Posts Tagged ‘jonny’



I got my ass kicked twice this weekend by some very fast riders.

The Phoenix club ride started brisk and was full-on during the third hour. We started as 10 and finished as 8. I just about stayed in contention, but only just. Here’s my HR graph:

Phoenix club graph

Phoenix club graph

Monday’s ride was billed as a ‘social’ with some mates of Jonny‘s who have recently formed their own race team. The ‘Acuto‘ squad was 9-strong on the day, all clad in brand-new lycra team livery, and composed of an ex-pro, several current or former 2nd-cat racers, and this guy, a professional triathlete and xterra competitor. I was the incongruous tenth man in my Mornflake flouro kit.

To be fair I was on the pace for the first couple of hours, as we took a familiar route from Cobham over Shere and down to Ewhurst, easily the fastest I’ve ever ridden it. Then the speed began to hurt, and I was dropped on Leith Hill. It was in a way a fortuitous accident that after we went through Peaslake and began to head home, I took a wrong turn that landed me back in Ewhurst. I radio’d in, then bailed, riding across to Leith Hill (again) then over Coldhardbour to take a train from Dorking.

The moral of the story is, I need to ride with these guys more often. I had a really interesting chat with a guy on my Regent’s Park spin on Saturday, who told me he was a big believer in quality over quantity, and that 90 mins at 20 mph would be more valuable than 5 hrs at 16 mph (although he accepted that for events like La Marmotte there was no such thing as too many miles).

Pre-Whitton training weekend

A double-whammy weekend between the Prince’s Risborough sportive and the Fred Whitton Challenge, which is now looming very large indeed.

After a good recovery after the PRS, I went long with Jonny on Saturday, from Richmond Park, out to Effingham, across to Box Hill, down to Rusper, back up to Capel, down the Pyrenean, over to Ewhurst, then up and over to Shere and back to Richmond Park again (and from there to North London). 6hrs 30 in total.

On Sunday I was up at 5.30am for the London Phoenix club ride. My legs were pretty tired, and the pace of the ride was quick – basically my usual sportive speed – so I think I was lucky to only get dropped once, on a tough undulating section about 3/4 of the way along the route (which was a variation of the Finchley – Knebworth loop I rode a few weeks back). There were 8 of us, all useful. We had one puncture between us, normally an annoyance but on this occasion a very welcome respite!

Sportive poster-boy


Check it out. The home page currently offers a photo of me pseudo-toasting Jonny in the Puncheur.

While we’re on the subject, I have a couple of suggestions for Mr Phil O’Connor of Sportive Photo. No quibble with the quality of the photography, excellent event coverage, reliable web interface, very fast processing times. But £7.50 for a digital download? It’s too expensive – all I want is to email my Mum and post on this blog. 

This is how I would price images in this scenario:

  • lo-res (600px longest edge) digital download: £3
  • hi-res digital download: £6
  • all hi-res rider photos from single event zipped for download: £25

Printed image prices are fine, as is the bill for burning all images to CD (£30), which clearly takes time.  

But I do think Phil’s pricing misses a trick in deterring the casual digital downloader. I would happily have paid a tenner for a few lo-res files from each event (3 so far this year) – but I won’t pay £22.50. At that price I can handle the watermarks.

Epsom +distance

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Rode this one today with Jonny. 54 miles, we did it in 4-5 hrs including a couple of breaks. I felt fine after the short layoff, but ate badly so bonked twice. Had to refuel in Peaslake (chicken samosa, ham sandwich). Really need to remember to eat more in the first 60-90 mins of riding, and not wait until 90 mins before having a banana. Sloppy eating = bonk. Believe.

HRMax once again set to 150, I rode Box Hill at a steady 160, although hit 164 at one point.

It’s good to be back though. This week I booked La Marmotte and the Ventoux – Beaumes de Venise sportive in early June. No better time to remember that I have legs and need to use them.