22 Feb


The end of another week and Strava tells me that I have not cycled huge numbers of ks this week but my knees tell me something else  – http://app.strava.com/athletes/cgurney.

Still on the wagon however, so not all bad – in fact something of a record.

This weekend, I have high hopes for a couple of hours of hill training  – out with the Dulwich Paragon boys and girls on a ride to somewhere called Elmos end followed by reps??

No  idea what this means but I’m to bring a spare tube and some knee warmers  – all sounds very weird.

As we get closer to the day – only two months away,  I find mysel emailing the “Bike Whisperer” – I kid you not.  Apparently he can diagnose problems with technique and fix them with the aid of a shim or two!!!

After consulting the cycling fraternity, it would appear that I have a mechanical problem with with my left leg, nothing as serious as Oscar Pistorius of course but non the less, one that is seriously impeding my progress.  There you have it – It’s official – I am at a disadvantage. Anyway, Mr. Whisperer is confident that it can be fixed.  Appointment booked so I’ll let you know.

Weather wise – very chilly sleet in fact.

Next week, training begins properly.


Week 6

Pulled a muscle! This could potentially indicate an increased level of exercise, but was actually in an effort to catch a slice of toast before it landed butter side down. I didn’t, it did… Frankly it serves me right for trying to multi-task and make coffee at the same time… Lyulf, showing a surprising amount of empathy for a six year old, was forthcoming with a massage and added a whole new level of pain – still, on the bright side, that is my shoulder and it is legs that are needed on a bike and an hour was spent grinding a high gear on the turbo trainer. So the week :

  • On Strava – 62ish miles
    • 14 with a child on-board
    • Includes 5 ascents of swains lane
  • Off Strava – 3.9 miles
  • Turbo trainer – 65 minutes at high gear
  • Diet, drink and drugs – All pretty good, but still having to fight the flab and battle the bottle…
  • Weight – hid the scales and made a note to get a more trustworthy set.
  • General fitness – Coming out of the back end of two weeks of man flu so feel great. In the context of a bloody great hill, I quickly need to accept the enormity of the challenge and do some work

14th Feb

Today, the Tuffcall team made three ascents of Swains Lane and in the process created a new Strava segment.  Strava is a great app. for highlighting just how bad you are compared to other cyclists.  


This has broken new ground in the team’s training – never before has such hill climbing been attempted.  Three ascents is approximately 3k, so only another 25 to go.

On the way down according to to the excellent gadget purchase, I clocked a tad under 55km/h  which is about 37mph.  Time to buy a cycle hat me thinks. I dont fancy being scalped should I have a mishap.

On the downside, gears are playing up so time for a tinkle.


Having looked at strava, apparently a widget can be embedded into these postings so I can show you our progress.  There has been talk that we spend all our time blogging and don’t actually ride our bikes.  Do we even have bikes has been mooted?

Well, I can assure you we do.  There is even a sprinkling of lycra appearing on our rides, which is a sure sign we are getting serious or thinner.


Tomorrow, four ascents are planned (mmmmm) and over the weekend I intend to vary my training by sweeping the Herne Hill Velodrome.





Another week…

…goes by, another week closer to the event.

Cavendish wins his second GC and Armstrong’s habitual drug use still hogs the headlines.

Doping, frankly what is the point? If you are going to do drugs you may as well make it enjoyable…

Personally I have been banging the antibiotics and cold and flu Nurofen and, annoyingly, seemed to have developed a supplementary burst of man flu and tooth ache to boot. For the ride itself I am planning on lots of SiS powder to help me up the slopes – hopefully not in an impression of Tommy Simpson!

On the bright side, I think that coughing your lungs up on the side of the road equates to weight loss!

Despite illness, the week looked like this:

  • Strava miles – 65.2
    • 13 with child on-board (+3 stone)
    • Includes 3 ascents of Highgate
  • Off Strava – 3.9
  • Turbo trainer – Looks good folded, unfortunately, did not make the unfolded state, although tempted to do an hour after this
  • Diet / Drink – Feeding a cold you know
  • Weight – Did not check, yet still fit into my trousers…
  • General fitness – Is a very nice idea

This coming week the aim is to do 3 ascents of Highgate in one hit – to put this in context, the actual climb is 28 x Highgate Hill. In short, that is pretty scary and I need to do some serious training.

Quick update

8th Feb

Gadgets are great – The Garmin was successfully installed and I’ve discovered all about cadence and max heart rate.

Cadence is the number of times your legs spin per minute, preferably whilst pedalling.  It good to spin, especially uphill which is where I’ll be going in a couple of months. I’ve consulted my friends at the Dulwich Paragon and the way to do big climbs is to spin.  This translates to – when going uphill, keep pedalling, preferably quite quickly. The theory is fine.  Apparently, anything less than 60 rpm is not to be encouraged.

Heart rate.  The great garmin, also lets me know my heart rate.  When I am wheezing uphill and trying not to feint, it  bleeps and shows about 180.  This is probably my max although I could probably get to 190.

Presumably I should not maintain this level of effort for any length of time otherwise, it will probably reach 210 and then I will in all likelihood   go bang!

So, armed with my max heart rate, what next? – No idea. Do I aim to train at a  lower level? Hard if I’m constantly going up hill.

Anyway, this week, managed two  ascents of Swains Lane earlier in the week, hence the 180 heart rate, followed by a quick dash up said hill today. To.day was not without incident. The Garmin had a flat battery so the record breaking ascent could not be tracked and I fell off mid climb.  Knocked off would be more accurate as a car nudged me whilst climbing uphill.  Suffice to say, no damage apart from a small dent in my knee.

Next week’s challenge is three ascents.

My immediate challenge is to find a riad that will acccomadate two bikes two riders and their demands for post race beer.

A question to all the followers of the blog – Does anyone know what the road from Marrakech to Ouka , especially the surface is like.  Can I use my slicks (all I have) or do I need to consider grippier tyres (hope not)?

Also, what is the temperature going to be like – Long sleeves, wooly jumper, parka etc or short sleeves and flip flops.