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SlowRower

The Alpe D'Huez Challenge

Whilst p*ssed out of my skull on New Year's Eve, I accepted a challenge to race my mate up Alpe D'Huez this summer, to take advantage of the fact that our respective family hols will see us in Bourg D'Oisans simultaneously for two days in August.

Sadly, when he sobered up, he revealed he wasn't joking, and with family honour at stake, I couldn't back out!

Neither of us has cycled up such a climb before, so it will be a definite journey into the unknown, all the moreso since we have no real idea as to how good we are relative to each other.

To my advantage, I have a lot more experience of competition (cycling, rowing and running) than him, am currently a lot fitter, and have an usually low level of body fat.

To his advantage, he is four years younger (37 to 41), will have a bike around 4kg lighter, has not slipped / rupture / prolapsed etc. anything in his lower back twice in the last three years and has 7 months to reverse my advantages in terms of fitness and body fat.

We will be adopting radically different strategies for training. From a purely academic viewpoint, it will be interesting to see which is most effective, for what will be 80-90 minutes of time-trialing.

I will be adapting routines that have worked well for distance rowing and half marathon running in recent years. (5 or 6 hours per week at around 80% - 85% of max heart rate, primarily turbo based, as I'm a fair weather cyclist and have limited time available to train.)

He is aiming for 12-15 hours a week at lower intensity, with lots of off-road stuff.

Since the challenge was made, I've clocked up over 300k on the turbo, albeit with no hard data as to whether each k on the turbo actually represents the same distance on the road. (Speed on turbo and road for the same heart rate are consistent though.) I've also lost 2kg and pretty much memorised the Dialogue for "The Rock" and the Yes Minister Christmas Special, which are my favourite cycling DVDs. Smile

My mate has done a couple of "spin" sessions but not much else due to a hamstring strain.

So far, so good, from my perspective, although there's always the risk that training details flowing to and fro might be subject to "disinformation". Smile

This is probably the only guarantee of drug-free cycling on offer this year, and I will be going to the beach after rather than before the race... Smile
Bartali

When's race day?  I'll be there 2-5 July!
SlowRower

18th August. I hear that tickets for prime spots up the climb are already selling quickly. Smile
redster73

We'll need to get the camper up there early as traffic will be a nightmare...
grrr

Hang on his wheel all the way up then sprint for the line.

Obviously you will lose him as a friend but in the grand scheme of things what's more important, one less friend or winning on Alpe d'Huez?
SlowRower

grrr wrote:
Hang on his wheel all the way up then sprint for the line.

Obviously you will lose him as a friend but in the grand scheme of things what's more important, one less friend or winning on Alpe d'Huez?


My tactics exactly!

I'm not spending so long sweating myself into oblivion on the turbo as an act of friendship... Very Happy
Bartali

BTW - I think your training is the better of the two plans!

It's a long time since I rode it on its own, but if you keep that training up I think you will be closer to 60 minutes than 90 minutes!!  Just don't get disheartened by the first 3km or so.  It gets better ... and you'll do the last 2km on pure adrenalin!

Oh .... don't forget to launch your attack as you enter the village at the brow of the hill.  Finish banner is 150 meters away just before the tunnel!!

Good luck
sabcarrera

Re: The Alpe D'Huez Challenge

SlowRower wrote:

Neither of us has cycled up such a climb before, so it will be a definite journey into the unknown, all the moreso since we have no real idea as to how good we are relative to each other.



Try and get some long runs in with longish climbs to get the fitness levels up and to get used to pacing yourself up a long climb.

SlowRower wrote:

This is probably the only guarantee of drug-free cycling on offer this year, and I will be going to the beach after rather than before the race... Smile

This is not a good idea because it works, and a course of EPO under medical supervision may save you a possible heart attack
SlowRower

Bartali wrote:
BTW - I think your training is the better of the two plans!

It's a long time since I rode it on its own, but if you keep that training up I think you will be closer to 60 minutes than 90 minutes!!  Just don't get disheartened by the first 3km or so.  It gets better ... and you'll do the last 2km on pure adrenalin!

Oh .... don't forget to launch your attack as you enter the village at the brow of the hill.  Finish banner is 150 meters away just before the tunnel!!

Good luck


Thanks! My time will be handicapped by having to do it on my MTB, albeit with lwt forks and slicks. Having two daughters and a wife, there is obviously little space allocated to me for holiday luggage, so I have to take a bike that will do the trick for the rest of the hols, which rules out a feisty road steed with skinny tyres. Turning up at the local bakers on a Trek Madone wearing flip flops would look a bit silly!
SlowRower

Re: The Alpe D'Huez Challenge

sabcarrera wrote:
SlowRower wrote:

This is probably the only guarantee of drug-free cycling on offer this year, and I will be going to the beach after rather than before the race... Smile

This is not a good idea because it works, and a course of EPO under medical supervision may save you a possible heart attack


EPO is for wimps. Real men climb on caffeine and alcohol. Smile
grrr

I would take my chances at the baker's and take the Madone!

I love Bartali's comment "it's a long time since I rode it on its own".  

Bastard!

Wink
redster73

Re: The Alpe D'Huez Challenge

SlowRower wrote:
sabcarrera wrote:
SlowRower wrote:

This is probably the only guarantee of drug-free cycling on offer this year, and I will be going to the beach after rather than before the race... Smile

This is not a good idea because it works, and a course of EPO under medical supervision may save you a possible heart attack


EPO is for wimps. Real men climb on caffeine and alcohol. Smile


Dunno bout that as a cocktail of all three would get you up just about anything!
Bartali

grrr wrote:
I would take my chances at the baker's and take the Madone!

I love Bartali's comment "it's a long time since I rode it on its own".  

Bastard!

Wink
Laughing  Laughing  Laughing

Glad you liked that one!  Wink
thunderthighs

thats  not a tuff hill, only  mystical, climb.. la mongie.. zoncalon.. good luck...
ciao
SlowRower

thunderthighs wrote:
thats  not a tuff hill, only  mystical, climb.. la mongie.. zoncalon.. good luck...
ciao


Thanks. It may not be a tough hill, but of all the hills we'll encounter on holiday, this one has the best range of lunch options at the top!
redster73

SlowRower wrote:
thunderthighs wrote:
thats  not a tuff hill, only  mystical, climb.. la mongie.. zoncalon.. good luck...
ciao


Thanks. It may not be a tough hill, but of all the hills we'll encounter on holiday, this one has the best range of lunch options at the top!


As opposed to La Mongie which has sweet FA anywhere on that darned hill!
Bartali

thunderthighs wrote:
thats  not a tuff hill, only  mystical, climb.. la mongie.. zoncalon.. good luck...
ciao


Oh well ...  Confused  Guess I'll try La Mongie later in the year.
berck

One key to remember is that long climbs take a lot of energy out of you. You're much better off finding a pace you can hold for a while to leave you some energy to finish it off at the end. I've heard way too many stories about people who fly out in the first few miles, only to discover that they are burned up in the last couple to really finish it off.

We have a hill here and on it they do the  Mt Diablo Challenge. The winner typically rides around 42 minutes on this hill. One hear, a guy had been practicing and got his time down to 42 minutes. When he arrived to do the challenge that day, a few pro cyclists has showed up and he got up with them at the front. He took off with them and rode the first two miles really fast. Faster than he ever had. He ended up finishing third that day with a time around 45-46 minutes.
SlowRower

Berck,

I've learnt the folly of the "fly and die" numerous times in training (sometimes taking a calculated gamble) and a couple of truly horrendous experiences racing. I will be doing my utmost not to do this up ADH, even if family honour is at stake!

Unfortunately, my track record of restraint in the early stages is not all that good, but hopefully I'll not get carried away!
Bartali

"fly and die"!  I like it.  43 years old and I do it nearly every time!
berck

Yep, that's a great term. I'll be using it from now on!

Good luck on your efforts SR. Keep us posted on how you feel as you are training and your results.
paperman

SlowRower wrote:
thunderthighs wrote:
thats  not a tuff hill, only  mystical, climb.. la mongie.. zoncalon.. good luck...
ciao


Thanks. It may not be a tough hill, but of all the hills we'll encounter on holiday, this one has the best range of lunch options at the top!


Nice!!

Follow grrr advice wheel suck and sprint for the table.
last km

I'm on record of not racing with a heart rate monitor........

however in this case I will make an exception.... SR find your heart rate max out then we can advise on what to aim for........I will lend you my monitor FOC.

With the knowledge on jcf.....your "friend" is toast.
SlowRower

Last KM,

I'm already working hard on finding my max heart rate on the bike and also the heart rate for anaerobic threshold. As I get reaccustomed to cycling, the relevant rates appear to keep getting higher. My brain is confusing localised quad pain for real CV distress, and needs to be re-educated.

The aim will be to stick below the AT until the last 25 minutes or so and then enter the "red" zone. I can survive above the AT for over half an hour running and rowing; it's not much fun, but surivable (just).

I know it will disappoint the purists, but I will have no quarms about wheel-sucking and riding to heart rate to achieve victory. At my age, there will be at most one attack in my legs, and I'll have to save it for the end!
Bartali

Tut tut tut ...

The Official Euro Cyclist Code of Conduct Rule number 2

2. Training shall be based solely on feel, while racing shall be guided by sensations and instinct: that is to say, “soul.” The Euro Cyclist will never accept tried or tested scientific training methods.
SlowRower

You've probably been wondering where I've been for the last week or so. Well, it's not just the elite who disappear to alpine hideaways in the off-season. I did too, for a spot of altitude training on skis.

Unlike the elite's alpine hideaways, ours contained nothing stronger than alcohol and caffeine. It's fair to say, though, that so much of the former was consumed that the latter was necessary in quantities sufficient to prevent Tyler Hamilton and his twin from sleeping for a month!

The effects of altitude were clearly beneficial, as I went 42 seconds faster for my becnhark 24k TT on the turbo today than just before the break. I'm actually 5.9% faster than a month ago, which represents around 20% more power.

The training log records 414km in total since the start of the year, all of it on the turbo. I'm quite looking forward to seeing a never ending rising tarmac road in front of me rather than a massive pool of sweat under the handlebars. Smile
berck

Thanks for the update. Keep it up. Sounds like you're doing great.
Bartali

Good man SR!  You are doing a great job!
SlowRower

Thanks folks. My ambition is to improve so much that I get accused of doping.
pantanifan

SlowRower wrote:
Thanks folks. My ambition is to improve so much that I get accused of doping.


You've definitely come to the right place then  Laughing
SlowRower

pantanifan wrote:
SlowRower wrote:
Thanks folks. My ambition is to improve so much that I get accused of doping.


You've definitely come to the right place then  Laughing


Indeed! If I win my race by wheel-sucking in an impausible time then I might get it for doping and boring tactics. I've already written my victory speech, so I've got the arrogance angle stitched up as well.
pantanifan

Don't forget to wear your black socks...
SlowRower

Please be serious. I'd sooner go up the hill on intravenous EPO than be seen cycling in black socks. Smile
SlowRower

A solid first week back from hols...

3 hard hour sessions on the turbo. 70rpm in top gear just about sustainable for 20 minutes. (95rpm two gears lower an awful lot easier though!) Time for benchmark 24k test down from 47:59 on 10th Jan to 44:37 yesterday. Smile

1 recovery hour for good measure.

475k in total since 1st Jan.

1 hour running as well. Horror of horrors, wearing black socks... Tracksuit hopefully hid this fashion faux pas from what little public was around in sub zero temperatures early on Saturday morning. Smile

My rival for the Challenge has been injured all year so far and has thus done minimal training, although he has got a new, lighter bike. Sad
Bartali

You are doing very well!!  My own training is 'pants'.  Don't know what's wrong, but I seem to be going backwards Sad
SlowRower

Bartali wrote:
You are doing very well!!  My own training is 'pants'.  Don't know what's wrong, but I seem to be going backwards Sad


Thanks - I think I was starting from a low level, but I'm definitely feeling much better. If nothing else, my rear end has toughened up!

For your training, I suggest a week off, a week of untimed bimbling round and a then a new challenge. Works every time for me.
Bartali

"Bimbling around" - I like that term!
SlowRower

To get technical, "bimbling" involves heart rates of no higher than 70%, although proper bimbling has no heart rate monitor, watch or speedo. You have to go back to basics and go by feel. Even if you're going slowly, you can convince yourself yuo're going like a train, which soon restores the enthusiasm!
SlowRower

Forget the Tour of California - The real action this week has been in my workshop, with the odd foray into the great outdoors.

4 hours on the turbo, with the highlight being a 24k TT in 42:46, a random dope test inducing improvement of 5:13 since 10th Jan. A couple of these sessions were almost outdoors, as I had the garage door open and could actually see greenery and taste fresh air. Smile

1 hour running as well. (8 miles / 7:42 per mile.) Definitely all outdoors and this time with regulation white socks.
SlowRower

Radical developments this week - turbo on the patio on Sunday morning! Patio is not quite level, so was able to pass the time betting on whether the sweat on the right hand side of the front wheel would flow off the end of the patio before that on the left.

4 hours turbo in total, with a 24k TT in 42:30 as the highlight. Chased the previous week's 42:46 from the word go which was possibly not a good idea as the previous week's effort was after a rest day. Painful, but good for the soul, or so I tell myself.

8 miles running @ 7:40 per mile as well.

"Only" five and a half months until race day. I could teach LA a thing or two about focusing on one race a year...Smile
Sam-I-Am

keep it up mate and ill be inspired to get out of this chair today
Bartali

4 hours on the Turbo!!!!  Proud of you my friend!
SlowRower

1 hour running and 2 hours on the turbo this week.

80 minutes on the road on the bike as well. Horizontal snow at one point. Very cold indeed. So cold, in fact, that I had to be undressed by the Good Lady and elder daughter on my return home. I had no feeling below the wrists. Sad Those parts of me that retained any feeling felt strong throughout the ride, particularly up the climbs. Smile

The Garmin reported ~14 / 15 calories per minute, which suggests ~75 minutes for the Challenge. Potentially even faster, as Garmin does not account for the impact of wind.

I don't think I'll be on the road again for several weeks. Smile
Bartali

62 minutes for the i-magic Alpe!  Back after illness so I wasn't pushing it.  Not sure how it translates to the real thing - probably a bit faster than the real climb.
SlowRower

Bartali wrote:
62 minutes for the i-magic Alpe!  Back after illness so I wasn't pushing it.  Not sure how it translates to the real thing - probably a bit faster than the real climb.


That's good going - a couple of friends of mine who have climbed both the iMagic and real Alpe generally go 2 or 3 minutes faster on the iversion. I suppose it depends on how everything is calibrated, though.

Only 5 months to go for me now. I'll have the dialogue for Independence Day memorised before too long!
Bartali

That would make sense.  In 1987 (TdF day) I went up in about 1h 5mins (under 10 stone in those days - very Bertie thin).  I reckon I could break the hour on a good day and on a good bike?

How's the formula work?  I could (on a good day) average 240 watts for one hour and 75kg (man and bike)???
SlowRower

Bartali wrote:
That would make sense.  In 1987 (TdF day) I went up in about 1h 5mins (under 10 stone in those days - very Bertie thin).  I reckon I could break the hour on a good day and on a good bike?

How's the formula work?  I could (on a good day) average 240 watts for one hour and 75kg (man and bike)???


Well, if you believe the good Doctor Ferrari then VAM (vertical ascent per hour) is approximated by

VAM = 300 * power / mass

= 300 * 240 / 75

= 960 metres / hour

so, you'd take around 1hr 8 to ascend the 1090m to ADH.

Conversely, for 75kg to ascend in an hour, the implied power is:

1090 / 300 *75

= 272 watts.

How did you arrive at your 240 watts figure? I gather this is hard to measure accurately cheaply.
Bartali

Many thanks.  I don't know how accurate it is , but it come straight from the turbo trainer software.  No idea how its calculated.  Program knows my/bike weight, revs per minute and whatever it picks up from the brake.

Oh ... and I agree with you about Ferrari.  Not an advocate but clearly pretty good at legitimate training programs as well as PEDs.
Bartali

Bartali wrote:
62 minutes for the i-magic Alpe!  Back after illness so I wasn't pushing it.  Not sure how it translates to the real thing - probably a bit faster than the real climb.


Same ride - 58 minutes last night.
SlowRower

Bartali,

That's what I call progress! On the grand scale of things, the absolute relationship between your times and the real ADH is not that important. Objective improvement of any nature is not to be sniffed at!

Speaking of which...

Two cycling and two running sessions this week.

24k turbo TT - 41:58, an improvement of 33 seconds. Not hugely pleasant.

Road ride in the sun. Same route as last week where I'd encountered horizontal snow. Much warmer this week, although windier. Nasty cross-wind for 22 of the 32 km covered. Pure head or tailwind for the remaining 10k. More than enough to keep me honest and 4 mins faster than previous week. Weighed in at sub-80kg post-training for the first time since May last year, which was in the immediate aftermath of a running half marathon. Smile

Two hours (approx) running as well.

7 miles on the flat (approx 7:40 pace)

7 mile hill run, which incoporated a recycling of lunchtime fish and chips at the top of the final hill. Sad
SlowRower

Not much training in the last two weeks due to work commitments. Two day trips to London last week really took it out of me.

Even so, I recorded a 25 mile TT personal best, but only because I've never done a proper 25 mile TT and I never recorded times for such meagre distances when riding solo when I was riding seriously in my youth. Smile

During this ride, I went over 1000km on either turbo or road since the start of the year.
Bartali

Well done - what was the TT time?

I was out on the fixed on Sunday - not for too long as I was inappropriately dressed (no jacket).  Highlight was chasing down a club run on a gentle climb and going past a chap on a lovely De Rosa King ..... of course he went past me on the next decent as my legs wouldn't go fast enough on the fixed!!
SlowRower

Slow. Sad

I was on a MTB with knobbles and no aero bars, though. And I was suffering from a rip-roaring hangover.

I overtook a few kids and old ladies but that was about it. Still, it's all good mileage.
Bartali

Kids and old ladies count!! Smile Smile
SlowRower

Almost bordering on over-training this week...

4.5 hours on the bike (half road and half turbo) and 2 hours running. During my long road ride, I hit 35/36 kmh for sustained periods on the return home and overtook a proper rider (i.e. lycra, skinny tyres, clipless pedals etc.) He tried to take my wheel but I burnt him off. Smile I can't remember when I last did that to anyone.

I've now cranked my turbo up to the highest resistance setting, and in top gear chug along at 60-70rpm for an hour before either exploding or drowning in sweat. In the absence of any hills higher than a railway bridge in the vicinity of home, this is as close to simulating long climbs as I can get.

Cumulative distance since 1st Jan - 1120km (2 wheels) / 170k (2 feet)

Cumulative sweat loss since 1st Jan - 50 litres (approx, obviously)

Tried a bit of gamesmanship with my ADH rival, by sending him the link to www.bikecalculator.com along with entirely fictitious training data purporting to relate to me. Smile I hope he did the same, otherwise I'm f**ked in a big way.
SlowRower

Forget EPO or blood-doping. If you want to go faster, just change from knobbles to slicks and forget to recalibrate your speedo for the reduced wheel circumference.

I "slicked up" on Saturday, and my recorded average speed was 11% faster than for the same course and distance a week earlier! 2.5% was due to the speedo, but the remainder was a combination of reduced rolling resistance and whatever benefits derive from seconds of porridge for breakfast!

4 hours cycling (1 towing youngest daughter through the mud at Dalby Forest) and 1 hour running this week.

My ADH rival is reportedly injured and around 2 stone lighter than when I last saw him. Assuming he recovers swiftly, it sounds like he's been taking things seriously, so I might have to crank my training up a notch. Natural talent can only take you so far - in my case, just past the campsites before the 1st hairpin. Smile
redster73

SlowRower wrote:
Forget EPO or blood-doping. If you want to go faster, just change from knobbles to slicks and forget to recalibrate your speedo for the reduced wheel circumference.

I "slicked up" on Saturday, and my recorded average speed was 11% faster than for the same course and distance a week earlier! 2.5% was due to the speedo, but the remainder was a combination of reduced rolling resistance and whatever benefits derive from seconds of porridge for breakfast!

4 hours cycling (1 towing youngest daughter through the mud at Dalby Forest) and 1 hour running this week.

My ADH rival is reportedly injured and around 2 stone lighter than when I last saw him. Assuming he recovers swiftly, it sounds like he's been taking things seriously, so I might have to crank my training up a notch. Natural talent can only take you so far - in my case, just past the campsites before the 1st hairpin. Smile


...and what happens when you have a natural lack of talent?
SlowRower

redster73 wrote:
SlowRower wrote:
Forget EPO or blood-doping. If you want to go faster, just change from knobbles to slicks and forget to recalibrate your speedo for the reduced wheel circumference.

I "slicked up" on Saturday, and my recorded average speed was 11% faster than for the same course and distance a week earlier! 2.5% was due to the speedo, but the remainder was a combination of reduced rolling resistance and whatever benefits derive from seconds of porridge for breakfast!

4 hours cycling (1 towing youngest daughter through the mud at Dalby Forest) and 1 hour running this week.

My ADH rival is reportedly injured and around 2 stone lighter than when I last saw him. Assuming he recovers swiftly, it sounds like he's been taking things seriously, so I might have to crank my training up a notch. Natural talent can only take you so far - in my case, just past the campsites before the 1st hairpin. Smile


...and what happens when you have a natural lack of talent?


I'll tell you when I get back! Defeat, pain, humiliation will all doubtless feature in the race report. Sad

I hope you don't think I was suggesting I have any natural talent. The bit to the campsite to which I refer is around 200m from the start and on the flat. Even my "talent" can probably cope with that. Smile
redster73

I was referring to my lack of talent. If I had some I'd probably cope with these stupidly long bike rides we keep sending oursleves on! Laughing
Bartali

SR - The first 4km are the worst!!  Get yourself a fixed fork in that mtb and you'll take even more minutes off!
SlowRower

Highs and lows this week.

Highs
1 hour on the turbo, beating previous best by 0.01km!

Fastest time for months for my 10k run over the golf course.

Lows
8 mile run on Saturday, where I misjudged the temperature and the wind direction and had a cold headwind for the final 4 miles. Sad

30k bike ride on Sunday. Garmin packed up after 6 miles, so had no idea of elapsed time. Speedo went on the blink after 12 miles. Legs packed up after 18 miles. At least there was no wind, for the first time this year. Smile

Bike is booked in for a new front fork next week. If I'm feeling brave, I'll upgrade to something light and carbon and hope the Good Lady doesn't notice. Something solid and steel-like beckons, as she's very scary in respect of wasting money on bike parts. (Unless it's on her bike Smile)
Bartali

This is what you need SR http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Nuke-Proof-...2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318
SlowRower

Blimey - I was just about to enter my bid when I read the bit about being disc-only brake compatible. How much do you use front brake, I wonder? I suppose the descent from ADH would provide plenty of opportunity to find out!

810g for a fork sounds much more tempting than training harder.
SlowRower

3 turbo sessions, 1 road session and 1 running session this week.

Aborted a 24k TT on the turbo with 1k to go 'cos it was just too painful, then had the nosebleed session the next day. The session of hill intervals after this was light relief in comparison. Final turbo session today on my geriatric road bike, as my slightly less geriatric MTB is in the shop getting a rigid fork fitted. No speedo on the road bike. If there's a harder session to do mentally than just tracking a target heart heart rate on a turbo then I don't want to do it.

Tweaked knee ligaments mowing the lawn in the dark on Sunday Sad Nothing serious now though.
berck

And I hope it doesn't turn into anything serious either.
SlowRower

berck wrote:
And I hope it doesn't turn into anything serious either.


Thanks. It was a bit sore unclipping from my cleats this morning but otherwise recovering well, so I won't be able to use it as an excuse post-challenge!
berck

You're welcome. If I was to give you any advice, it would be this...

Don't mow the lawn in the dark again. Wink
SlowRower

No lawnmowing injuries this week, thankfully! Just as well as cycling opportunities have been limited, so I've been running a lot.

Two cycling sessions...

One on the turbo, watching the Cyclops training video that came with my now exploded Cyclop turbo 12 years ago. Vast sums of money were spent hiring the great and the good of North American cycling in the mid 90s to be filmed doing a turbo session. It's 45 minutes of crap music, appalling hairstyles and sprints. Good fun, but I suspect it would get a bit boring after a while. One of the pros on show was a very youthful looking Tyler Hamilton in his Montgomery days. He was tucked away right at the back and didn't say much, although he had by far the worst hair.

The other session was on the road with / against my ADH rival, who'd come over for the weekend for some beers and "gentle" cycling. I attacked from the off, and dropped him on the foothills of a nearby railway bridge. He then claimed to have been off the bike injured for a few weeks, so we cycled home gently and got p*ssed, but not before taking on the challenge of getting 4 kids aged 4 to 6 to sleep in the same bedroom. Now that was definitely hors categorie...
Bartali

Keep at it SR - sounds like you have him beat!
Spoo

SlowRower wrote:
One of the pros on show was a very youthful looking Tyler Hamilton in his Montgomery days. He was tucked away right at the back and didn't say much, although he had by far the worst hair.


Further evidence that using turbos can only lead to bad things Wink

Keep up the good work!
SlowRower

Mr B - Early season form is notoriously unreliable as a guide for the main events. He might have been bluffing after a morning of hill intervals and fly up ADH in 50 minutes. Sad In his shoes, I'd have mentioned the injury before we set off - excuses given in advance are far more credible IMHO. Smile

Spoo - They are indeed the Devil's work. At least mine is very quiet, so I can watch the telly whilst dancing with the Devil.
Bartali

How long until the big race SR?
SlowRower

A smidge over 3 months. Excitement levels amongst the rest of the family are rising rapidly, and might soon reach insomnia curing levels...Smile
Bartali

I'll give you a road report in about two months ... and a time to shoot for!! Wink
SlowRower

Can you paint "Allez Slowrower" on the road for me, please? Smile
smarauder68

Bartali, can you give us some perspective on the Alpe D'Huez?

We know that the best in the world can get to the top in about 30 minutes from the base.  What's your best time and how much time would it take someone like me on a mountain bike whose never trained seriously?
Bartali

Okay ...

Back in 1987 (when I was as light as a feather) it took me just over an hour.  Back then I was 22, but not a super quick racer (cat 3) and could do a 25 mile ITT in just over an hour.  That said, I was light, brought up in the peak district and thrived in the mountains.  The last two times I climbed it (2006 and 2008) were at the tail end of a long day in the Alps and haveing already done 165km over the Coix de Fer, Telegraphe and Galibier I don't think my times were too meaningful - well I hope not because they would have been around 1.45 (including drink stops).

I think you are about the same age as me - probably a bit bigger, but equally you may be stronger.  If you are reasonably fit - albeit not in training - I reckon you could grind it out on a mountain bike in about 1.20 - 1.30?  Hard to say really.

If you are in Europe these days it is well worth a go just for the experience!
smarauder68

Bartali wrote:
Okay ...

Back in 1987 (when I was as light as a feather) it took me just over an hour.  Back then I was 22, but not a super quick racer (cat 3) and could do a 25 mile ITT in just over an hour.  That said, I was light, brought up in the peak district and thrived in the mountains.  The last two times I climbed it (2006 and 2008) were at the tail end of a long day in the Alps and haveing already done 165km over the Coix de Fer, Telegraphe and Galibier I don't think my times were too meaningful - well I hope not because they would have been around 1.45 (including drink stops).

I think you are about the same age as me - probably a bit bigger, but equally you may be stronger.  If you are reasonably fit - albeit not in training - I reckon you could grind it out on a mountain bike in about 1.20 - 1.30?  Hard to say really.

If you are in Europe these days it is well worth a go just for the experience!



I plan to be in the Alps come mid July for the tour's arrival and will definately have my bike with me and give those switchbacks a go...I would have thought you or anyone training could make it in under an hour. I am currently just beginning by training in the hills around Heidelberg...mosty 500 meter rises up more gradual slopes I'm sure. I find that I can put the bike in the lowest gear and make steady progress but I can only go about 5 or 6 minutes of climbing without resting.
Bartali

Keep at it Scott.  I would like to think that if I rode it fresh I would be around 55 mins.  We'll see in July! Wink
SlowRower

Tough week...

20 mile recovery ride in gale

1 hour turbo, missing PB by 0.02km. I know Mr Shifter doesn't approve of turbo PBs, but this was a godawful struggle for the last 55 minutes and good for the soul. Smile

20 mile tempo ride in the lashing rain. Surprisingly good fun.

8 mile run with a fierce hangover.

40k TT in 1:13:24. 2 laps of a 20k loop, involving 16 right angle bends in total. Possibly not the fastest course in the world. Mountain bike with slicks and aerobars looks odd (and weighs a ton) but goes well enough once up to speed. Harsh ride, with Aluminum frame and rigid forks.
Bartali

What forks are you running on that MTB?  Ridgid or can you lock 'em?
SlowRower

Something cheap and permanently rigid. It was a struggle to get permission from the All Powerful One for a day off normal duties on hols to do the race, and I'm definitely not allowed to waste the wine budget on bike components.

She'd make a tough DS would my wife. Smile
Bartali

Cheap and rigid is fine - just don't waste all that energy through 'bouncy' forks!

BTW - I hope your DS will arrange an appropriate 'rub down' and 'massage' after the big day! Wink
SlowRower

If haven't discussed post-race recovery procedures with the DS. The expression "don't push your luck" comes all too readily to mind. Smile
berck

That would be my DS's respond too. Don't feel to bad Very Happy
SlowRower

Short update, as it's apparently bad form to talk about yourself...

Improvements are now hard to come by - not surprising after 5 months and ~1900km of predominantly anaerobic threshold work - and may simply be due to the benefits of the rigid fork, now that I've got used to it's rather lively handling!

Precise measurement is now difficult, due to the recent demise of my Garmin, my rear wheel speedo and my front wheel speedo. Too much sweat, I fear. Measurement is now by traditional means of lamposts, road signs and stopwatch, along with "mapmyrun". (My rides are so short that they fool the on line technology into thinking they are runs. Sad)

Logical next steps are longer riders (tricky due to other commitments), more hill work (tricky due to local terrain) or intervals (no excuses, but intervals 10 weeks before the main event are not a particularly good idea.)

Therefore, a further month of threshold work beckons, before the intervals challenge is taken up.
Bartali

Terrain?  Thought you were in the West Riding?  Get on them there moors young man!!
SlowRower

Don't get practical, man! I like to delude myself by climbing railway bridges in the big ring. Smile
SlowRower

A lot of training - by my standards - in the last two weeks. Highlights:

40k TT on mountain bike with aero bars. 72:30 - a season's best! Not very good, but did provide useful feedback about how hard I can go early on and what's prudent for tactical bursts. (Not very and nothing respectively!)

Met my Doctor in supermarket carpark shortly afterwards. It's not just the elite who have chance meetings with the docs, I'll have you know. Smile I was moving with less than my customary grace and speed and she asked if I'd kn*ckered my back again. Sad

8 miles running in 60 minutes and 3 seconds. 6o minutes is the dividing line between being respectable and good in my world, so mightily p*ssed off about the 3 seconds. Fastest since November, though.
SlowRower

A training diary is like training itself. It starts off in a rush of enthusiasm before soon degenerating into a steady, repetitious plod. With that in mind, I decided to liven things up in the last couple of weeks with some forays into self-inflicted wounds.

Firstly, I didn't drink enough last weekend, then went to London for the day and drank nothing but coffee and then went out running in 24C and high humidity. By the half way point, my tongue was like carpet and I was talking to the vultures circling overhead. Best avoided as an experience, if truth be told. Can't remember the return journey, but as I'm here, I obviously made it back with body, if not mind intact.

Secondly, last Friday I attempted to counter the heat by wearing my super lightweight running vest. I only wear this in extreme circumstances, because it chafes like buggery. This is OK, if you remmeber your micropore tape, which I didn't. Sad 6 miles of sweaty unpleasantness later, I had the worst case of Joggers' Nipple I can recall since the long hot summer of 2006.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, though. I am much better acclimatised to the heat and humidity now and my nipples are tougher than BG's views on single parents. (Or at least the offspring of one particular single parent.)

I've done a bit of cycling as well but not much. In all honesty, I just want to ride up the fecking hill and be done with it. Either that or buy a Pinarello Prince. Riding a cranky old mountain bike is demeaning for an elite athlete and isn't much fun for me, either. Smile
Bartali

Sounds to me like you have it all sorted .... buy the Pinarello!!

Flying out to said hill on Friday morning with the intention of riding it both Saturday and Sunday (though Sunday is doubtful).

Weight 66kg - check
Bike serviced - check
Bike sufficiently under UCI weight limit - check
Trained in the mountains - check
Weather expected to be around 30 degrees (gulp) -check
SlowRower

Sounds like you're well prepared. I think my legs alone weigh 66kg! Good luck.

I'm not much of a traditionalist when it comes to any sport, but when it comes to expensive bikes, only finest Italian will suffice. The problem is that if I bought one, The Good Lady would want one as well!

BTW, what bike have you got?
Biosphere

SlowRower wrote:

Secondly, last Friday I attempted to counter the heat by wearing my super lightweight running vest. I only wear this in extreme circumstances, because it chafes like buggery. This is OK, if you remmeber your micropore tape, which I didn't. Sad 6 miles of sweaty unpleasantness later, I had the worst case of Joggers' Nipple I can recall since the long hot summer of 2006.


I always console myself with the thought that there are plenty of people who would pay good money to have their nipples sandpapered, and therefore I shouldn't complain  Wink

PS: Don't get Bart started on his Parlee Very Happy
Bartali

SlowRower wrote:
BTW, what bike have you got?


Too late Bio .... he did ask!  Wink

I have lots of bikes because I am a bit bike obsessed .... there's a surprise.

MTB - Cove Stiffie
Fixed - Colnago 'Saronni'
Turbo - Second hand Giant
Road - 1980's Battaglin Giro d'Italia
Road - Parlee Z3SL
Road - Parlee Z4
SlowRower

Bio - You must know some strange people, is all I can say. Smile

Bart - MTB as well? I never knew you "batted for both sides" so to speak!
Bartali

Not so much these days, but that mtb has been all over the world with me  - Himalaya, Atlas, Andes, Sierra Madre, Sierra Nevada, Picos, Alps.  Only use it for warm downs and social rides these days.
Mrs John Murphy

Biosphere wrote:

there are plenty of people who would pay good money to have their nipples sandpapered,


The money keeps me in beers.
SlowRower

Very jealous of that. Mine has only made it as far as the Alps. Although I did hire a Cannondale in the Rockies a few years ago and crashed in a big way when I used the wrong brake! For some reason, the Americans see fit to put the brake levers on the wrong side.  Twisted Evil
SlowRower

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Biosphere wrote:

there are plenty of people who would pay good money to have their nipples sandpapered,


The money keeps me in beers.


What else do you do?

You do a good line in stand up comedy as well as providing a particular type of "personal service". If you can mix cocktails as well you'd be able to earn a fortune in our part of the world as a party host. (Double pay on "Swingers Night").
Mrs John Murphy

All this talk of swinging and backwards swimming sperm explains why Mrs SR isn't very willing to give you a rubdown.

I'm not going to Yorkshire until you learn how to speak English. Afterall, if I've got my blow-torch and pliers out and I can't understand what you're saying then you could end up with worse than sanded nipples.

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