Apparently one is not supposed ride the 165km Fitz’s Classic as one’s first imperial century. Instead I should find a flat 161km event and pootle around. Something in my favour this year is that I will be riding as a group of four; among which is a 30-time Fitz’s veteran. The support, guidance and morale-boosting will be invaluable.
Well… I missed my 15kg weight loss target by about 12kg. I haven’t retested my FTP since September, but I suspect it has improved.
I have made some effort. I have ridden some famous climbs for the first time, including Red Hill, Mt Majura, Mt Pleasant and a successful summit of Fitz’s Hill a month ago. I’m not overawed by it, but it certainly demands respect, especially as it is after 70km.
Looking back at last year’s post mortem (numbered below), I have some updates and improvements for this year (bullet points).
- Indoor trainers teach continuous pedalling. You can’t underestimate the efforts that your legs, feet, bum and gentleman’s area go through on a long ride without traffic lights and intersections.
- True that. My legs don’t fatigue like they used to. I can turn for 2 hours without stopping.
- There is always tension on the chain at the set power level, whereas on the road the freewheel doesn’t tension the chain. Perhaps legs become more circular indoors?
- Three words: Aussie Butt Cream
- Strava arm warmers will also keep you cool in hot weather and free from sunburn. I have slivers of burn on the tiny gaps between my gloves and sleeves.
- I found Bontrager arm covers that are thin and cool but SPF50+
- I need something under my helmet to prevent “horns” from being burnt into my forehead.
- A Bontrager skullcap works well.
- And something to stop sweat pouring into my eyes on descents.
- Ditto on the skullcap.
- Load the course into your Garmin. Knowing what you are about the face and how long you need to face it is very good for pacing and confidence.
- I would have liked to have trialled the course on my KICKR.
- If the course is not downloadable from the ride website, try www.plotaroute.com or similar.
- I copied it from a friend who completed it last year.
- Prepare your bike. My tyres were new, I degreased the drive-train before full tuning, brakes were tightened for fast response. My KMC chain doesn’t like my Ultegra top jockey wheel, but at least I never missed a shift.
- I just discovered that the KMC catches the next cog on the Deore cassette slightly every half-rotation, which explains the noise.
- Ultegra chain also catches, by to a far lesser degree. Shifting is sweet.
- Tyres aren’t new, but I found two tyres that were in good condition.
- Tioga tubes are hopeless. Replaced all around with tubes that lose 1psi per day, not every 5 minutes.
- Keep it steady for the first third. If you feel good, then push it.
- The group shall.
- Ride at your pace. Jump on a train if you can, but don’t burn up trying to stay on.
- The group shall.
- Eat and drink regularly.
- I’ve got gels, salt tablets, seaweed strips from the Kyoto Marathon.
- Some drivers have no idea about overtaking.
- Safety in numbers
- Motorcyclists have more respect for cyclists than drivers do.
- Have fun.
We’ll found out tomorrow. Weather should be OK for the out, but expecting a big NW headwind and possible rain for the return. I’ll earn it.