Today is instalment two of my diary in the run up to our 24 hour race in June, (which incidentally you can sponsor us here and at the same time be entered to win a whole load of prizes – DT Swiss wheels, Speedplays and Craft clothing to name but a few).

Our recent run of unbelievable weather here has meant we’ve all been riding a lot more than usual and it has given us an insight into the sorts of riding that many of you lucky lot take for granted. It’s no wonder we produce a lot of good track riders here in the UK! At the minute, we’re intending to do 2 hour stints at the 24 race, so I’ve been trying to ride for at least this long or longer. Apart from two days of hobbling around after doing my shoes up too tight, (school boy error I know) all has been going well.

As I explained in my earlier blog, I am a 4th cat rider who is juggling the demands of work, weather and a social life. I love cycling, but I also love my bed and the odd glass of red wine.

The recent run of good weather has also meant that a lot of BBQ’s have taken place….I’ve re-lived my year 8 IT classes today and come up with this: A wine v’s training chart –

As you can see, the social arrangements and training have been fighting for my attention and precious time! I don’t plan to continue the upward trend of wine and the Wednesday peak of red wine did coincide with some healthy Italian food – my excuse anyhow.

As I write this I have a busy office day ahead, my racing licence has expired and after last nights efforts just walking down the stairs was a painful experience.

First on my agenda is getting my 4th cat. licence renewed! There is racing tonight, but I doubt I’ll manage 10 minutes with legs as heavy as mine. The Salt Ayre crits are quite fast and tight, definitely not for the faint hearted, but great for getting some ‘racing speed’ into your legs. My decision to give this a miss is I feel a wise one, as the psychological damage of getting dropped after the first couple of frenetic laps could be long lasting. This would also mean paying £10 to ride round on my own.

Second is to keep up the 2hour or more sessions on the bike. Last night, after a long day I went out with just High5 zero in my bottle and it went really well, 2 hours – fairly hilly – no sugar – 19mph – I’m happy.

On Saturday it was very hot (27 degrees c), I went out and was soon panting like a hot dog which didn’t do my spirits much good at all – hence the onslaught of cheap beer later on. Also on that ride, I inadvertently ended up checking what was in the verge – gravel and racing tyres don’t mix too well – pay attention when riding!

Sunday was spent watching the epic Zoncolan stage of the Giro and changing the fork on my bike – it’s developed a creak and an annoying cracking sound whenever the tarmac isn’t perfect – unnerving and very rare to have a nice surface around here for more than 10 metres. The steerer doesn’t look cracked as such but its definitely at the end of its life.

The other notable ride was on Tuesday with Fatty, a similar route again with a few climbs and a perfect evening for it. Check out our route here, mapped on his trick Edge 500:

There’s no better motivation than having a mate or two out with you, pushing you on the climbs and providing a useful wind-break when you need 30 seconds to recover.

So: 4 weeks to go until the 24hr race.


  • Keep up the rides of over 2 hours.
  • Start to plan a list of equipment we need to take with us – any bets on what we’ll forget?
  • Renew my licence to regain my 4th cat. pride.
  • Reduce (notice I didn’t say stop) the intake of alcohol.
  • Bag as many prices as I can for the prize fund.

What have you guys been up to? Training for a particular race? Please share your wisdom with us!



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