With London Marathon long behind me I am now three weeks into my next training plan for the London Prudential 100 aka a 100 mile bike ride in on day that I won a ballot place for. The plan is one I got out of the magazine they send to cyclists who had won ballot places and consists of cycling 5 days a week.
So far my training rides have been a combination of cycling around Manchester and near my parents house. I’ve also started going to a spinning class once a week and do some miles on the spin bike in the gym when I’m struggling for time mid week.
The training in general compared to the marathon has been a lot more effort. The shortest time of a training ride is an hour compared to my shortest training run which was half an hour. Then the bike rides jump up to 2-3 hours so it’s generally taking up more time. Another thing is finding routes is a lot more difficult. You have to go a lot further on a bike to get the miles in which definitely testing my south Manchester knowledge.
Finally the last thing that is frustrating when training for a bike ride is the gear. Firstly, I don’t like wearing a helmet as I think it makes it quite difficult to guess whether I’m a boy or a girl not that that really matters. Secondly is the fact that you need a bike to get in the training, meaning training during lunchtimes at work isn’t really an option and as I live in a flat, I have to take my bike up and down the stairs every time I go out.
Thirdly my bike itself is frustrating as I don’t think it’s the best bike in the world which doesn’t make it easy, which isn’t really an issue when running and even if your shoes are rubbish you can get a new pair for £60. When you need to get a decent bike you’re looking at spending £300 which is a lot. My bike has had a problem with the gears recently so I took it into a bike shop today to see if they could sort it out. The guy fiddled with the gears a bit and looked like he did something that made it smoother when changing gears, will have to see if it’s improved on tomorrows bike ride.
I also asked this man what he thought of my bike. It’s a second hand bike I got for my birthday last year and I really like it, but others are less keen. The gears are on the bar rather than the brakes, which I liked because it was different from everyone else’s but does make it a bit difficult when changing gears quickly. Also my bike is a mans bike and apparently my seat was pointing up for some reason and the top bar is a bit too long for me. So the guy moved my seat forward and when I asked him if it would be worth investing in this bike to make it better he basically said no. It was at this point where I was very tempted to say ‘you don’t have these problems when you’re a runner’ but he didn’t seem the type to appreciate a running joke.