Sunday, 24 November 2013

Merida Brass Monkey Rnd.1

It happened - with Anna Cipullo we've entered the Andalucia Bike Race! 6 days, 400km, 10,000m elevation. And exactly 3 months left...
So exciting!

As a preparation to long hours in the saddle at (hopefully) relatively high intensity, I've decided to enter a series of four 4-hour races - Merida Brass Monkeys, and follow them with cycling back home afterwards, for 35-45km.

And here goes the first of the Monkeys, 24th Nov 2013.
Probably the worst race I've ever done. From the very start my legs had nothing to give, I was going on the easy gear and still my muscles were burning. I wasn't even able to stay off the saddle so I was hitting all the roots, holes and bumps and shaking my brain off. I dragged myself around the course and even threw up without getting off my bike, a skill I didn't realise I possessed.
The girls I'd hoped to compete with disappeared within first two minutes. I managed to ride for 3 hrs and eventually called it a day (there was still a 2-hour ride home ahead). The only thing to keep me going was a thought of the Andalucia Race. I thought I'd continue riding so later, if I happen to have a hard day on the bike, I can look back at this day and think "If I managed to ride that, I can ride now too".

Photo by 1st Gear Cycles
The Merida series is meant to be an experimental field - for various bike's setups, nutrition etc. and as such it definitely worked well this Sunday. Now I know for example that I definitely need to change a saddle if I want to ride on it for longer than 3-4 hrs. Nutrition-wise: LCHF my arse. It worked first, but not any longer. Either commit in 100% or forget.
And after all I did 5 hrs and over 80km today so not that bad considering the circumstances.

And I'm already looking forward to the next round of the Monkeys in three weeks time. Today's event was well organised, well market and looked like fun if you can ride it faster so hopefully I'll give a better performance next time.

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