The Fred Whitton Challenge

30% is no joke at 90 miles in. Photo by Steve Flemming

I should have known this guy had gone too deep too soon. He was aero-tucking at 20mph on the flat and riding on his top tube like he’s Chris Froome. His ambition must have got the better of him. He seems to be looking for any aero gain he can to make it round easily, but we’re only 20ish miles in and haven’t hit a serious climb yet. I see signs for the A66 and turn to see Morgan just behind me, a guy I’ve been riding with on and off for most of the way so far. “Yes! We’ve got a group!” I say as Captain Aero, myself and Morgan set off down the A66. I take the front and do my turn. Captain Aero takes over and goes all out to impress somebody. I’m not even pedalling and I’m cruising at 40mph on Captain Aero’s wheel, awesome stuff! He pulls to the side of the road and disappears never to be seen again. I presume he’s still trying to aero-tuck his way up Honister pass?   Continue reading

Book Review – The Cyclist’s Tale – Kevin R. Haylett

I like short stories, and I like cycling, so we’re off to a good start. I’m busy, so my reading time is snatched moments of self-indulgence amongst the endless list of things I’m supposed to be doing. So to read a whole story in these moments suits me just fine. A short story should be a simple point; something funny, witty inspiring or thought provoking. I first read this book two months ago and I can honestly say I can remember every story. They’ve stayed with me and that says something really doesn’t it?  Continue reading

Turbine – Sports Breathing Technology – Review

I’ve been testing out Turbine, a breathing assistance device, over the past few months. You may have seen some bloke on the telly using it over the past few years, Froome or something. Perhaps you’ve heard of him? He won a yellow jumper or something. Or perhaps like me you just though he had his nose pierced and wore a ring in it? Anyway, that’s a pretty big endorsement. So whatever I say about it you’re already intrigued right?  Continue reading

The Dragon Ride – Dragon Devil Route – 305km

The Dragon Devil route is a long and hilly day in the saddle. And when I say day, I mean all day!

For me a cycling event is not a “challenge” unless I’m unsure if I can actually finish it, that’s the point of a challenge right? It has to be personally challenging. Many sportives pick a route of similar length to a cycling club’s Sunday ride and give you a medal at the end. Now to many that is a challenge (everybody is different, lets not get elitist here) but I have enough confidence in my abilities to know that I could finish an 80 or 100mile (160km) route even if it has a lot of climbing. The Dragon Ride offered something I found truly challenging, the longest single day route; the Dragon Devil offering  189 miles (305km) with something like 4000m of climbing. Now I don’t know about you, but that sounded pretty daunting. That would be one sportive medal I would be proud to earn.

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White Peak – Peak District – My New Favourite Cycling Route

Beautiful road descending into Glutten Bridge

This is probably my favourite ride, not just in the Peak District, but probably in England. I like to think of it as a ride through the quiet back roads of the White Peak, the mainly Limestone valleys of the South and West of the National Park. I love a single track road with grass growing out of the middle, I love the deserted lanes where Sheep and Ramblers are the main traffic problem. In one of the most visited National Parks in the UK it is still possible to feel in the middle of nowhere and do some pretty amazing riding too.  Continue reading