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t-72

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Are you drinking from puddles?!?! :o :S :P :D

 :lol Once I went skiing with some friends and drank soda water from the same pollluted source as them , and everybody but me got sick. The nickname steel-belly has worn off, some 15 + years later... Strange how things change.

However, I don't trust luck like that, to drink from poodles no!  :)
Rule of thumb around here is running water is safe to drink outside of habitated areas. On my cycling trips outside the city I typically carry only 1 bottle and refuel in a stream when needed. It is quite unusual to not have water-a-plenty available here!
 
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  • t-72

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    I safely made it home...a bit disappointed with my own results but realize it was a combination of technical and tactical mess that made it so.

    I was cycling with a small group of 4 that had some chained chain incidents and half of the group was very inexperienced so we weren't effective as a team.

    I am not sure think Norwegian sportives are a bit different from other countries as these "trains", clubs riding in a sort of team time trial style, dominate the start groups. We weren't such a team, and the one that was in our start group put the pedal to the metal on the initial 300 m of cobbles and they were never seen again. (oh la la, that weird start in TdF? :D ) I wanted to haul them back in but no one else wanted to chase.
     
    Instead, we decided to hang on to one of the big "trains"  that caught up with us a bit later and was riding at a speed we were comfortable with. Initially, on the two first "big" climbs that worked fine, but about halfway there is a long section of undulating small climbs,  and that was when the locomotive stopped working for me: the big group fell apart on a rather simple descent, as one of them had a bad case of downhillanoia ( we say "nedover-noia"). Then they regrouped and upped the pace to frantic, as they were trying to get back on schedule. This pattern was repeated several times,  and superimposed on that was a general accordion-effect over the hilltops, We were either pedaling very hard or braking (in the uphills!). I have tried this before and survived it with more style, but this was outrageous, and moreover I hadn't practiced for 999 accelrations, so started to feel the fade after not very long. yet I kept hanging on to the group for a little while longer.

    That was a stupid decision as it turns out (in hindsight):  Looking at earlier results and my training stats from this year I am convinced I can do this part of the course more or less on my own, faster. This was not just post-race analysis as I took a pee-break,  and caught up with them afterwards. However, then I understood they were just killing my endurance and this time I did not follow them on the next accelration.

    The final climb, Skjervet, is far from a monster mountain but after some 140 km,  enough for a tired man!  It was baking hot on the lower part of the climb and I was pretty much finished before the finish - even if there was  enough on the tank to get home, if not in great style...

    Next year: stick to my own plan...and make it a better one! :D

    The weather was the very best (too hot, maybe, and this is Norway but it has been hotter here than in southern Europe for a while  :S ). The race was very well organized and I think almost everyone had a good time. No serious accidents that I have heard of  :cool

    There is a busload of great photos from the event available for browsing here! (Not my photos, a more skilled photographer that works for the event!)

    PS: don't watch, you'll want to come and participate next year and then it'll be pouring down all week long and you'll blame me for posting this.  :D
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  • LukasCPH

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    PS: don't watch, you'll want to come and participate next year and then it'll be pouring down all week long and you'll blame me for posting this.  :D
    :rofl:
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    L'arri

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    I am not sure think Norwegian sportives are a bit different from other countries as these "trains", clubs riding in a sort of team time trial style, dominate the start groups. We weren't such a team, and the one that was in our start group put the pedal to the metal on the initial 300 m of cobbles and they were never seen again. (oh la la, that weird start in TdF? :D ) I wanted to haul them back in but no one else wanted to chase.

    I really enjoyed reading this account and there are a lot of familiar themes in it, certainly with regard to how people ride these events.

    Here in *be, I've always started sportives alone and within the first half hour of the official start time window. Now I will admit that a lot of that timing had to do with getting a decent parking spot but it's also because the kind of rider who goes off that early is the kind who still has to get back to family or brico duties that day and who doesn't bomb every descent or corner. For sure, the crashes you read about, they tend to happen later in the day.

    So I ride maybe two thirds of them alone. I once tried starting out with a peloton once but we hit the first climb of the day after 2km and the tempo was just a bit too hot for warming up. I could have held in there but I knew I would suffer for it later if I did. No shame in letting it go.

    I guess I've been lucky not to experience the "yo-yo" effect you had to deal with there. That would really pee me off, I think, because it's going to hurt a lot more than a consistent ride. I really value that consistency on a tough route.

    If there's a rest stop and I fill my bottles, I might hang back a couple of minutes or leave sooner if there's a likely looking group, otherwise a train will pass me and I'll make the effort to get on it. This way, I often find myself "racing" flat out the last third of the day, but I like the feeling of the kms passing quicker and it seems to hurt a lot less later in the game. My personal rough patch - I have one every time - is always over by then and my mind goes quiet enough to get over the remaining climbs without raging.

    Most of the fondest memories I have from the bike - riding with friends, café stops, winning races - were from my teenage years. Then I didn't ride or watch the sport from about 19 until late 20s. In my adult period, I have just a couple of fond memories that match that early joy and one of these was doing a couple of the longer climbs in the Ardennes where I vaguely understood what it might be like to be a climber in a group that gets incrementally smaller.

    One was the Col du Rosier, a staple of the LBL parcours, and the other a white label climb someplace west of Liège. Just sitting in, focusing hard on the wheel and losing yourself in the rhythm. That for me was something beautiful but it would never have been possible with yo-yoing frontmen and constant changes of pace.
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    t-72

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    After the big effort last Saturday, my heart rate(as mesaured on a few "standard"  climbs for me on short training rides) has dropped quite a lot. I don't go much faster but the heart rate is 10-12-15 BPM lower on the same climbs (and also on average). I doubt that the heart gets stronger in such a stepwise fashion,  so this might be an indication I could use some rest before I resume training?

    Or does it mean I am great shape  :S  and I should just keep on, do more of what I am doing? Poor restitution seems more linked to increased heart rate according to what I read.  (?)
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  • L'arri

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    After the big effort last Saturday, my heart rate(as mesaured on a few "standard"  climbs for me on short training rides) has dropped quite a lot. I don't go much faster but the heart rate is 10-12-15 BPM lower on the same climbs (and also on average). I doubt that the heart gets stronger in such a stepwise fashion,  so this might be an indication I could use some rest before I resume training?

    Or does it mean I am great shape  :S  and I should just keep on, do more of what I am doing? Poor restitution seems more linked to increased heart rate according to what I read.  (?)

    It probably means you are in better shape but it depends on how much different it is. Sometimes I find my heart rate stays lower just because I ride in the afternoon instead of the morning. If, like me, you ride at a really low level, even a couple of sportives can put you a level above your norms.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Poor restitution seems more linked to increased heart rate according to what I read.  (?)
    Well ... Yes and no.
    Bear in mind what follows now is entirely anecdotal and not at all scientific.

    In the final days of a GT, the max. heartrate of pros that they can reach on big efforts (like a climb, or a sprint) will often be several BPM lower than at the start of the GT. They simply can't dig as deep as when they are well-rested.

    I don't think you're in immediate danger of overtraining - but I think it is something you should keep an eye on. The hardest part of any training regime is the recuperation; whether that's an easy ride at a snail's pace or just putting the feet up and resting on the couch.

    Overall, I believe you'll be best served asking a more experienced cyclist - August Jensen? :D -, a cycling coach, or just your GP doctor for specific advice.
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  • t-72

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    Thanks for replies, guys!
    Overtraining was perhaps a bad choice of words, as it would be more "being quite exhausted from one major effort" as opposed to having problems recovering from many efforts over a time period of weeks , which is more typical for overtraining. However, I find this strange as it is a real step change in my HR, and it happens every time I do this (eh... 3 out of 3, so far :lol ), and this year I started googling the net for what these observations mean. Previously I just ignored it, thinking it was a  measurement error, the battery got to be struggling after all these miles. However, since it happens repeatedly it is probably a real effect.
    I don't think it is necessarily all for the better, as at least year I felt like I lost all explosiveness while trading it in for a bigger diesel and that lasted for weeks. My ambitions this year is to ride 1000 km more than "usual" over the past three years and that doesn't really allow for many breaks when the weather is perfect for cycling. That makes it sound like a struggle....but it really feels like "I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike!"And it will be hard not to, come tomorrow  :cool 

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  • L'arri

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    As I try to shake off the lingering issues from the injuries I sustained in a heavy crash six weeks ago and prepare to start riding again at last, I visited a physio earlier this week. This guy helped me out with my last big break some years ago, a broken foot occurring after a rather silly incident during a kids' game of badminton.

    The orthopaedic doctor I saw last week was about ready to send me away without any physio at all and I almost had to beg him for a referral. In a somewhat obtuse manner, which is what you often get with medical professionals who feel you're questioning their expertise, he wrote me out a prescription for eighteen sessions. :o

    This crash, which happened on a descent for no obvious reason (and I've driven back to the site since in a fruitless attempt to find the cause), left me with a broken scapula and probably more road rash than from all the crashes I've ever had combined.

    The physio is a talkative fellow and he spent much of the appointment, while kneading and stretching me, catching up on recent history, which was a remarkable exercise in how time flies. He was, however, just as unconcerned as the orthopaedic doctor had been about the residual pain and restricted movement, which left me feeling rather like a paranoid hypochondriac.

    I suppose it would be much the same with my knee, which is the one bit of road rash that still hasn't healed. It didn't seem like the original wound was deep enough to warrant stitches but things haven't been helped by having to wear trousers over it and a couple of bandages bringing off my body's attempts at new skin. I read online that you should apply a bit of petroleum jelly because if it dries up, it will crack easily with regular knee movement, so I did that but it doesn't really look any better yet. It just seems like it still isn't really healing.

    Last weekend I had to spend several hundred euros replacing damaged gear. I hadn't thought before about the sort of insurance that might have covered some of these expenses but I guess I will from now on. The bike itself wasn't too bad - scratches and so on - but one pedal was wrecked so that meant a new pair of those along with a new roll of handlebar tape. The bulk of the cost consisted of stuff you wear. My trusty Lazer helmet had cracked asunder but saved my head. Jersey, shorts and underlayer were of course burned out as you might expect but even my left shoe was severely damaged along with the pedal.

    It's a wonder to me now how I managed to ride home but mostly I try to look ahead. I think what helps is that, when you know a crash is coming and it happens almost in slow motion, you might replay that in your head over and over, but for the first time I have nothing my mind can use to torture me. :P I remember everything, you understand, it's not a matter of memory loss, it's just that I didn't see it coming the way that, with every crash I ever had before, I'd always had a moment to think about it.
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  • L'arri

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    I did an hour and a half on the bike yesterday, first ride since early May. I was scared for much of it, which was something new to me. Every bump, rut and grate was a source of anxiety. Interestingly enough though, riding about helped me understand what kind of crash it had been in a way I'd found hard to visualise at home in recovery.

    It was good to be out there though and I didn't feel as bad as I'd expected I would. I did a couple of efforts and rode some cobbles to find out how the shoulder would respond and there wasn't much pain. Certainly no reason to start popping the tramadol anyway. :lol

    It's local election time so that means a lot of road closures while they spend the surplus local government money on fixing the roads of the electorate in a last ditch attempt to curry favour. In cycling terms, that can really mess up your routes, so it's best to keep an open mind and a good knowledge of alternative routes.

    At a certain point, I accidentally joined the parcours of a sportive I hadn't read anything about. Apparently it was the "Eddy Merckx" edition of the Cycling Heroes Tour and the great man himself turned up on the day.
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  • t-72

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    Yesterday I  bought 2x Conti 4 seasons tires, after finding some cracks in my old ones. New stuff is...I upgraded to 28 mm...wonder if did something stupid cause it was a bit spontaneus. The previous ones were 25 mm so it is not like jumping from 23 to 28 mm directly.

    The idea is to try lower pressure for a while and see if that works for me. I ride on mixed quality roads and sometime I feel the coarse road surface is really holding me back. I also like to ride gravel roads if not too adventurous but then again, some places with smooooth surface.

    Surprisingly, time to wrap up the 28 mm story. I had the bike with me when going on vacation, it spent a lot of time outside locked in the bike rack on my car. Somehow the tires expanded in size and jammed in the brakes! One hypothesis is that heat and maybe sunshine exposure overheated them, leading to overpressure and deformation.  A short ride on newly salted dirt road with resulting very sticky dirt made the problem very grave very quickly: strange noises after 200m and explosion(!) at about 400m. On inspection there are very visible grooves in the brakes, near the root of the brake calipers.

    Temporary fix: bring back the 25 mm tyres :)

    Permanent fix: n+1 ?  :D,  as the 28 mm with 7 bar pressure was a very comfortable ride both on rough surfaces even on steep climbs but above all on the descents it is just a lot smoother than 25 mm and 7.5 bar. Of course I could try lower pressure in the 25 mm too, but I think the punctures will increase as I do ride some 500 m gravel on an almost daily basis which are quite demanding on the tyres. If not I guess the Synapse will be but on sale soon...
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  • M Gee

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    After the big effort last Saturday, my heart rate(as mesaured on a few "standard"  climbs for me on short training rides) has dropped quite a lot. I don't go much faster but the heart rate is 10-12-15 BPM lower on the same climbs (and also on average). I doubt that the heart gets stronger in such a stepwise fashion,  so this might be an indication I could use some rest before I resume training?

    Or does it mean I am great shape  :S  and I should just keep on, do more of what I am doing? Poor restitution seems more linked to increased heart rate according to what I read.  (?)

    One measure of recovery that I used to find useful was BP first thing in the morning. Preferably before you even shift out of bed. A higher BP will indicate insufficient recovery. Your body can fool you, and you feel pretty much ok, then you get out there for an effort and find yourself 5kph slower than you think you should be. I know this is a bit delayed - I just didn't see these posts out there when you wrote them.
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  • . . .He had the bit between his teeth, and he loiked the taste, mate . . .

    M Gee

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    Surprisingly, time to wrap up the 28 mm story. I had the bike with me when going on vacation, it spent a lot of time outside locked in the bike rack on my car. Somehow the tires expanded in size and jammed in the brakes! One hypothesis is that heat and maybe sunshine exposure overheated them, leading to overpressure and deformation.  A short ride on newly salted dirt road with resulting very sticky dirt made the problem very grave very quickly: strange noises after 200m and explosion(!) at about 400m. On inspection there are very visible grooves in the brakes, near the root of the brake calipers.

    Temporary fix: bring back the 25 mm tyres :)

    Permanent fix: n+1 ?  :D,  as the 28 mm with 7 bar pressure was a very comfortable ride both on rough surfaces even on steep climbs but above all on the descents it is just a lot smoother than 25 mm and 7.5 bar. Of course I could try lower pressure in the 25 mm too, but I think the punctures will increase as I do ride some 500 m gravel on an almost daily basis which are quite demanding on the tyres. If not I guess the Synapse will be but on sale soon...

    This whole thing - the deformation of the tires - is very strange. I would contact your supplier - or the manufacturer - and report the issue and the results. If you have sufficient photos, or even the tires, you may receive replacements.
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  • L'arri

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    Yesterday was, as I mentioned elsewhere, a national holiday here in Belgium and, since I always like an objective, I decided to ride to where it was not a national holiday.

    I'll use Google Streetview to illustrate my account.

    Crossing the border into the Netherlands from this bit of Belgium isn't as simple as it sounds because, even if there aren't any borders between close neighbours in our open Europe, you still have to overcome the obstacle of one big, wide, navigable river with hardly any bridges across it. And what bridges there are over the Schelde, they're usually busy highways with limited options for cyclists.

    Lucky for me that the particular area where I found myself is a bit of a low-level tourist mecca. I don't know how Greg Van Avermaet and Oliver Naesen tolerate the crowds of bike riders "of a certain age" with which they have to share parts of their regular training routes along the riverbanks. But the facilities for cyclists are good enough that you find bike lanes over the bridges.


    The bridge over the Schelde at Temse, where Esafosfina used to live when he was a pro.

    Having beaten the river and survived an idiot driver (also "of a certain age") cutting me up dangerously through a bend, I headed north, arrow straight through the famous polders of the Waasland, where the harvest of conference pears was almost due. The wind was up and I enjoyed a considerable tailwind while trying not to think about what would happen once I changed direction.


    Familiar landscape of the Waasland.

    Eventually I crossed the border a few kilometres east of Clinge and turned towards the walled town of Hulst which, although I was now in the Zeeland region of the Netherlands, likes to style itself as Flemish and proudly flies the Vlaamse Leeuw as its town flag. I didn't hang about but it looked a lot like other, similar towns in Zeeland with the obligatory décor, cheese and sex shops. Sluis is another famous example.





    A couple of views of Hulst.

    After leaving Hulst, I headed south again, crossed the border and then suffered a strong headwind for much of the way home. To my relief, this part of the route passed through patches of woodland where I could get a bit of respite for a few minutes.

    It is common in Belgium to find old train or tram lines converted into smooth but fairly narrow asphalt paths and I was able to avoid the highway on a couple of these. The big peloton of a local club passed onto my route and I thought my luck was in for avoiding the headwind but they all turned off and headed east while my way continued south.

    I took a welcome breath and watched the Binck Bank Tour pass by between Dendermonde and Van Avermaet's home village of Grembergen and once I crossed the Schelde again and turned east, I was out of the wind, whence it was a steady but rather peaceful slog to my destination.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Yesterday was, as I mentioned elsewhere, a national holiday here in Belgium and, since I always like an objective, I decided to ride to where it was not a national holiday.

    Sounds (and looks) wonderful!  :)

    What was the total time/distance of this adventure?
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  • L'arri

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    Sounds (and looks) wonderful!  :)

    What was the total time/distance of this adventure?

    108km of pancake flat roads. I haven't looked at the ride data to see how long it took - not sure because on this occasion I stopped a while for the Binck Bank Tour - but it was probably pretty slow with all the wind.

    That's about the limit of my capabilities at the moment and then the back problems kick in. I'm not partying like it's 2014, that's for sure. I was really sharp that year ... and also on a sabbatical from work.

    Normally I find this sort of terrain a bit monotonous but the landscapes were quite pretty. All the pics above were roads (or paths) on which I rode. Not saying I would like to live on the polders, I would get bored of that pretty quickly, but the roads over the border were so much better than the crap we have to deal with in Flanders.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Permanent fix: n+1 ?  :D,  as the 28 mm with 7 bar pressure was a very comfortable ride both on rough surfaces even on steep climbs but above all on the descents it is just a lot smoother than 25 mm and 7.5 bar. Of course I could try lower pressure in the 25 mm too, but I think the punctures will increase as I do ride some 500 m gravel on an almost daily basis which are quite demanding on the tyres. If not I guess the Synapse will be but on sale soon...
    Always n+1! :D

    7 bar sounds like a lot for rough, unpaved surfaces in my ears. But 'only' 500 m out of a longer daily commute is not so much, so going lower would skew the balance again, I guess.

    Anecdotally, I once heard Matti Breschel give his tyre pressures for Paris-Roubaix. Don't remember the exact values, but it was something around 4 bar for the front tyre and ~4.5 bar in the rear. :o
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  • L'arri

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    Having had my plans wrecked by one or two of life's curveballs this year, I'm on my travels again at the moment, albeit for a very brief sojourn before seasonal obligations impose themselves.

    I'm only halfway to my destination at the moment, so I had to make a bit of a stopover and I caught sight of this remarkable object:



    Where to start? The unusual special edition frame matched with rag-and-bone parts? The unexpected reunion with my all-time favourite saddle model? The gleefully sloppy locking job? The unmatched (but classic) wheels and groupsets? The frankly bizarre computer?

    Everything about this bike strikes me as oddly noteworthy in some way.
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  • L'arri

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    Having had my plans wrecked by one or two of life's curveballs this year, I'm on my travels again at the moment, albeit for a very brief sojourn before seasonal obligations impose themselves.

    I'm only halfway to my destination at the moment, so I had to make a bit of a stopover and I caught sight of this remarkable object:



    Where to start? The unusual special edition frame matched with rag-and-bone parts? The unexpected reunion with my all-time favourite saddle model? The gleefully sloppy locking job? The unmatched (but classic) wheels and groupsets? The frankly bizarre computer?

    Everything about this bike strikes me as oddly noteworthy in some way.

    Apparently the rear wheel sticker got damaged at some point and someone felt it necessary to handwrite the model of the wheel where the printed version used to be...

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