I’ve hardly ridden any road miles in the past couple of months, a combination of a chilly Tassie winter and weekend commitments meant that outdoor cycling has taken a back seat. Finally last weekend I got out for a decent spin including a local climb.
Mount Rumney (can you pick it from the route profile? lol) is a Cat 3 rated climb and number seven on Hobart’s Top 10 Climbs list. The full climb is a fairly consistent ascent averaging 5 percent for just shy of 6km. It allows to you get into a good seated rhythm for the most part, with a few steeper sections to test you out of the saddle.
On my fastest previous attempt I was actually gunning for a PR and was pretty gassed by the top. This time around I wasn’t aiming for a good time – simply enjoying the ride and fresh air – and I managed to knock 30 seconds off my previous best! I still had plenty left in the tank and was going to bang out another rep, but ran short on time before needing to be home. Instead I took a quick photo at the top…
…before descending back to the base. There’s actually nothing else at the top of this climb besides the nice view towards Hobart and only one road up the mountain.
I know I bang on about Zwift a lot, but it really has saved my cycling over the past couple of dark and cold months. There is no way I’d be as fit as I am or as motivated as I am right now without it. Bring on Spring and Summer!
A little update on my winter project! As outlined previously I wasn’t getting enough use out of my Planet X TT rig so over the winter (still very much winter here in Tasmania) I’ve been fettling away to convert it from time trial weapon into a fast road machine.
Since my last update, I sourced a set of 3T Aero Nova handlebars. These are aero topped carbon fibre drop bars with internal cable routing. Sexy as hell I gotta say!
This was my first foray into internally routed cabling and it was quite the job. Luckily the bars came with hollow plastic tubes to help feed the cables though which made the job easier, but certainly not easy. The cables were fine, but there was a LOT of poking and prodding and swearing involved to get the fatter housings fed around the tight bends. It took the best part of an afternoon to get right.
Hoods pulled back and cables run through the feeder tubes.
Once fed through and seated properly, finishing the cables to the brakes and mechs was a breeze. The Planet X is old school so externally cabled – it may not be as pretty but it made my life much easier. To finish the job I went with my favourite bar tape, Lizard Skins 3.2mm DSP wrapped to just past the hoods. Classy.
The black colour of the bike and the bars don’t quite match, mildly annoying!
My first test ride was only a short 35km local loop just to dial in my position, index the gearing and get my head around SRAM DoubleTap shifting. Not sure I’m a huge fan of it yet, I guess it doesn’t help I’ve been rocking Ultegra Di2 for a bit! I’ll pass judgement and do a comparison to Shimano 105 further down the track. It still needs a little more fine tuning to get the shifts spot on.
The bike on the other hand is dead set awesome! :-)
I can’t believe this was FIVE YEARS AGO now! It really does seem like yesterday I was cheering the guys on as they hammered their way up Box Hill nine times! I was also totally in awe at the speed at which the peloton flew up the road. The wind rush of a 100+ strong peloton flashing by inches away from your face is also quite an experience.
Unfortunately that day
Team Sky Team GB couldn’t gain control of the race and deliver Cav to the line first (even with the current TdF winner and a future one in the team). In no great surprise, none of the other countries wanted to work with them in order to reel in the break. They spent a lot of time riding on the front.
Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan (and of ASTANA blood doping ban infamy) took the gold medal, with Rigoberto Uran and Alexander Kristoff rounding out the podium.
Along with Wiggo’s Tour de France win, it was this event that lead to a huge cycling boom in the UK and in particular Surrey and the home counties. Thousands of guys and gals dusted off their road bikes (or bought shiny new carbon ones) and got back into shape, logging thousands of miles racing along thousands of Strava segments.
It was certainly an event that got me motivated to pedal a lot harder!
Here it is folks – the secret that all pro cycling teams and the fastest guys on your club ride have been hiding from you for decades. The reason they’re decimating you on every hill climb and leaving you in their dust on every town sign sprint. They know it, they use it, they repeat it, they live by it.
So here it is. Your secret to speed. Your recipe to rip it up. Your key to crushing it. Listen up and pay attention. The ultimate way to get faster, beat your mates and become a stronger cyclist is to…
Or to expand on that concept slightly:
Pedal harder. Eat well. Rest. Recover. Then pedal even harder next time! :-)
But of course, don’t forget to #enjoytheride
Chris Froome’s TdF TT bike – complete with 3D PRINTED BARS! :-) So I’m not normally much of a Pinarello fan, but this thing is so full of tech and cycling awesomeness it just blows me away. Check out the 58/46 chainrings! Barring any incidents between now and then, you’d be hard pressed to bet against Froome winning the Stage 20 time trial.
…first you have to finish.
Well that was a stage and a half! It had all the markings of an epic day at the Tour but that was not what anybody wanted! Big G out. Porte out, Contadope and Q both slipping backwards. Aru(kiddingme) the only other GC rider managing to keep tabs on Froome – okay Bardet and Uran Uran up there too.
No disrespect to Froome of course, he’s an incredible rider and is absolutely crushing it in the Tour – I’m a fan. Sure he’s no style icon but he can certainly race a bike. I want him to win the Tour but with some exciting racing thrown in the mix! I hope after that stage this doesn’t turn into the #BoreDeFrance from here on in.
Are we going to see the “Sky Procession” control the peloton as Froome carries that Yellow all the way to Paris? Please no. But with mountains to follow and that final time trial looking to suite Froome down to a tee, on paper it’s looking that way. I hope we’re in for some more action (of the staying upright kind) and a proper GC fight. It’s still a long way to Paris!