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160 k's, 3200m climbing, 7 hours

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160 k's, 3200m climbing, 7 hours

Old 06-17-07, 01:55 PM
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bing181
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160 k's, 3200m climbing, 7 hours

OK, 7 hours 4 minutes. Anyway, for me, who 3 years ago could only just get round the local park, fabulous! It was an event-type ride here in the Belgian Ardennes, and I managed to even finish with about 100 riders behind me in the 45-54 age group.

I realise that there are people here who would rip round in a better time than that .. in fact, last year, even in the 55+ group someone managed 5 hours 19 min, which is pretty amazing .. but it's such a massive step up for me over anything I've done.

Last year I did a similar, but shorter ride, and felt like rubbish the whole way, and couldn't keep up with anyone. This year, I've tried doing less riding, but a lot more training, with plenty of 2 x 20's and VO2 max work ... it seems to pay off, even for an over 50!

Have now put myself down for a couple of even longer rides .. one 182 k's, one 210 k's with a few real climbs in it (Etape de Tour in France). Somehow though, know I'll get through OK, even if I'm not the fastest.

Thanks to all on the forum, have been inspired and at times helped and guided by the info and stories I've come across here.

For the curious, the route with profiles of the climbs etc - http://www.bikeorganisations.be/frans/165.htm

It's the Eddy Merckx ride here .. though I missed seeing the great man. He joins the 75 km ride, which was tempting to do just to be able to say "I rode with Eddy Merckx".

B
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Old 06-17-07, 03:08 PM
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Bing, outstanding ride! On this side of the pond, that would equate to a century with 10,500 feet of climbing. So, in my humble opinion, that's a great average for the trip. I'm training for my first century. If I finish the ride at all, I'll be happy. If I finish the ride with the same average you had, I think I would be doing cart wheels!
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Old 06-17-07, 03:58 PM
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Way to go! I've done a century before, but it didn't have anywhere near that much climbing. Well done!
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Old 06-17-07, 04:00 PM
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That sounds like jppe level madness!

Very impressive!
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Old 06-17-07, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bing181
OK, 7 hours 4 minutes. Anyway, for me, who 3 years ago could only just get round the local park, fabulous! It was an event-type ride here in the Belgian Ardennes, and I managed to even finish with about 100 riders behind me in the 45-54 age group.
Fabulous ride and great progress over the year. What bike did you use????
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Old 06-17-07, 11:23 PM
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Thanks for the responses ..

FWIW, I've found that on the day, you can do better than what you can in training or other riding. In other words, things just go up a notch. So, if you're training for a century, it'll come together fine if the basics are already there/covered. That's my experience anyway.

Re the climbing. Yes, it's a lot of climbing, but the point about it is that it's not one or two big climbs, it's 17 smaller ones. And that's the killer. I've done some big climbs (e.g. Mont Ventoux), and find them much easier (!) than the constant up/down of rides like this which I feel really knock you around. Also some of these climbs are very steep, with sections up around 20% at times, and it's hard to get that out of your legs.

Re the bike .. I have a Colnago CT1, titanium plus carbon front/rear. Came out a few years back, they don't make them anymore. It fits well, is comfortable (like steel, but slightly more springy) and has a kind of "go fast" feel about it that helps. I also have a very beautiful old Merckx steel bike, but it's 4 or 5 pound heavier and for rides like this, I prefer the Colnago. The Merckx is my long-distance cruise bike. This was a more serious ride than what I normally do (quite a few shaved legs!), and there was a lot of carbon about. My dream ride would be a Colnago C50 .. but I'm not quite there yet!

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Old 06-17-07, 11:46 PM
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Great performance and time. Keep up the good work and the reports coming. The pro cycling season is well underway in Europe and I suspect it is exciting for cyclists this time of year. The Tour de France is just around the corner. Good luck in future events.
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