My New Year Resolution: To Help YOU Complete Your First Sportive

In the UK we are being torn apart by storms of biblical proportions. In the US, the Midwest is dealing with a ‘polar vortex’ (definition: a lot of snow).

It seems appropriate, therefore, that my attention turns to bike riding. Bike riding of a sportive nature.

Specifically, my thoughts have turned to how I am going to help you (yes, YOU!) prepare for and complete your first sportive.

(If you’ve already done a sportive, I’ll help you with your next (harder! faster! longer!) sportive).

And how am I going to do that, you ask (anxiously). Read on Macfroomedog*…

Read moreMy New Year Resolution: To Help YOU Complete Your First Sportive

How To Choose Your Next Sportive (And Actually Complete It)

In this post I give some tips on how to select your next sportive event.

If you’ve never ridden a sportive, but you’d like to, this guide should help you select the right one to start with – one that you’ll finish, enjoy, and which can lead on to bigger and better (longer and higher) things.

This guide should also provide advice if you’ve done one or two sportives but you want to take things to the next level. I give some thoughts on how to push yourself, without going crazy…

If you’ve already done loads of sportives before, some of this may seem like teaching grandmother to suck inner tubes. Feel free to ignore if you wish, or you can always keep on reading and leave your own advice in the comments below.

Read moreHow To Choose Your Next Sportive (And Actually Complete It)

Cycling In Majorca and a ‘Miraculous’ Recovery

You might have noticed a distinct lack of new posts from the Grimpeur over the past 10 days. The reason? Like Bradley Wiggins, I’ve been on a mid-season training camp in Majorca. Or as my wife calls it, our family summer holiday.

The holiday was an extended family affair. As well as Les Petits Grimpeurs (?!), we also had my parents, and my sister and her fiancé along for the ride.

I’ll admit, I exerted Merckx-iavellian influence to ensure that we went to a cycle-friendly location and booked my bike hire a good four weeks before arranging the rental car, but I didn’t truly expect to have the opportunity to do lots of training.

My persistent knee problems, which I talked about in my posts about buying a new bike and undertaking a professional bike fit, have tended to prevent consistent blocks of training. Despite having rented a bike for 8 of the 10 days of our holiday, I anticipated maybe 2 or 3 rides, with knee-enforced rest in between.

How wrong I was. And, thankfully, wrong in a good way.

Read moreCycling In Majorca and a ‘Miraculous’ Recovery

Do You Need a Cycling Coach?

I am in no doubt that employing a cycling coach would lead to an exponential improvement in my performance on the bike. Yet, whilst I frequently consider hypothetical scenarios for spending thousands of pounds to ‘build out’ my portfolio of bikes, I have tended to dismiss coaching as being too expensive or in some way not for me.

Today’s post comes in the form of guest submission from professional cyclist and coach Tomás Metcalfe. Tomás is going to present the case for why recreational riders should consider employing a cycling coach. If you want more information, or to contact Tomás, his website is at

Without further ado, over to Tomás.

Read moreDo You Need a Cycling Coach?

Where To Find Cycling Training Plan Information

cycling training plan

There is only so much progress you can make in your quest for cycle fitness simply by riding further and for longer.

At a certain point, your training will need to become more structured and specific, if you want to maximise your performance at whatever cycling challenge you have set yourself (and by ‘your’, I of course mean ‘my’).

In this post I will identify the resources that you can use either to find a suitable training plan (be that prêt-à-porter or bespoke) or, alternatively, to learn the fundamentals of training, such that you can attempt to build your own.

Read moreWhere To Find Cycling Training Plan Information

Grimpeur’s RideLondon Training Update: February – mid-March

Hill training (although this is Ecuador rather than Kent)
Hill training (although this is Ecuador rather than Kent)

Readers of my blog will know that I talk a good game. I’ve talked about the cycling event that I’m doing. I’ve analysed the route. I’ve talked a bit about how I’ve broken the challenge down into its constituent parts.

But where, you might ask, is the evidence that I’ve actually DONE anything?

Motivation this, crippling fears that. That’s all fine, but we all need to train for whatever cycling challenge we are undertaking (well I do at least).

What training have I done? Well, I’m going to tell you. In this post. Perhaps the title gave it away.

Read moreGrimpeur’s RideLondon Training Update: February – mid-March

A GUARANTEED way to make sure you commit to the bike in 2013

Credit:[email protected]/

It’s March and the weather is improving (supposedly).

You’re considering getting the bike out of the garage/shed/cupboard.

(What, you mean you haven’t spent the winter amassing base miles and doing interval sessions on the turbo trainer?)

Now that you’ve got the bike all ready to go, do you want a surefire way to avoid the ‘its slightly damp, I’ll stay inside’ attitude?

Of course you do.

And the good news is that it is can be achieved in 3 EASY STEPS:

Read moreA GUARANTEED way to make sure you commit to the bike in 2013

RideLondon: the journey starts here

RideLondon-Surrey 100
Looking forward to getting a lot of wear out of this

I am now officially signed up to RideLondon. As I said in this post, I have a place to ride with Macmillan, the cancer support charity, on the proviso that I raise a lot of money for them.

The event (which is now called the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100) takes place on Sunday 4th August.  This is a 163 days away, which starts to sound quite worrying.

Read moreRideLondon: the journey starts here