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Had my ar$e kicked today.(12 posts)

Had my ar$e kicked today.UcannotBsirius
Jul 27, 2003 10:55 AM
I'm a recreational rider but over the last year or so I have been working on my fitness, increasing my road miles (I MTB as well) and have also lost some weight. It's paid off as I am probably the fittest I have ever been and as a consequence I tend to be one of the stronger riders in the various groups I ride with. I've particularly worked on my climbing and can drop most of the other guys quite easily as soon as the road starts to go up.

I've been wondering for a while though how I'd fare against some serious riders, i.e. road racers, tri guys etc. Today I found out......

I was out on a ride on my own, planning to do a hilly 60 miles around Bristol (SW England) where I live. About 25 miles in I was sitting at some traffic lights at a crossroads when I heard some other riders come up behind me. I turned round and said "hi" then the lights changed. Straight after the lights is a 1.5 mile climb. As I knew these guys were behind I didn't go mad but set what I thought was a fairly respectable pace up the climb. At the top one of them came alongside and we talked about where we were heading, and he asked me if I wanted to ride with them, to which I said yes.

There were four of them and it turned out they were all tri-athletes fron Bath Uni (Bath is about 13 miles from Bristol and has a great Sports Dept, turning out a fair few Olympic athletes among others) on a traning run. They were all early / mid - 20's (I'm 38 next month) and very lean. At 5'11" and 147lbs weight isn't really an issue for me, but compared to these guys I was the fat boy at the party.

On the flat the pace was fast but fine with me, and I chatted to the guys as we rode. We were heading for the climb of Cheddar Gorge and a few miles before the climb we pulled into a petrol station to buy drinks and food. A couple of the guys had been on the beer the night before and one went round the back of the petrol station and threw up, which gave me a slight hope I might keep with them on the climb. But with the climb within sniffing distance they were starting to get frisky and you could smell the testosterone in the air.

Cheddar Gorge is a major tourist attraction (mainly the fat and pasty-looking types who park up and waddle to the nearest fried food emporium for a feast). As it was a nice day the place was heaving with people and cars everywhere.

(continued next post)
re: Had my ar$e kicked today (continued).UcannotBsirius
Jul 27, 2003 11:07 AM
AS we rode up through the bottom part of the gorge where all the fast food shops and gift shops are everyone was watching us as we overtook the slow moving cars and we had a few claps and cheers. The bottom part of the climb is the worst by far as there are a couple of very steep (20%+)hairpin bends, after that there is about 3 miles of steady 4-5% gradient that you can really hammer up. As we approached the first hairpin the elbows were coming out as the tri guys jossled for position. I let them get on with it and went to the back. I glanced down and noticed I was at 96% MHR, this was before the climb really kicked off! As we filed onto the first hairpin I was loosing the wheel of the guy in front. They starting pulling away, I was now at max heart rate so had nowhere to go. I hoped I might get back on the easier part of the climb, but they dissappeared from view round the next bend and that was it. I hammered the climb anyway (didn't go below 93% MHR for the whole climb) and found them waiting for me at he top which was cool as I hadn't expected then to wait. I rode another 15 miles or so with them then peeled off heading for home.

I ended up doing 64 miles and getting home with far more lactic acid in my legs then usual.

I guess it proved to me rather graphically what I already knew - that there is a world of difference between being a fast recreational rider and a serious athlete.

Oh well, I can dream...........
... the only ar$e kicking would have been...Akirasho
Jul 27, 2003 11:52 AM
... if you just gave up and turned round.

Nice of 'em to wait... perhaps a sign of respect (they may have tried to hammer you, but you made 'em work for it)... at any rate, ya done good in my book!

Cheddar, anyone?

Be the bike.
... the only ar$e kicking would have been...UcannotBsirius
Jul 27, 2003 12:01 PM
Mmmmm...hadn't looked at it that way.

Thanks for the vote of confidence! :-)
... the only ar$e kicking would have been...dave_w
Jul 27, 2003 12:04 PM
LOL, nice story! Reminds me that if I want to feel fast, to choose my riding partners carefully. ;)
So trueJervis
Jul 27, 2003 7:29 PM
I rode with the local club for the first time a month or two ago and kept up with them avg 19 slightly uphill against the wind for something like 10 miles. We took a bit of a spinning breather and they took off at like 29 (I had no chance for more than half mile or so) but I caught them on the way back and stayed with the pack for the last 20 of the 40 miler. It was one of the more exhausting rides I've done and I thought I was just the weenie who showed up, thought he could hack it, and got blown away, but they guys all complimented me on the ride (I figured not bad coming from a guy on a $5000 Seven). Keep on hammering and a couple thousand miles later you'll be dragging their asses all over the English countryside. Good deal.

Elbows coming out?Picshooter
Jul 27, 2003 12:05 PM
Jostling for position? On a group ride? No thanks. I like a good sprint but if it's just for fun then the physical part needs to be left at home.Also, Once your HR gets that high you need to ride at your own pace and try to recover.
That's why I don't take my HRM on a ride!CRM
Jul 28, 2003 10:00 AM
I don't need to look at a HRM to tell when my heart is going to explode! Seeing the effort spelled out in big digital numbers only has a detrimental psychological effect, IMHO. Great training tool if you're on a specifically-designed training ride. Otherwise, it's too much information!
re: Had my ar$e kicked today (continued).aliensporebomb
Jul 28, 2003 10:47 AM
I know the feeling!

Sunday's ride with Scot_Gore and Geardaddy here taught me
a thing or two - i.e. I need to get better with my climbing!

I'd catch up with them on downhills or flats but on the
climbs I'd get dropped like a hot potato.

I was happy I was able to catch up and reel them in, but
I need to break out the CTS Climbing video and do that on
a regular basis.

I did it in the early season when I was using the trainer
but not since then and it shows. Those guys were like they
had helium in their tires.
re: Had my ar$e kicked today.kingcobradv
Jul 27, 2003 12:29 PM
How fast do you usually go on your road bike?? You said you also MTB too? How fast do you go on that over the same surface and distance as your road bike?
re: Had my ar$e kicked today.UcannotBsirius
Jul 27, 2003 1:27 PM
How fast is a hard question to answer as it is very hilly round here (and I always include as much climbing as possible when planning a route) so my average speeds (rarely over 18.5mph) look fairly feeble as a result.

Lately I have used heart rate as more of a guide than speed, i.e. I can work for longer at higher heart rates than I could say a year ago, hence I know I have improved.

As regards MTB: slower. I have been MTBing longer than I have been road riding yet I can never push nyself as hard offroad as I can on road. When I'm on the MTB as soon as it starts to hurt too much I ease off, whereas on the road bike I can dig quite deep. Why that should be I have no idea.
dont worry, so did ullrich! just kiddingrrjc5488
Jul 27, 2003 5:20 PM