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Monday, August 29, 2011

Hotter than Hell 2011 Part 1

This years Hotter than Hell was Hot!
Although the air temperature only got up to 109 degrees.........Only!!!!!!!
The temperature of the road increased as the day moved on and by the time we got to the 80 mile mark it was 125 degrees.
Hot enough to raise a souffle and to cook a Sunday lunch.
With such heat there were inevitably casualties and the telephone number for the SAG wagons was frequently dialled.
It would be true to say that even a fully manned call centre would have been hard pushed to accommodate all the calls for service.

Through the mirage there was a large group of cyclists who remained mostly unaffected.
Smiling, sweaty and scorching a blue and red line they conquered the very best that Wichita Falls could through at them...........Well done Mules

A full report will the next few days with lots of pictures.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Gauntlet thrown down to Le Patron and his US Mules

Earlier in the year I completed a sportive in the West Yorkshire Dales (Harewood) It was early season and I really struggled up the massive climbs. At times it was not unattractive picture with my face resembling that of a Wells Fargo Stage coach horse that has managed to out run the James Gang. My excuse was early season form.
Four months and four thousand miles I was unable to use that excuse and yet again found myself finishing a ride with a foaming mouth, an acute case of turrets, and a disposition which I could only describe as LOM- low of Mood.

The Reason 'The Big G' more formally known as – Grimpeurs des Wolds Cyclosportive.
The 160Km route started and finished where I live in the historic market town of Beverley and covered the best roads in the Yorkshire Wolds featuring many of the toughest climbs used in the East Yorkshire Classic and the 2006 &2007 The National Road Race Championships.

Featured climbs included Life Hill (Sledmere), Fimber, Wharram Percy Wold, Birdsall Brow, Thixendale Wold, Hanging Grimston, Acklam Brow, Great Givendale and Nunburnholme.

Each name now strikes fear in the same way that Frodo might have experienced when he first moved his little legs on his journey up Mount Doom.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that with only 3600 meters of climbing that it could not have been that bad. The climbs came thick and fast especially in the middle third where remaining in the saddle provided great risk of 'front wheel elevation' and getting out of the saddle required the balance of a tight rope walker.
My problem was not my lack of fitness, but my non lack of fatness.

When will I learn that the only way that the treasured climber can come out of me is if I stop squashing him with a A pasta induced poor power weight ratio.

On the flat and basic climbs I am happy with my performance, down hill I cant stop, and even on very steep but shot climbs I can survive. But if it is over 15% for more than half a mile I am like a truck moving into the crawler lane.
Anyway In post ride beer fuelled euphoria I realised that the only real way I can combat this is by setting myself a challenge that would totally fail unless I let my 'climber' out.

To face my fears head on and let the fear of failure be my champion.

So next July the Anglo Mules will ride 'The way of the Roses' Coast to Coast none stop.

What took us three days last June will now have to be squeezed into just 24 hrs.

As a warm up for this we will do the 156 mile longest distance on the Flat out on the Fens Ride a week before.

We also challenge the US Mules to take part in both too although we realise that Mouth foaming, turrets and involuntary wheel elevations are new skills they may need to acquire!!!!!

My next serious riding will be in The USA with Joanne where we will be joined by fellow Anglo Mules Karen and Simon to take part in the 30th Hotter than Hell. I understand that all the sins are that it may well be that hot this year that Satan himself has been appointed as the Race Director...........................we cant wait