Sunday, 5 July 2009

Last Long Ride

Got up at 6:30 and was out of the door by 7:15 for my last long ride before the Etape. I wasn't sure how far or where I was going but I headed towards Kingston. Ed had decided that I was going too early (and I don't blame him) so I was on my own.

I followed my usual route to the Surrey hills and was going along at a decent speed, listening to podcasts and enjoying myself. I got to Ranmore Common but instead of heading for Box Hill, I went down to Dorking and then back down the A25 towards Guildford. Then it was up the hill on Coombe Lane and back to the top of Staple Hill.

Then on to Box Hill (see above), stop for water and cake and then home. I extended the route by going to Epsom Racecourse (an extra hill) and then doing a bit more in Richmond Park before getting home with 87.3 miles on the clock.

My body held up pretty well. My knee and elbow were a little sore still but nothing too bad. I have hurt my chest. I think I've strained a muscle between my ribs on the right hand side. It started hurting the day after Dartmoor so I imagine its crash related. It hurts when I cough or take a really deep breath in when I get out of the saddle. Fingers crossed its healed in 2 weeks time.

During the ride, my cycle computer went dim a few times. As soon as I got home, it went completely. Thankfully, I had a spare battery so its back up and running again but I will get another spare for France. You never know. My bike is also creaking again. Very annoying.

Time: 5:10:01
Distance: 87.3 miles
Average: 16.9 mph
Ascent: 6,800
Nutrition: High5 Extreme (1 bottle), ZipVit (1 bottle), Water (1 bottle), Clif Bar (1), Bread Pudding (1 yum yum). I got to Box Hill having eaten only one bar so instead of eating more I bought a cake. Its all sugar!!!


Karen Popplewell said...

Great speed for such a lumpy course Simon.
Did you watch any Le Tour today? That's us in 14 days, 9 hours!!!!!!

Simon Lewis said...

Thanks. It felt good.

Just watched the ITV4 highlights (rest of the family watching tennis earlier). All I could think about was that this is The Tour that I AM doing a stage of. Its already started. I can't get my head around it.

And isn't Cav stunningly good.

Anonymous said...

Am doing the Etape too and really starting to look forward to it now. All I will say is that I think yourself and Karen are worrying a little too much about it. This is my first Etape and I only started cycling at Christmas but I'm going with guys that have done this before and they've assured me I'll do fine. I was a bit panicky until a couple of weeks ago but then I thought, what's the point of worrying? The training is done and I've met all my goals more or less. From having read your 2 blogs you both will have no problems - unless you go sprinting down the road from the start! Relax and enjoy the ride - you'll be fine.

Simon Lewis said...

Thanks Anon but doubting my ability and worrying is what I do. I know I've cycled further and climbed as least as much in a day but I'll worry until I cross the finish line. I do try and cope with my self doubt as it ruined my first four marathons and I am better now but still mildly worried.

Ed said...

Its obvious from reading the blog and seeing the training he's put in that Simon is comfortably capable of riding 108 miles with a 13 mile climb at the end.

But there are such big unknowns that are very hard to train for. 8000 people (who lets face it, many of whom won't know how to ride in a bunch, and that's a big bunch on narrow roads for the first 30 miles or so), possible 35 degrees heat and/or 100kph head winds. We don't know how we'll react to that, and that is a concern. Not much we can do about it granted, but its a concern none the less.

Lost Sheep said...

Cav is doing brilliantly. He just makes it look so easy. Just head down and GO!!!!!

That's a fab average for a lumpy course; hell of a lot of climbing too.

Anon - Simon has worrying about his ability as an art form ;oD

Seriously, all of you will be great, you'll all love it and I want all the gory details when you get back!

John Sutton said...

Really looking forward to reading your successful race report. 108 miles in France or 150 in N Wales? I know which one I'd rather do! Just hope for a heatwave in the next week so you can get acclimatised.

Simon Lewis said...

Cheers John. Struggling with taper as usual. No idea how much to do. Having a late night last night with friends and one to G&Ts didn't help with my planned early morning ride today. I'll head down the gym and do an hour or so instead. I just want to do it now.