Stop start season


I’ve been waiting for something good to write about, but at this rate I may not post anything at all.

It has been a stop-start season, but mostly stop – if not stuck in reverse gear. Sometimes, I can get a few days of training, but then take 2-3 weeks off the bike.

It feels like always going back to the starting point. It’s easy to lose inspiration to ride through injury and keep starting from the same low level.

I went out a few times in Yorkshire, getting as far as Grassington.

In New York, my longest ride was 26 miles during a marathon as a lead cyclist. 26 miles at an average speed of 9.5 mph. I was knackered the next day from looking behind at the lead runner. Took days to recover.

Compared to my three-hour 26 miles, these days there are riders who can ride 25 miles in 43 minutes (35 mph) (with a little help from suitable downhill dual-carriageways).

The hill climb season is upon us but I will probably give it a miss this year – perhaps one or two local events; the national is very unlikely at the moment. The only positive thing about the hill climb season is that at least I am at racing weight – an American diet of donuts and fried breakfast has not shifted any weight despite little exercise. But, being light is only one part of the equation. I went to Brill on Saturday and felt suitably slow and unfit. It was a reminder of how much hard work it is training for hill climbs.

Of all the hill climbs, I fancy doing the Monsal Head. I think you can do one minute hill climbs without any training. I’m not sure whether this is an observation that would be supported by sports science. But, in New York, I do one hill and have trained on it every year for the past 12 years. Training involves trying to race up it as fast as I can and have kept personal best times.

This August, I set an all-time pb (since 2005) of 1.34 for Sanitation Hill – faster than 2013,2014 and 2015. This was genuinely after doing hardly any training. Maybe the tail-end of Hurricane Harvey reaching New York helped a little…


2 thoughts on “Stop start season”

  1. Hope you get yourself sorted out soon – must be so frustrating, especially at this time of year. I’m sure you’ll be able to put in a decent effort at Monsal Head, but will be a shame not to see you at other HCs, like Porlock in a couple of weeks. Although I’m nowhere near your level, I missed last year’s HC season after I had a nasty crash early September – really annoyed, but training going OK at the moment, so hopefully can make up for it this year. Look after yourself.

  2. Hi ,this is a great page enjoy reading about your hill climbing adventures,l am a very keen newbie to hill climbing and cycling in general and have ridden some of the hills that you have done(Dudley lane,quarry wood,and a few more.

    I started Proper cycling in June last year and got a power metre a few months back…l have done many a hill repeat session and made good gains in one year.

    Did you allways just do hill repeats to get up to speed/fitness or did you do much FTP work? I am doing both but want make even better gains for 2018.
    Any ideas? Up and over hill repeats worth doing do you think.

    Hope you recover to full fitness soon.


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