On Your Bike


(Jacqueline Brown) #61

Here is a link to some photos my husband took last weekend when he cycled around Lac Bourget http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.217543691642904.57036.107962235934384&type=1
As we live in the flats of Deux Sevres he is not used to climbs, but did enjoy himself. I am a more leisurely cyclist, but as a family we all have VTT and road bikes and get out as often as possible.

(Andrew Hearne) #62

oh and go for it off road - I don’t mountain bike and know that even the third group riders who do could kill me off-road for what I do to them on-road :open_mouth:

(Andrew Hearne) #63

I think, and have seen and experienced, that the bigger you are the more difficult it is to learn to spin, I’m not tall at only 5’10" / 1m78 (which puts me at another disadvantage at 85kg - most cyclist at this weight are well over 6 foot with much longer legs!) and tend to pedal around 60 to 80 rpm max. club mates have nagged me to spin and I have been making an effort recently to stick to this when climbing and keep spinning on fast flet work too. It’s not easy but you can keep the speed up for longer and there’s less pain the next day :slight_smile:

Bodyweight/power are great for short climbs and sprints but a killer if you have to keep the effort going - try the same ride/hill using the two techniques and don’t trust how you feel (my mistake for years) look at the computer for the hard facts :wink:

bonne route !

(Miles Barrington) #64

In the grand scheme of things I’m not fast, but my buddy for the ride is a little over 80kg and 6’2", he also runs and rides off road a lot in he UK. I’m the same height and 97kg, have not ridden much this year at all, but by his measure did much better on the climbs, which was a complete surprise to me. Most of my training for this weekend (it had been planned for a while) consisted of being a porteur on the vendanges, one road ride of about 40km and an hour on my mountain bike. The only thing I can put this down to is that he kept his cadence much higher than mine, where as I ride a slower cadence (maybe because at heart I am a singlespeed MTBer) and am much more bullish, using my bodyweight to keep the pedals going. Any trainer type people with an opinion, please share!
Either way it was a great way to spent the Saturday morning, and on the Sunday I felt like I had been mildly beaten up by something, while he just had some sore spots from an unfamiliar saddle. Next time we’re going off road!

(Andrew Hearne) #65

all those mythical ‘cols’ - I did mont ventoux when I was at uni in Aix-en-provence. 19km climb with no breaks starting from Bedoin. liked it so much that i did it again a couple of days later! We haven’t got any really long climbs here, all about 5km and 500m max, we’ve got good climbs in the Cantal not far away and onto the Aubrac in the aveyron to get a single 1000m run in but it’s the hassle of either doing a very long (200km) ride + the climb or getting in the car. Much easier just getting on the bike and blasting around locally. We should be going down to the Ariege to do some mountain work next spring so i better stay off the chocolat this winter! + I may try the étape du tour next year… waiting to see the route first!



(Ian SMITH) #66

I’m not fast either, and I’m also 85kg or a little more. My son wanted to do Alpe d’Huez, so we went one sunday recently and did that. 14km and 1100m, it took us maybe an hour and three quarters to get up there from our starting point at le Bourg d’Oisans.

There’s a very similar col where we live, and from the house it’s the same - 14km and 1100m, but the descent is not nearly as nice as the long stretches and flat hairpins of the Alpe d’Huez.

(Andrew Hearne) #67

Me too Ian, although as I said earlier I’m not the fastest climber in the world, prefer fast flat work and sprints myself :wink:

(Andrew Hearne) #68

Sound’s like a good one Miles, I’ve ridden the area further north leaving from Montagnac and going into the hills. But at 85kg I’m not the best of climbers which is hard living in the Aveyron where there’s very little flat - I drive the train down the vallies but suffer as most of our climbs are 400 to 500m and we usually do a couple per ride, yesterday was great because it was shorter than most with only one climb and plenty of ‘faut plat’ where we got a great train going. Once we get into winter we’ll be around 80 km at late 20s kmh average.



(Miles Barrington) #69

Went out yesterday with a friend from the UK, planning a loop of about 60km, 3 climbs in it of about 300m each. Ended up doing over 80km with an extra (bigger!) climb at the end. That was the limit of my current fitness, but really good to have been out for a decent length of time.
If anyone is interested this is the route.

(Ian SMITH) #70

I like (now and again) climbing, rather than distance. There’s a circular route I can do that is about 40km, with 800m climb, and the whole thing takes two hours or so.

(Andrew Hearne) #71

75km club training ride today, 500m climb and still managed an average speed of 32kmh… how long will the sumemr form last!

(Miles Barrington) #72

Car service… what a fine excuse for another ride!

(Miles Barrington) #73

Happy Monday all! A propos of not much, Got out for a short ride on the road yesterday, only about the 3rd this year. Got 3 hills in the loop and survived them all. Felt very good! Best news is that after 2 years in a garage in Bristol, my beautiful mountain bike is with me in France. Can’t wait to get some trails dialed round here!

(Doron Swade) #74

Hi Jo - Fantastic - many thanks. The facility for fixing to a backpack is inspired.

(Jo Blick) #75

it’s here https://powertraveller.com/iwantsome/primatepower/powermonkey-explorer/

(Doron Swade) #76

Hi Jo. Many thanks for the follow-up. I was looking at a solar charger which seems at though it would drive the satnav but it doesn’t have the features you describe for fixing it to panniers or backpacks. Now that I know this exists I will keep looking. Good to know there is a system that works. Many thanks.

(Jo Blick) #77

Doron, this trip sounds fabuleuse! I finally got to speak to my son Sam last night (oh skype…you wonderful free thing!) and he told me his backpack charger is working well. It’s also got the best name… “Power Monkey”. It cost him £46 with a battery pack, and is very small, thicker and not much longer than a new-style mobile phone when it’s folded away. It is waterproof apparently, clips firmly onto a backpack or sits on a window sill. With the battery you can obviously charge up at night. apparently there’s a new, A4 size version out called,…get this, “the Power Gorilla”,but Sam thinks the small one will do fine for your sat-nav and a phone.I guess the best thing is to look at the specs on the box/website etc.and calculate the power you need before choosing.or,more likely and in my case, get the one you can afford! Happy Monkeying around!

(Andrew Hearne) #78

poaching! cycling with friends is all about sharing routes etc. I do a midweek club run and nobody accuses me of poaching routes from our Saturday training runs, + if someone wants to go a certain way or do a certain climb then that’s what we do - “sharing” all the way… scared they might nick the tarmac :-0 (please don’t take the comments to heart - je te taquine :wink:

(Lucy Ralph) #79

I am in Beziers,i don’t have a car,if you are in this area,for visit,i am happy to show you cycle route,but i do not wish to show my routes as i consider this poaching,i just go where the mood takes me,the canal di midi is not far from me and i no cycle to Valras plage and portaranges,as i have been out with some french cycling groups.
I enjoy social cycling,i can do long distances,but while in France its mainly social cycling and taking a picnic,as i find france expensive,i don’t like wasting money,i prefer to make my own,also i no whats in them.i mean sandwiches,i am going cycling later on today,just waiting on my friend.

(Doron Swade) #80

Hi Jo. Many thanks for pursuing the SatNav solar charger question. The trip we did was three days. The two nights we were soent in prebooked hotels and I reckoned on around 70 km a day. This meant about 6 hours a day in the saddle. This worked out well. We each (two of us) had two rear panniers and that’s it. I experimented with an expensive T-shirt with some super fabric that remains odourless for many days - this as a way of removing the need for washing clothes or accumulating them and carting them around. It sort of worked. I set the SatNav for no highways, toll roads or main roads and shortest distance and it took us through the most charming lanes and country. We spent a total of only 4 km on roads with any traffic. Cost was two nights in hotels and meals. We radically underestmated liquid intake. The bottle on the cycle frame was a paltry contribution to our needs. Day 1: Les Ecures to Marennes; Day 2: Marennes to Royan (coast road through pine forests); Day 3: Royan to Les Ecures. Thoroughly wonderful.