Sunday 24 May 2009

Brown Trouser Moment

As you may have read I've been training for the Trossachs Ton for the last month and a bit. It's been going fairly well. Before today I've done four 40 mile runs over a reasonably hilly route (one of the hills on the T Ton).

So I thought I'd up it a bit today and went for a 50 miler on this route taking in Tak Ma Doon road (going North). My first time for this hill.

I was well chuffed today as I managed to make it to the top without stopping once! OK I may have been traveling at 5mph in places, still, I was pleased

However, it was the downhill that was to leave the biggest impression!

Wow! That is some downhill. The road was very smooth and had some undulations on the way down which had my heart in my mouth on a few occasions. However, that wasn't the brown trouser moment... that came when near the bottom travelling 40mph+ (My max was 48.8mph!) I spotted some water in a dip in the road. No problem I thought. I'd seen some water across the roads in a few places, not deep and flowing very slowly. It was only when I was about 20m away that I noticed that it wasn't just a trickle of water. In fact it was a proper mini ford with raised cobbled stones etc.

Oh bu%%er!!

There was no time to reduce the speed (about 40mph) and no chance of evasive action I just had to hope for the best....

As I hit the ford I could feel the bike lifting off the ground and I had lost control. I was at the mercy of gravity and lady luck. I could feel the bike start to tilt to the right underneath me, so I braced for impact. As my bike came back down (on the wheels!) it wobbled and I was sure I was coming off. AMAZINGLY the bike righted itself and I managed to gain control again and kill the speed.

I survived!

I carried on cycling for about 10 minutes before I decided to stop and take stock. That was very VERY close to being a complete wipe out! I would have been in a very bad way had I came off. I will be taking the descent of Tak Ma Doon a little more cautiously in future!

Anyhoos, despite the drama and the significant headwind on the way back, I managed an average of 16.5mph over the 50 miles. I was very happy with this.

Once I was home and had time to reflect I realised that as I jumped over the ford there had been a gust of wind that just so happened to blow through my helmet vents. I reckon it was this that helped to stabilise me enough to make my safe landing. Thank goodness I had my helmet on....

Monday 18 May 2009

Training for the Ton

I haven't posted much recently. I've been out on the bike instead!

I've decided that just turning up for the Trossachs Ton (100 mile ride) without training, was probably not a great idea. So I have set some time aside each weekend to get out on the bike and get some miles, and more importantly, some hills into my legs. So I've been doing this loop over the last four weeks

It is 40 miles and takes in the mighty Crow Road climb into the Campsies.

My first ride was a bit of a shock, as I hadn't attempted such a big hill before. Ouch! I had to stop several times on the way up! Even the sheep seemed to be laughing at my first attempt! However, I'm getting better now and finding that my climbing technique has been improving.

I'm managing to do the ride in about 2.5 hours (average speed of just over 16mph) which I think for a newbie isn't too bad. It hurts, but it's a sort of fun hurt....if you know what I mean!

Always one to spot a videoing oppertunity, I decided to take my camera along for one of the rides... up and down

Oh! Don't forget to sponsor me!