Published on April 7th, 2019 | by Admin0
Stormy 400km Training Ride
We had planned to recce ride the actual route for the 400k BRM in Murcia but bad weather and other commitments scuppered our plans. We have had a glorious winter here in the Alicante region of Spain but at the moment we are definitely experiencing an unsettled spell. So with storms forecast we decided to stick close to home just in case conditions became too dangerous. Our minimum goal was to ride 350km with at least 3000m climbing.
We set out at 5am which would be our start time in the Murcia 400k the following week. The forecast was not at all healthy with storms predicted later in the day. Anne hoped to defy her post midnight tiredness with new aspirin and caffeine tablets which had been recommended by the Herbalist in Rojales. Anne also switched to a new fuelling routing of eating and drinking little and often which she hope would help her combat her lack of appetite later in the ride. We also planned to stop for 2 decent meals during the ride although much depended on how the weather treated us. We have devised a local route which to some degree mimics the constant hills of the PBP route. Most of the route you are either going up a hill or down a hill with each loop around 100k with around 1000m climbing so very much on a par with PBP.
We got off to a good start with glorious weather and were soon eating up the kilometres and clocking up the elevation. We were strict about riding in heart rate zone2 so were at a steady pace in endurance mode. It was not until we had completed the first loop that we noticed the dark clouds on the horizon. Instead of heading back around for another hilly loop we took a shorter loop which left us closer to home. This turned out to be a good decision as the clouds seem to get darker and darker and closer and closer. We raced the clouds home and luckily just made it before the first storm broke. That was just before 3pm and we had to wait until 5.30pm to get back on the road again. In this time though Anne amazingly managed to get 30 minutes or so sleep. Unfortunately though within minutes of our restart another storm rolled in at record pace so we had to take shelter in a bar losing yet another hour. We were prepared though and were in our wet weather kit complete with Velotoze which kept our feet nice and dry.
Luckily though we escaped further storms and after cycling a shorter flat route whilst the roads dried a little we returned to our hilly loop. On this ride we decided to take two decent food breaks. At 1pm we both had a plate of pasta and later, around 9.30pm we shared the biggest plate of chicken and chips I think I have ever seen.
I was a little worried about Anne as we rode into the early hours but she seemed to cope much better through the night on this ride. Around 3am though she was really struggling to stay awake but at that point we were close to the end of the ride so she was able to get going.
A good confidence boosting ride for both of us as yet again we had completed a near 400km ride but this time with over 3200m climbing. Our fuelling was definitely better too which shows you can’t beat real food. And better still, Anne seems to be getting to grips with riding through the night.