eTape Caledonia 2014

very rare medal - only 5000 riders have this
very rare medal – only 5000 riders have this

So Chris Boardman was along at the event but I didn’t even know or wouldn’t have probably seen him as I was carrying my bike above my head trying to get into my starting heat past the 5000 so riders who had completely clogged up the road. I started in a heat 1 or 2 behind where I should have. I tore off and it was 40min before I decided that riding with a heart rate above 160bpm would probably ensure that i blew up at some point. I then started working with 3 other riders and making sure I was loading in the carbs ……

map of route
map of route

It was my longest ride ever but i loved it. there was a small sprint section thrown in for fun but i had no hope there as I just pulled off the front of the train as I saw the section start and my legs needed their 1 min recovery time at the back of the train. I also blew a small timed KOM section when my chain dropped off – amateur error DOH

stats from Strava
stats from Strava

I was chuffed at the end having averaged a smudge under 33km/h for the 4 hours it took me and best off all – I beat most of my friends (the doctor did 3h50 incl the time it took the rescue Mavic car to come replace his wives bike after she broke her seat post …) So I have left him off the chart below for being too fit and included Sir Chris Boardman instead who thrashed everyone …..

friends and a certain famous person
friends and a certain famous person

Doing the eTape Pennines one later in the summer which is supposed to be harder … so I better train for that one.


Sexism in Cycling – Stockton gets it very wrong

Stockton Council has withdrawn this leaflet for the Stockton Sportive following accusations of sexism. It’s apologised and will be producing a redesigned version. Hopefully not one that replaces reference to ‘shopping’ with ‘housework’:

• Former Team Raleigh rider Graham Briggs, now with Rapha Condor JLT, must be really pleased his picture has been used on this ….

Story HERE

Stockton Sportive flyer

What I did today – Graeme Obree Sportive 2013

Brilliant but you cant fool your legs if they dont have the miles in them


Screen Shot 2013-08-04 at 20.10.00


Join Graeme Obree on this friendly sportive weekend that is becoming a firm favourite of cycling enthusiasts across Scotland. The sportive course was chosen by Graeme and travels through a selection of roads which inspired him to get on his bike as a youth. There is a 10 mile family cycle on Saturday 3rd August with 48 and 68 mile sportive on Sunday 4th August.


The Graeme Obree Ayrshire Sportive Event Information

This will be the third year of the event and hopefully we can continue to grow the sportive and enable more cyclists to enjoy the spectacular, cycling friendly roads of Ayrshire. The Graeme Obree Ayrshire Sportive has established a reputation as a high quality event for cyclists looking to enjoy a challenging sportive event. The Graeme Obree Sportive is held some of Ayrshire’s rugged and beautiful countryside and benefits from sections run on the rural road network with light traffic. The course was chosen by Graeme and travels through a selection of roads which inspired him to get on his bike as a youth, a journey which eventually saw his rise to fame when he claimed the UCI World Hour record. Starting and finishing at Auchincruive SAC, the sportive infrastructure is comprehensive with full event signage, marshals, motorcycle escorts and police employed to assist the crossings at busy roads. Once the routes travel into the more remote locations the traffic is normally pretty light allowing cyclist to make the most and take the most from their sportive experience.

Date: Sunday 4th August 2013
Event location: Start & Finish at Auchincruive SAC, Ayr, KA6 5HW


48 mile route

Starting at Auchincruive the route heads south then south east looping out via Crosshill to Straiton. At Straition the route heads up over the Ayrshire moorland towards Dalmellington before routing back to Auchincruive SAC . This route has over 3000 feet of climbing across undulating terrain.

Click to view the 48 mile route:

68 mile route

Starting at Auchincruive and a challenge for the strongest riders with undulating, energy sapping roads and in excess of 5000 ft of climbing. Heading south via Crosshill, before tackling the climb of the Nick O’ The Balloch, followed by a long descent into Straiton. The route rejoins with the 48 mile route here going to Dalmellington, before turning north west and back towards Ayr.

Click to view the 68 mile route:

The Graeme Obree 2013 Ayrshire Sportive: General Information

  • 48 & 68 mile route options
  • Event H/Q with parking, toilets and showers
  • Electronic timing
  • Comprehensive route signage and marshals on all main junctions
  • NEG Motorcycle outriders
  • First aid support
  • Bike mechanics at Event HQ
  • Police assistance at main junctions (A70 & A713)
  • Food stations
  • Broom wagon

What are you doing Saturday

On the pretence of my half marathon the next day I am excused from doing this sportive – look at that elevation climb half way though – all together ‘easy as ….ouch’

90 miles – 9,600 ft of ascent

The route will take you east from Kinlochewe near beautiful Loch Maree to the wide canvass of Achnasheen and its surrounding hills. From there you head south on a fine new road down through Glen Carron to the sea at picturesque Lochcarron. Things get tough now as the road swings sharply upward for the main climb to Bealach-na-Ba.

The reward is great as a massive vista over the west coast and the Isle of Skye opens before you as you plunge down to sea level again at Applecross. The hard work is not over as the next section around the north of the peninsula has hardly any flat as it clings to the coast, past rocky cliffs and sandy coves. This is country rarely visited by the tour buses. Finally you pass the charming village of Sheildaig nestling in the shelter of its loch and the final section begins. Weary legs will be revived through rugged Glen Torridon overshadowed by the massive craggy bulk of Liatach and its sisters on the famous ridge. Finally, relief is at hand with a gentle descent back to the finish at Kinlochewe.


Obree sportive 2012

I feel tired as I type this

more so than I should after a 109km cycle …. I blame the fact that my bike still has too many white bits on it and also the fact that I gave blood on Thursday …… Well I was more curious on the affect of giving blood so I googled it ….

An article in Omega Cycling by Dr P A Lambeti (MBBcH), said, in part: “A study has been done looking at the effects of blood donation on exercise
performance in competitive cyclists. This study evaluated 10 male cyclists before and after phlebotomy (donating blood), to determine the effect of donation of one unit of
blood on exercise performance. Each subject underwent maximal exercise testing with oxygen consumption measurement at baseline, 2 hours after phlebotomy, 2 days after
phlebotomy, and 7 days after phlebotomy. The results found that maximal performance was decreased for at least one week and that submaximal performance was unaffected by blood donation.
Thus, if you are a competitive cyclist, do not donate blood within 7 – 10 days of a competitive race, as your performance will be compromised. If you are a casual cyclist
performing submaximally, you may not experience any deleterious effects apart from a higher heart rate than normal from the day after donating.”
Monster facts. Also 150,000 people faint or feel faint after giving blood each year.

So there you have it – if I hadn’t given blood I might have been a minute or so quicker.

readout of gps on endomondo

To the event … Graeme Obree is the most famous Scottish cyclist not plauded enough for his achievements … The breaker of the hour record, the inventor of the superman and the prone position both subsequently banned by the UCI. He now runs an annual sportive which takes place in his native ayrshire. This year was the first time I entered and the event was fantastic. A great course taking in 3 smooth climbs with great descents. The sportive was also fantastically marshalled and signposted so I was over the moon. My only downside was the fact the polar RCX5 heart rate monitor ran out of memory due to the fact I forgot to delete all the old records and the memory was nearly full when I set off.

Graeme in the spirit of the sportive cycles the whole course at around 22kmh in order to chat to people … I passed him on an uphill and he shouted an encouraging ‘good climbing’ I said thanks in reply but had I known it was the man god himself I would have slowed to chat.

Well maybe next year …. Watch the film the flying Scotsman then come and take part.