Not the Alps

Just for constrast, I had a look to see what kind of climbs the Tour de France guys do.  A couple of years ago, they did the road through Bourg-Saint-Maurice up into Tignes which I know from snowboarding trips.  Bourg is at about 700m, and Tignes le Lac is at 2100m.  So the Tour riders were cycling .. nay, racing .. up 1400m in 19miles.   So that’s an average climb of 73 metres per mile sustained for 19miles.  Whereas on the Wanlockhead road, I was tackling a 57m rise every mile, and only had to do it for 7 miles.

The tour route up Alp d’Huez climbs 1110m in 9.3 miles – a staggering 119 metres gained every mile.  The record times from the tour rides are all sub 40 minutes.   I took 40 minutes to cover my 400m/7mile climb – whereas Pantani did 1110m/9.3miles in the same time.  Well, he was chemically assisted .. but there’s plenty of other folk doing sub-40min climbs there.

Sheez …

Anyhow, go watch Mr Armstrong out psyche and out climb everyone else again.

The Lang Whang

The Lang Whang

I’ve always thought the Lang Whang was a strange name for a road, but it’s certainly descriptive.  Long, hilly, goes through the middle of nowhere – well, Carstairs/Carnwath to Edinburgh anyway.  The best bit about the route is that, once you are past Tarbrax, you get a huge amount of high speed downhilling into Edinburgh.  Even once you’re back in the city, the route through Juniper Green is top-gear speed-camera-taunting stuff.

The magic numbers for today were: 65 miles in 4h13m, averaging 15mph, and my hrm says 125bpm average.  The ride was fueled by a multistage breakfast (cereal, bacon sandwich, big pancake, 2 cups of tea), a litre of liquid (sports juice and water), one fruit&nut chocolate bar, two caramel wafers, half a packet of wine gums and a banana.  I feel like a machine for turning chocolate into heat.

After yesterday’s hill riding I did a lot of stretches and felt totally fine this morning.  I never used to bother stretching, until last year I went to a yoga class and realised how tight/short my leg muscles were.  Now I’m much more aware of this, I don’t just think ‘oh well, my legs must just be sore from cycling’.

Mmm, large amounts of tasty food await …

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