Saturday, 25 October 2008

Training in the Equinox / Almost time for the K2

Again I find myself as a typical masochistic Wellington cyclist. With the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge being the goal for most of us recreational roadies, we find ourselves on a bikes again and beginning training at the spring equinox. In most places this would be fine, but in Wellington we find ourselves persistently blown about by the breezes that the equinox brings. Heading out on our cycles, and noting the slow times on our regular routes, and unsure of how much to allow for the breeze. It is not until the actual races come around that we finally find out, are we faster? Fitter? Stronger? than last year?

With confidence from the improvement in my time in the 160km Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge last year, I was silly enough to enter the 192km Kuaotunu 2 (K2) cycle race in the Coromandel. It is sure to be a fine challenge with seven classified hills to climb. And goodness me, it is now only just over a week away. Yikes!

The training began with a broken axle. Could someone explain how one breaks two rear axles on a road bike in twelve months? It seems insane!! As a result, I splashed out on some new wheels - American Classic Hurricane. As these are wheels are for use in cycle cross and have a traditional 3-cross, 32 spoke setup I am planning for it to be a far too challenging task for even I to damage these babies. Regardless of the full 32 spokes, I have still saved 400g on the Mavic Aksium wheels I have swapped out. First ride out I whizzed downhill at 93km/h, so speeds good :).The K2 organisers suggest the race includes a 100+km/h descent, so we'll see how these babies go next week.

"This is followed by an exciting downhill section with a few turns to begin with followed by a 100km per hour straight. This downhill section will probably give you enough momentum to get half way up the next uphill."

Thankyou Mr Newton, I think your law rocks. 

The race organisers have been very good at sending out daily e-mails to those who have entered, generally being kind enough to remind us of how brutal the race is and the magnitude of the hills to be climbed.

"The 200km RoadCraft K2 has been described as one of the most brutal rides in the Southern Hemisphere and is a real test of how good you are on the bike. It is certainly one of those inspiring challenges for both Elite Cyclists and the weekend warrior."

Great, thanks for reminding us! What masochistic moment made me enter ths race anyhow?

"The tyre had split. Descending these hills at speed puts a lot of stress on the bike, the brakes get hot and my tyres were probably a bit warn."

Could Newtons Law might save me? Sure going to need a rest on those descents.

So, how does one assess a realistic time goal for a race the harder and further than they have been before? Can I finish before the prize giving? Will I be able to walk afterwards? All to be revealed in my next posting.