Sunday, 29 August 2010

The Feilding Festival of Cycling: 90km Recreational Ride

Scheduled in late winter, the Feilding Festival of Cycling offers a great chance to blow out a few cobwebs before the spring Fun Ride season begins. This event offers a range of rides beginning with a critierium on Saturday, followed by Sunday’s Graded Road-race 90km and recreational rides of 90km, 50km and 20km. This leaves plenty options for all mixtures of fitness and ability. I entered the 90km recreational ride which followed an “Out and Back” course up a 30km false flat/gentle climb followed by 15km of rollers to  Peep-o-Day and return.
Feilding Festival of Cycling Elevation Profile

Ride Data:
Distance: 91.48km 4,207 Calories
Time: 3h 16m 25s
Out: 1h 52m 21s
Back: 1h 24m 05s
27.9 km/h (61.3km/h MAX)
Out: 24.5km/h
Back: 32.6km/h
Elevation: Ascent: 1,094m Descent: 1,086m
Cadence: Avg: 91 rpm Max: 114 rpm
Ride Data: Garmin Connect / RideWithGPS
Location: Feilding, NZ 29 August 2010
I was feeling tired as I drove up from Wellington and stopped to purchase the obligatory triple-shot mocha. At this time it was absolutely teeming down with rain and without my raincoat in the car I was almost ready to take the soft option and turn around and drive home again. During the coffee stop, the weather improved along with my mood and by the start of the event the rain had just stopped falling and the weather essentially just got better as the day went on.

Once again I could not find enough speed straight off the line to move through the pack and ride amongst the leading group. In these recreational rides it can be useful to be able to start hard and fast to be in the correct group when it settles down 10-15km into the event, of course this must be done in fine balance as not to blow out and struggle in the latter half of the event. We were able to get a group organised  into a good rotating pace-line. Unfortunately after a mere 15km this group fragmented as we began riding up the 30km long false flat. At this point a group of six got away off the front of this group and were generally in my sights but I was unable to catch them until that group also fragmented near the turnaround point when I caught each rider one by one.

With no benefit of drafting I thought I rode well alone on the return journey. Admittedly after the first few rollers it was all downhill, but there was a cross wind into my right shoulder.  In a really weird kind of way, I found it satisfying to pass a guy in $10K worth of fast aero kit on the crest of the last roller on the way back and made it through 30km of straight, flat to downhill road without being caught.
I resolved that the next person I see make such poor use of great kit like that should give it to me!
Whilst aero kit isn't of so much use climbing, he should have easily caught me. Cycling is an equipment sport and you can buy up to about a 4% speed improvement. 

I picked up a few more places in the last few kilometres and crossed the line strongly, and felt good enough to possibly hold that pace for another 90km? Endurance is feeling good right now. Not bad after a mild struggle to stay awake at the well on the drive to the start!

Thankyou to all organisers, volunteers, sponsors and of course for the tyre that I won at the spot prize draw that followed the event :D.