RideLondon Reconnaissance Ride (And How I Accidentally Rode my First Metric Century)

How steep is Leith Hill
Leith Hill – the RideLondon route comes down this side (I think…)

Grimpeur is in pain. My knee is killing me. I’ll explain why in a bit.

The purpose of this post is to provide a bit more intelligence on the RideLondon route, specifically the two main climbs up Leith Hill and Box Hill.

You may have seen that I already wrote a post on the RideLondon route (if you didn’t, then you can read it here).

Read moreRideLondon Reconnaissance Ride (And How I Accidentally Rode my First Metric Century)

Cycling to Lose Weight: How One Man Lost 6 Stone by Cycling (More Than a Third of His Bodyweight!)

In today’s post I am delighted to feature an interview with Mark Hammond.

Mark, writing as Velopixie, maintains a blog about his road cycling escapades, which you can find here.

Er, wait a minute, who is Mark exactly?

Well, like many of us, Mark is a keen cyclist and sportive rider.

Like probably fewer of us, this year he is signed up for the Etape du Tour, RideLondon and the 206km Dragon Ride Gran Fondo. Last year he turned 50.

So far, so within the normal spectrum of activities for a keen road cyclist.

But what makes Mark’s story worth reading is that over the course of 2012 he lost a whopping 6 stone, as a result of exercise (primarily road cycling) and changes to his diet.

Read moreCycling to Lose Weight: How One Man Lost 6 Stone by Cycling (More Than a Third of His Bodyweight!)

Best cycle app: Strava or MapMyRide?

I like to look at maps. I like to plan routes. I am quite obsessed with knowing where I have been.

Not all who wander are lost

JRR Tolkien

When I first moved to London, I used to walk excessive distances on a weekend, taking delight in piecing together seemingly disjointed sections of the tube map, beginning to understand how it all fitted together.

I also like data (to a degree – nothing against stats nerds, but I’m not one).

One of my first purchases after getting my road bike (to commute on, primarily), after the obligatory lights, locks and helmet, was a cycle computer. I wanted to know how far I’d been and how fast I’d travelled (or not, as the case may be).

When I upgraded to my next cycle computer (a Polar CS200), I fastidiously logged in to the Polar website at the conclusion of each commute, in order to record each data point it had captured during the pothole- and profanity-strewn ride.

I never logged cadence though, since this is a mythical piece of data that no human-built machine is capable of sensing or recording. I digress.

Cycling apps on a smartphone (in my case a labouring iPhone 3GS) were made for me.

Read moreBest cycle app: Strava or MapMyRide?

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: http://www.flickr.com/people/52408222@N08/
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/people/[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: feel the fear and do it anyway

RideLondon fears concerns
Source: freeimages.co.uk

As I contemplate the RideLondon 100, I have some concerns. Some of these concerns verge on being full-blown fears.

Maybe you’re in the same boat, as you look forward to RideLondon or another long distance sportive ride (if you haven’t done so, read my analysis of the RideLondon 100 route).

In this post, I will try to turn this general sense of disquiet into a specific set of concerns, each of which I can confront and prepare for. In doing so, not only will I allay my fears, but I will also identify those factors that will contribute to a strong performance (and maximum enjoyment) on the day.

An aggregation of marginal gains you say? If it’s good enough for Sir Dave of Brailsford….

Read moreRideLondon: feel the fear and do it anyway

RideLondon 100 Route: Detailed Guide For Riders

RideLondon Guide button

*** UPDATE: You can read “The Ultimate Guide To RideLondon”, a collection of pretty much all the information I’ve written on the blog to help YOU make the most of your RideLondon experience – click here to read the post or finish reading this one and follow the link at the bottom ***

In this post we’ll take a detailed look at the route of the RideLondon-Surrey 100, which takes place each year at the end of July or the start of August. From my previous posts (such as this one and this one), you’ll know that I’ll be participating.

I’ve plotted the course using bikehike.co.uk. I’ve included some screen grabs, including various sections of the course as well as elevation and gradient charts.

RideLondon-Surrey 100 route
The full RideLondon-Surrey 100 route

If people are interested (let me know in the comments box below), I will attempt to upload the TCX file to the site, which you should then be able to download and manipulate as you see fit.

Read moreRideLondon 100 Route: Detailed Guide For Riders

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

If you only read one cycling post today: my top 6 beautiful bike-related websites

Cycling is a many varied and wonderful thing. Today’s post aims to introduce you to some of the great bike-related blogs and websites that I peruse on a regular basis.

I know. Some of you read my cycling blog because you know me and you want to find out what I’m up to. You may only have a passing interest in cycling or perhaps no interest at all. This post is for you as well.

Maybe you are more interested in design or photography or beautiful clothing. If you are, then take a look below.

Read moreIf you only read one cycling post today: my top 6 beautiful bike-related websites

RideLondon 100 and a thought on training motivation

So you will no doubt see plenty on this blog about my preparation for RideLondon (or RideLondon-Surrey 100 to give its full, rather catchy title).

After initially failing to secure a place in the ballot, I’ve been offered a place by Macmillan, the cancer support charity, to ride (and raise money) for them. I have a very strong personal reason for supporting this charity, which I’ll share in due course.

In the meantime, the purpose of this post was to ask a question (which may turn out to be rhetorical if no one responds). Please bear with me during the ‘set up’.

Read moreRideLondon 100 and a thought on training motivation