Monday, May 29, 2006

The hard yards

Congrats to cousin Sophie, Nik and Nina for enlarging their family by the Power of Harry!

Les and I have discovered that we can ride our bikes around the dining table in the living room and through the kitchen (which has two doors) without putting foot to the ground. It's a bit tight, especially on my bike, but it can be done and it relieves the boredom. Not that we've been really bored for the last three weeks. He's going back to Oz on Wednesday, so I'll have to do it on my own.

I've decided to get back into some more serious training, as my wrist has improved quite a lot in the last week. I think I did the same number of kilometres on the weekend as I did during the entire week before last, with the expected result (hit the wall on Sunday). Saturday was with the bunch (see previous bilge post), then for some reason on Sunday, I decided to do the Berchem ride. Never mind that it was one of the busiest weekends of the year with over 40 UCI races on, and I'd gone to sleep at 1:00am the previous night. But I woke up bright and early at 6:00am Sunday, which may or may not have had something to do with Les plus one returning home at around that time.

Anyway, I haven't done 170km for a while, and I knew it would hurt after a hard ride on Saturday. And 'Snelle Eddy' is fit at the moment. We had about eight of us left after Tournai, then Piet Stevens took a shortcut before Lahamaide and proceeded to set a hard tempo up that climb. At the top, he dropped off and there were only four of us: moi, Snelle Eddy, Versmessen, and Guy Callens. The usual suspects, except for Guido, who didn't make it over Lahamaide.

After that, it was mostly Eddy and I swapping off, and I hoped that he wouldn't drill us too hard on the finishing climbs, which were at least into a headwind. No such luck, and that was probably a good thing as far as my training is concerned. Firstly past the Chapel, he dug in and we had to bite the handlebars to hang on. Then the same on the next one just after, up to Quatre Vents. I pretty much had nothing left after that.

The other two were wise to sit on, except Guy Callens couldn't figure out how to get his chain back on at the top of the false flat before the Hotonde (we said just shift into the small ring). We waited, but he ended up stopping, so we continued. Then I ended up having chain/gear issues on the Hotonde, as I was trying to find a gear to follow Eddy in. After several attempts to get it into the 53x21 (it only wanted the 23 or 19), my legs suddenly and completely gave up, and Versmessen and Geert d'Hondt (who'd taken a shortcut) blithely sprinted around me and back onto Eddy's wheel. Don't ask me who won the sprint.

Well, I nearly made it, and the slow ride home only required one coke at Oudenaarde, so that was OK. We did the 80 km in 2:13, which is quick enough for that course, and I finished up with 170km and 4000 calories burned. Given there's between 100 and 200 calories in a beer, that's a good day's work.

Here's a thought for a Challenge: Try and replace all your calories burned by drinking beer, and see how far you get before passing out.


Rosa said...

Where is the fairplay from the shortcut riders (as a fresh man taking the lead uphill)???? And the others who had profit…
After the 2 climbs in Wodecq I closed the gap from 30 sec to 15 sec but than the turn to Flobecq, headwind and no help from Ritten, otherwise…
We (Ritten and I) where very pissed off!!!
(mijn wraak zal zoet zijn – in other words: wait for the payback)

als straftraining en uit noodzaak gisteren dan maar 1h30 op piste gaan rijden

Jeff Jones said...

I agree, but we all had the opportunity to profit! If it hadn't have been Piet, it would have been Eddy at the same tempo (or harder). He was the driver on Sunday, I can tell you.

Anyway, payback is what cycling is all about. I'm sure you'll be hurting us again. Next week, I hope I can do a bit more as well.

Geen piste voor mij. 40 km easy, en dan 130 km vandaag in het wisselvallig weer. I'll be back.

Rosa said...

It’s not quite the same, especially when you now Stevens is gone take a shortcut again after La Hamaide. Eddy is the strongest (‘n klasse beter), no doubt about it, but when Eddy take's the lead kan ik meer ‘bijten’, ‘n coureur rijdt op de moral…
Or maby I’m just to old ( en dat zal misschien wel de exacte verklaring zijn…)

Gisteren terug 1h30 op piste (and that’s all for these week), godverdomds rotweer

The Wizard of Oz goed vertrokken, hopelijk met wat biervoorraad?

Jeff Jones said...

True, and I'm surprised Stevens did that. Strange way to train.

I'm also going to clarify my definition of "old" to 63, as that was the exact age of the driver who hit us. Therefore, most of us are safe from being called old. But "too old for this" is a different matter!

Les did indeed leave after having sampled a lot of Belgian beer. He packed up on Tuesday night, then disappeared at midnight for one last trip up to the student quarter. He has promised to come back too! Wij zullen zien.