Summed up with the fact I still can't run, I can cycle and have done lots and I can still swim...although I've not been in a pool for nearly two months.
I've started and finished one Criterium race which too my delight, was shortened. On first impressions, I though:
"Shortened Crit = less time to suffer"
When in fact, it's shortened, so everyone goes that little bit faster.
The usual setup of a Crit goes a lil' something like this.
You get yourself a closed circuit (in Pembreys case, a racing circuit). You then add some riders, in this case, 45 of us. The abilities range from 4th Cat* racers; Me or newbie's and 3rd Cat* racers; people who've accumulated enough point to move up from 4th Cat.
* You gain points from finishing in the top 10 of the field and the points are distributed through the first finishers. Not sure how many points, but that's how it rolls. When you gain enough points in one season, you move up into the next Cat. It goes; 4th Cat -> 3rd Cat -> 2nd Cat -> 1st Cat -> Elite.
The format I raced was "supposed" to be 1hr + 1 lap. Instead, due to delays, it changed to 45mins + 1 lap.
So they gunned it from the off. I just wanted to finish in the main pack and not get dropped. Anyhow, after averaging ~30mph for 45mins I was pleased to finish in the main bunch. A tough workout, but good fun. I haven't done one since for various reason...I say various, I've been lazy.
I've also done the Merlin ride. A 75 mile Sportif in Carmarthenshire. Good fun and takes in all my training routes. I missed the start as I was by the car taking a piss, then caught a big group after ~15 miles after going through all the back markers. The thing with Sportifs' is, it's not a race, although I like using them as a hard training session. I like the feel of them and you do get the odd group who take them faaar too seriously, but it's all good. Anyway, I got bored of riding in the group for ~10 miles and decided to have a go on my own and see who'd follow. Turns out...no-one. Loved the local climbs and just got quicker through he day...finished with the 4th quickest time...but it's not a race. Loved it.
The other "race" I had to look forward to was a MTB Enduro in Afan Argoed. The 100k jobbie...yeah, well...that got cancelled due to some "made up" disease: The Sudden Death Oak Disease. Awesome.
So I'm off to Lanzarote in a couple weeks. I'll rent a bike for a few days and cycle into the wind and see what the crack is with this Femes' climb.
Another ride I've decided to do myself which I took an idea from Paris-Roubaix, is Caernarfon-Carmarthen. The only way it resembles Paris-Roubaix is by finishing on an out-door Velodrome...there're no cobbles that I know of. Unless I go over the 2.5m strip of cobbles in Carmarthen...24,000 times.
The ride will be roughly 220km and I'll be doing this route:
I'll be starting at Caernarfon Castle then heading along the coast to Porthmadog, I'll try keep the route as coastal as possible...since it's bloody lyvly...and Blaenau Ffestiniog looks like something from Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings. Then, I'll use my climbing legs to get through the Snowdonia National Park...again, bloody lyvly. From Dolgellau, where I'd more than likely stop for some water/snack, I'll head off to Aberystwyth where I'll quickly pass through and avoid the temptation to spend three nights in the Hen Llew Ddu; where incidentally, Jesus works behind the bar. Well, I say Jesus, he's re-named himself Iestyn. Then forth towards Aberaeron to see the sea and onto the final stretch home -> Carmarthen Velodrome. The oldest active concrete Velodrome in the World. IN YOUR FACE, PARIS-ROUBAIX. You can stuff your cobbles up your lycra padded shorts.
In total, the ride will involve nigh on 3,000m of climbing (if Bikehike.co.uk can be trusted). I'll wait for some decent weather and a 50mph tailwind, then I'll jump on the train and head North...with my newly injected vaccinations and a fistful of energy bars.
What's that? Target time I hear you say?
Well...137.5 miles at an average of 16mph will give me 8hrs 30mins. Just over 18mph will be 7hrs 30mins...so somehwere around there. I think. Vague? yes. Have I got any idea? No.
Abergorlech - Red Run
Abergorlech - Finish