This July i’m doing a charity bike ride from Wellington to the top of the North Island of new Zealand which is roughly 1100 km in length. These updates are a measure of training progression as well as updates on general stuff like planning and preparing. The ride itself will take 7 days to achieve and it will also require a lot of money in order to do so. New tubes, new tires and plenty of chamois cream. For those of you who don;t know what chamois cream is it’s when you apply an ointment to your backside because cycling is a pain on the ass. So whats new?
Since our last catch up, I have begun my training in preparation for the gradual increase in general fitness and a super increase in long distance bike riding. Since our last catch up, I’ve made a few purchases in equipment. Such as including new lights to see better during late night rides, and also a new bike computer which will better help my training and allow me to track my progress via Strava.
The main key differences I have to report include:
- My first week of training, which I will outline down below.
- New gears.
So how’s the training coming along?
So my first week I managed to ride just above 200 km or around 110 miles. After riding four times during the mid-week. If you would like a more specific analysis you can visit my Strava account Here.
It’s always so interesting to see how hilly Wellington is. The majority of people who visit, including me, usually assume Wellington to be quite flat when in reality it is a really hilly city. Over my first week of training, I found that there were a lot of hard hills lying nearby the main city. Which hurt like hell! The majority of the time my riding style is actually closer adjusted to climbing because I can find more of a rhythm as opposed to flat sections where you are very heavily affected by what the wind is doing. My biggest concern to do with riding hills is my gearing ratio because it is adjusted more to suit racing conditions on a flat circuit as opposed to climbing steep hills. So although I enjoy riding hills it’s actually really tough on my knees because I’m constantly grinding a gear not designed to be climbed on. My aim is to purchase a new set of gears to justify the climbs and make it easier for myself to ride up steep hills.
But that probably doesn’t interest you too much so let’s talk about something else. I’ve been exploring all over the place around Wellington and through the Hutt City. I actually crashed last night after a car sideswiped my front wheel and then splitting off into the gutter. Thankfully there were no major injuries but the whole event could have easily been avoided if the driver was paying a bit more attention. Which is another thing I’ve forgotten to mention, Wellington drivers suck! I’ve had buses try and cut me off, I’ve had motorists coming inches from pushing me into a rock wall, there was an incident last night when some crazy lady stuck her head out her window and curse at me for existing. It has been an interesting experience that’s for sure.
Last week I went and visited my Aunt who lives about 40 km’s outside of the city in Titahi Bay. Always good to be surprised by a big hug and a nice serving of chicken chow Mein, not so good to ride home on. I found a really infamous road cycling hill climb nearby called The Makara Hill which in itself felt like my bike was giving birth, was a real struggle that’s for damn sure. Along the rides, I’ve made friendly with my local bike shop who has fitted my bike out to suit my needs and have given me plenty of tips on where to go and what to do. So I’ll be interested in starting riding with them soon.
As for gears, I’ve brought a new bike computer which measures every single feature that is needed for my training. With it, I also bought a new Heart Rate Monitor because for the life of me I have no idea where my one went. Training with heart rate gives me another gauge into understanding how my performance is going. Using Strava takes that one step further by comparing all of my data as well as giving me an estimated power output during my rides. SO it’s really interesting to see how that all falls into place. I am still looking at either buying or borrowing a power meter to use along the ride because power is a tremendous measurement of effort and by training with power measurements I’ll be better equipped to understand how much energy I can distribute throughout my tour of the north island. There will be days of long arduous climbing while other days they will be spent travelling really long distances. So striking it at the core and saying that it’s more important to knuckle down and get there on time versus resting up because I have a seventeen hour day ahead of me are efforts that are measurable using a power meter over just using your regular heart rate monitor and a cadence/speed sensor.
On top of buying a new computer, I also fitted my bike with a pair of new road lights which are USB rechargeable. The front light is pretty powerful and shines at 350 Lm which is appropriate in open road conditions with nothing to see. The rear light is measurable at around 50 Lm and is more suited so drivers can see me on the road.
In general, training has started off really well. I’m surprised how much I’ve actually learnt in one week in regards to taking the right amount of water and a little bit of food. Making sure that I rest on time every week and that it’s not a case of kilometre loading, yet. Also a matter of taking the right clothes which are warm enough, and playing the winds so that it makes for a safer and more enjoyable ride. It will be interesting how I convert these miles into tangible gradual changes to get to the stage where I could safely say that I could ride 1100km but in the meantime, I will just have to settle for the time that I have outside of my study to do these rides.
I am also struggling financially to resource all of these rides, especially when I crash because so much can go wrong and it can all cost a heck of a lot, especially in road cycling. So every amount means the world to me. I know I will make it to the Cape, but it’s all about getting there safely and having fun while doing it! Stay tuned for more updates as we go along, and…
Thanks for checking in!