There is now only a couple of weeks left until the London Prudential 100 bike ride. I can’t believe how quickly it has come around although when I think about how long the training has lasted for I guess I can believe it.
Since my last blog post about being halfway through my training I definately feel like I’ve improved and I’ve started to enjoy cycling a lot more. My new bike has made a huge difference. Having a granny ring has made me not fear hills anymore and having the gears on the handle bars makes it a lot easier to change gear. I think the secret to bike riding is gear selection which comes with practice and not having your gears on your top bar.
I’ve been pushing myself over the past week to prepare myself for the ride. After researching the route I had a slight panic about the hills. I’ve spoke to quite a few people who have already done the London 100 and they say that the route is easy. However a number of these people did the ride last year where the weather was horrendous so the hills were cut out.
I’ve YouTubed Box Hill and Leith Hill and they look pretty tough although it is hard to judge a hill from a video, particularly when you don’t know how capable the cyclist filming is. The elevation profile for the route online says that there is 1,348 m elevation gain which is over 4,000 feet. Although it’s over 100 miles the 75 mile bike ride I did last week which I felt had significant climbs was 2,800 ft elevation gain. So an additional potential 1,200ft will be waiting for us in London on the 2nd August if the figures I’ve found are correct.
I have been tackling a couple of hills more recently though. My previous weeks of bike training have largely involved avoiding hills at all costs. But after my first attempt up a whooping hill a few weeks ago on my new bike and being told that it’s similar to one of the climbs we will be facing on the 100 route I decided that I need to get up some hills ASAP.
The first hill I managed to get up was the one going into the office which is a 2 mile slog with a steep bit at the end. With my new bike and a bit more confidence I made it. Then I attacked the second big hill on my 75 mile ride and with a slower pace I made it up there too. It definitely makes it easier once you have a few hills in your back pocket. I’m now able to say if you can make it up that hill you can make it up this one.
Concerning the hills on the bike ride I’m not massively worried as there’s no point getting wound up about it. I feel like I’m preparing myself as well as possible and I have to believe in myself that I can do it. To quote my Dad he said ‘Yeh there was one hill which took me a bit by suprise’ when he did the full route two years ago. I’m now expecting the worst and hopefully I’ll be nicely surprised on the day.
Thoughts from this week:
- I haven’t ran in so long I’m beginning to think I’ve forgotten how to do it
- I will not miss carrying my bike up and down from the flat
- Going to the south of France next week
- I am only 23 for another week
- Want to watch American History X