Posts Tagged ‘londonphoenix’

Maratona dles Dolomites

mar21

Photograph copyright PatitucciPhoto.

Now this looks like a promising option for 2010: a well-run continental sportive that will be quick without being grotesquely hard – and which can be extended into a sweet summer Euro-trip. And the Maratona website actually looks pretty good, unlike some big cycling-event organisations I could mention.

It’s on.

Read the London Phoenix ride report from this year.

(The above image is displayed courtesy of PatitucciPhoto, who specialise in outdoor and adventure sports photography. You can view a full gallery of their images from this year’s Maratona on Dolomite Sport.)

Toast

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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).

Back on it

Around town in DC.

Around town in DC.

I went to Washington DC last week for a holiday. In summary, DC (at least the bits I visited) is very touristy, very stars ‘n’ stripes, really quite artificial – and frankly, kinda dull.

Wary of packing on pounds from potato chips, beer and desserts, during the week I put in a couple of token workouts in the hotel gym. Actually, the main purpose of these was not to burn calories but to warm up then have a good stretch – walking around town all day made my feet sore and my whole trunk and legs very stiff. Sightseeing and shopping are alike in this respect: they both cause fatigue without gratification.

I must have picked up some bug mid-week, because I was suffering on the flight home (I also got drunk Thursday night which didn’t help). By the time I landed at Heathrow, my body felt like a sack. 

Miraculously, however, I have turned the situation around. I had Friday off, then did 6 laps of Regent’s Park yesterday, followed by 3 hours hard this morning with London Phoenix. And now I feel fine, much less worried about the forthcoming Ventoux sportive…

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!

London Phoenix

I joined London Phoenix Cycle Club just before the Japan trip. The Phoenix has an (I believe) 80-strong membership spread around London, has regular socials, an AGM, and a great website with a very active members’ forum. Because the club’s members are scattered around the city, it can’t organise regular local rides – so if you want to head out, you just scan the forum posts and hook up with a group in an area that suits you. My big club debut is yet to come – and judging by yesterday’s performance, it may be a while… 

The forum is probably worth the £20 membership fee alone. It’s got a firmly competitive slant, so it’s great for picking up tips about training, kit and events.

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