Friday, 5 June 2009
The Art of the 9 Hour Taper Ride
With just 10 days to the start of the race it was time for a gentle ride to fit in with the concept of tapering your training before a race. The idea is to slow your training intensity to keep in form while rebuilding your body from training depletion. In other words, stop riding hard and be strong at the start of the race.
Well yesterday I spent 9 hours engaged in just such a taper ride. 9 hours!! Yes, I know a bit extreme I admit but it wasn't the plan at all. My guess is that we rode for about 5h30, spent 2 hours drinking cofee and eating soft and browns (Wimpy double up breakfast with soft eggs and brown toast)and then spent an hour and a half fixing punctures - actually one puncture several times. For the inexperienced I must point out that you should always take a pump, tube, puncture repair kit, tyre levers and ideally a tubeless repair kit with you on rides. Yesterday I had ...... a bike! This was only my second puncture in 4 years of riding with tubeless tyres. Obviously I have been riding for more than 4 years. For the first 2 months I rode with tubes.
I have become so blaze about punctures that I have been riding for the best part of the last year without any spares. I do however make sure I ride with better prepared riders.
A 4 inch nail put their niceness to the test. 2 tubeless swatches and a chunk of glue almost fixed the puncture. If only I had followed my own oft given advice about topping up on tubeless tyre sealant every 4-6 months it would have been easy to fix. Apparently there is none in my tyres. Slow punture most of the way to Magaliesburg and back was the result.
Hard to believe I am supposed to be at the top of my game ahead of the Freedom Challenge and ready-for-anything. One sissy nail and the ride becomes a mini-mission.
The ride was good though. We tried a new good looking route and were rewarded with a 45 minute detour through aweful unridable terrain resulting in 200 metres of progress from where we started. At least we know one option that in not a viable route. Other experimental route worked well and chopped out a 5km tar road that is never fun.
Sitting on the grass drinking coffee at the Sasol near home talking trail rubbish with Derek was the perfect end to a good day on the bike.