the SiS ones? I always thought they were thought of as really good? I generally eat the chewy SiS bars, or High 5 ones, however I did in the past have the gels too.


    ...........


    Thanks everyone for the responses, really really helpful.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 12,820
    i believe the comment about the gels is to not introduce them as a new thing, if you're not used to them they can cause upset stomach, there are so many different ones, so unless you know you are ok with them it's better to avoid experimenting on the sportive!

    i prefer to stick to solid food early on, 'real food' but cereal bars too, then use gels later, for me it's the orange high5 isogel which i can get down in most conditions, i've tried others, some are so vile they make me gag and i'd struggle with them stationary let alone when pushing!
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • I think the problem with bike fit services is that they see how you sit on the bike when you're fresh, not how you sit 50 miles in when you're getting tired.

    I've just swapped my 110mm stem for a 90mm stem as I found that after about an hour or so it was uncomfortable me to ride on the hoods and I was riding more on the curve of the bars. The shorter stem brought the hoods back 20mm to where my hands naturally seemed to want to be.

    So far, based on a couple of longish rides, that seems to have helped quite a lot - I now feel more comfortable on the hoods at longer distances. Not particularly scientific, but a new stem was cheap and easy to fit so it seemed worth a bit of trial and error.

    I'm also doing my first long sportive on Sunday - 85 miles in the South Downs - which is longer than I have ridden before. But I'm not worried about it - I'll just take it easy and should get around quite happily (although perhaps not particularly quickly). A good thing about the one I'm doing is that the middle route (about 57 miles long) breaks away from the "epic" towards the end so, if I am really struggling, I can turn left at the split rather than turn right - and just cruise down to the finish line rather than push myself too hard for a further 28 miles.

    THI
    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.
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 5,092
    redrabbit wrote:
    I'm not that heavy really. I'm 5ft 7 and only weigh 78kg which is 12 stone 3 lbs. I'm quite lean at the minute so you're probably right, not weight related

    You must be built like a frickin' tank! ;-) I'm 5ft 7 and 66kg.

    Loads of great advice from the guys on here. If you’re crank set is a compact I would deffo get the biggest compatible cassette you can get for your rear mech – a 25/30 or even a 32. There’s no harm in spinning away to the top of the climbs. Over geared is better than under geared.

    Oh and good luck with your first sportive! :-)
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    If your saddle was angled nose down you may well have been continually pushing yourself back onto it with your arms. This might well have contributed or even caused your neck and shoulder problems and possibly your back too. Of course leveling it might cause comfort problems if that's how it ended up tilted, in which case you might have to look at saddle options - not usually a simple choice to get right without some experimentation.

    With regards hills. The problem most people have, is they simply attack them too hard. They either think they should be going faster or they just want to get it over with so they push hard up the hill instead of settling in and accepting the pace that's realistic. If you really suffer on hills but not on the flat, there are 3 possibilities (or any combo of these:
    1. You simply don't have the fitness to ascend a really steep hill at a fast enough sustainable speed to keep your balance.
    2. You aren't geared appropriately and end up with excessive pedal force at a very low cadence.
    3. You are working much harder on the hill than the flat. If you can keep the same HR as you do on the flat you will be going slowly but will get to the top. If you expect to go quickly and push yourself to do so, you will suffer, a lot.

    Most cyclists with reasonable CV fitness will probably not have an issue with no. 1 unless they're very heavy and/or attempting a very steep slope.
    If you don't have some nice small gears you may end up trying to go to fast in order to get a comfortable cadence or simply struggling to turn the pedals. Either way, that can make climbing horrible. If your cadence is dropping too low on a hill and you're travelling above a fast walking pace then you could benefit from a smaller gear (i.e. a bigger sprocket). Ignore anyone telling you to "man up"!
    If you use a HR monitor that's the most valuable tool to keep yourself in check on long climbs. I'm sure a power meter could be used for the same purpose. Slow down early on climbs, if you get half way up and feel like you can push on a bit that's fine. My problems when I started were always due to pushing too hard from the bottom of a long climb instead of settling down, accepting it was going to take a little while and keeping everything sustainable. Much better to spin up in the saddle and then get out of the saddle 100m from the top and push over the summit rather than start fast, suffer most of the way up and crawl over the top. Chances are you'll be very little faster at all by starting fast and the rest of the ride will be slower.
  • 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.
    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.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    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.
    Same as me at 1.78m (5'10") and 85-86kg
    But hey, ever see a rugby player (modern era) that wouldn't be overweigth as judged by BMI?
    It's not great for cycling but it's not bad in general so long as it's not composed primarily of fat....some of it is in my case :(
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 5,092
    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.
  • redrabbitredrabbit Posts: 81
    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.

    Haha that's ok, I took it as a compliment.

    As I said before, I'm into weight lifting, I do a lot of high intensity training. I don't think general fitness is an issue, possible bike fitness is, and from reading technique definitely is.

    I will make an effort to tackle some hills and get used to doing them
  • redrabbitredrabbit Posts: 81
    This is my bike:

    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-gb/bik ... 977/66546/

    It's a Giant Defy 3 2014 model. From looking at the spec it says I have:

    Cassette SRAM PG950 11-32
    Chain KMC X9

    ...

    The more I've read on this thread, I think if the shoulder issues persists I should maybe move the seat forward a few mm or maybe try and get a smaller stem.

    Maybe then I will be a bit more comfortable
  • CYCLESPORT1CYCLESPORT1 Posts: 471
    Why did you enter then (and pay that silly money)
  • norvernrobnorvernrob Posts: 1,410
    Why did you enter then (and pay that silly money)

    Useful answer... :roll: If it was an open road sportive then it would be expensive, but fully closed roads with 12,000+ riders is going to make for a great day.

    If you don't like it, don't enter - but don't knock those who choose to.
  • johnc2788johnc2788 Posts: 17
    don't worry, the way things are going you'll probably be ahead of me! there's always the cop out of the short cut after 67km as well!!
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    redrabbit wrote:
    ...The more I've read on this thread, I think if the shoulder issues persists I should maybe move the seat forward a few mm or maybe try and get a smaller stem.

    Maybe then I will be a bit more comfortable
    If you think the pedals are too far forward or back relative to the saddle - move the saddle
    If you think reach is the problem - get a shorter or longer stem
    If you think bar height is the problem - add or remove spacers or flip the stem

    You should not move the saddle forward to correct reach as this also affects other factors.

    For example, moving the saddle forward will reduce reach to the bars but will also reduce the proportion of your weight taken by your legs and correspondingly increase the pressure on your hands, arms and shoulders. On the other hand shortening the stem will have the same effect on reach but will leave teh pedals in the same position relative to the saddle so there will be no change to your ability to take weight via your legs.
  • jazgilljazgill Posts: 98
    norvernrob wrote:
    Why did you enter then (and pay that silly money)

    Useful answer... :roll: If it was an open road sportive then it would be expensive, but fully closed roads with 12,000+ riders is going to make for a great day.

    If you don't like it, don't enter - but don't knock those who choose to.

    Exactly
  • romastinoromastino Posts: 24
    Hi,
    I'm also doing the Velothon Wales and am really looking forward to it, i'm 5ft 11 and 210lbs so quite a lump.
    Ive only been cycling properly since around September 2014 bought my giant defy 3 in the July i think and also didnt do much over the winter.
    The tumble i am really looking forward to, what a challenge and i will never say i cant do it or be worried about it as if i do i'm already beat, Caerphilly Mountain after 80 miles will be a belter of a challenge but hey i'm getting up that censored .
    I done the CarTen last Saturday 106 miles and the last 30 miles was pure grit and determination, really hard for me who had only ever done a 50 miler before that.
    In March this year i done the cafe velo sportive a local event and a lumpy route for someone of my experience, there was a short 0.3 mile climb on there called Penllyn Castle, i stopped for a minute were it plateaued slightly and then on the main steep section i was going that slow i tipped over :-) .
    I went back to it 4-5 weeks later and nailed it in one, i hated climbing when i got my new bike but now when i make a route i add them in, i look forward to the challenge, it gives great satisfaction when you get over the top of a climb and a tremendous buzz.
    If you want to team up with me lets tackle the tumble together, it will only be painful for 3 miles :-)
    Atb
    Glenn
  • redrabbitredrabbit Posts: 81
    romastino wrote:
    Hi,
    I'm also doing the Velothon Wales and am really looking forward to it, i'm 5ft 11 and 210lbs so quite a lump.
    Ive only been cycling properly since around September 2014 bought my giant defy 3 in the July i think and also didnt do much over the winter.
    The tumble i am really looking forward to, what a challenge and i will never say i cant do it or be worried about it as if i do i'm already beat, Caerphilly Mountain after 80 miles will be a belter of a challenge but hey i'm getting up that censored .
    I done the CarTen last Saturday 106 miles and the last 30 miles was pure grit and determination, really hard for me who had only ever done a 50 miler before that.
    In March this year i done the cafe velo sportive a local event and a lumpy route for someone of my experience, there was a short 0.3 mile climb on there called Penllyn Castle, i stopped for a minute were it plateaued slightly and then on the main steep section i was going that slow i tipped over :-) .
    I went back to it 4-5 weeks later and nailed it in one, i hated climbing when i got my new bike but now when i make a route i add them in, i look forward to the challenge, it gives great satisfaction when you get over the top of a climb and a tremendous buzz.
    If you want to team up with me lets tackle the tumble together, it will only be painful for 3 miles :-)
    Atb
    Glenn

    Wow. I admire your attitude and determination, that's inspired me! Can't believe you did 106 miles, that's a huge achievement. I think a few people and yourself have said about mental attitude. I can do it. I know I can. I'm fairly fit but just not that great or strong at cycling. At other sportives I've seen pure novices do it.

    Thanks for the encouragement, good luck and see you in Wales in 28 days!
  • redrabbitredrabbit Posts: 81
    edited May 2015
    Another Update

    So I went for a ride yesterday, drove to the chilterns where it's hilly. Did 30 miles covering 2500ft and found so so quickly that I got quite used to the hills.

    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?
  • romastinoromastino Posts: 24
    redrabbit wrote:
    romastino wrote:
    Hi,
    I'm also doing the Velothon Wales and am really looking forward to it, i'm 5ft 11 and 210lbs so quite a lump.
    Ive only been cycling properly since around September 2014 bought my giant defy 3 in the July i think and also didnt do much over the winter.
    The tumble i am really looking forward to, what a challenge and i will never say i cant do it or be worried about it as if i do i'm already beat, Caerphilly Mountain after 80 miles will be a belter of a challenge but hey i'm getting up that censored .
    I done the CarTen last Saturday 106 miles and the last 30 miles was pure grit and determination, really hard for me who had only ever done a 50 miler before that.
    In March this year i done the cafe velo sportive a local event and a lumpy route for someone of my experience, there was a short 0.3 mile climb on there called Penllyn Castle, i stopped for a minute were it plateaued slightly and then on the main steep section i was going that slow i tipped over :-) .
    I went back to it 4-5 weeks later and nailed it in one, i hated climbing when i got my new bike but now when i make a route i add them in, i look forward to the challenge, it gives great satisfaction when you get over the top of a climb and a tremendous buzz.
    If you want to team up with me lets tackle the tumble together, it will only be painful for 3 miles :-)
    Atb
    Glenn

    Wow. I admire your attitude and determination, that's inspired me! Can't believe you did 106 miles, that's a huge achievement. I think a few people and yourself have said about mental attitude. I can do it. I know I can. I'm fairly fit but just not that great or strong at cycling. At other sportives I've seen pure novices do it.

    Thanks for the encouragement, good luck and see you in Wales in 28 days!



    Best of luck mate a real challenge to us beginners but what a challenge eh :-)
    https://www.strava.com/athletes/5631058 ... ce=top-nav
  • Chunky101Chunky101 Posts: 108
    For big climbs stay seated for as long as possible and take them SLOWLY. Do not try and attack them and concentrate on conserving your legs, stay in granny gear and spin very slowly, ignore the speed. When you get to the point where you think you need to stop then get out of the saddle but avoid increasing your speed, stay at the same pace as you were seated. Get into a rhythm with your pedal stroke and breathing. Good luck and enjoy it
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    redrabbit wrote:
    ...I don't know what saddle to get though - any ideas?
    Unfortunately, since no-one else has your body, they won't be able to tell you what saddle will suit you!
    There are a few saddles that many people tend to like but you won't know what suits you unless you try them or maybe if you've used a very similar saddle before. For example lots of people like the Fizik Arione and Antares. I tried the Arione a couple of years ago when shopping for a saddle and didn't like it much , then my new bike came with an Antares last year and it was horribly uncomfortable for me, and had to come off as soon as I'd done a test ride to make sure the bike was as it should be.

    If you get numbness consider a cutout saddle like the Specialized Romin Evo, or an Adamo ISM saddle. I like both of these. If not you have many more to chose from but I'm you'll find some much more comfortable than others. Unfortunately there's no quick answer to this one. Make a guess at the shape you think will suit you, get a test saddle and see how it goes.
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