Ride around the Merlin Sportive Route today

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Banjo, 12 Apr 2010.

  1. Banjo

    Banjo Fuelled with Jelly Babies

    South Wales
    Rode it today with Lukesdad in preperation for the sportive in July.

    Its 104 hilly miles around Carmarthenshire and up over the Black mountains.Its the hardest ride I have done to date by far.

    Started at LukesDads place which is only a few miles from the route ,this meant starting the circuit about 20 miles from the normal end. This had the unfortunate effect of putting one of the major climbs right at the end of our days riding.

    I suffered some serious leg muscle cramps and this slowed us right down as I had to walk now and then to stretch the cramps out of my legs.Lukes dad was great, he encouraged me along and gave me some invaluable tips on hill climbing (a major feature of the Merlin) In fact putting his tips into practice I got over the big hill at 100 miles better than earlier ones.




    Many thanks to Lukesdad for your patience and making it an enjoyable but tough day.(for me anyway)I now have a much better idea how to train for and ride the Merlin in July.
  2. lukesdad

    lukesdad Guest

    What happened to the picture of your New best mate,Banjo..... the one that tried to eat your lunch and your bike. Enjoyed the day we ll have to do it again sometime.
  3. OP

    Banjo Fuelled with Jelly Babies

    South Wales
    Picture didnt come out as he kept trying to eat the camera:-)

    Trying to come to an agreement with mountain Ponies doesnt seem to work.Our offer not to eat the grass if he got his nose out of our sandwiches didnt impress him at all. :-)

    wont do the full Merlin again until the event in July but will try to get down and maybe do the Cothi for some hill practice.Hopefully if I get my salt intake etc sorted i would be able to not hold you up so much.Despite the cramp problems I had a great day and learned an enormous amount .
  4. Lardyboy

    Lardyboy New Member

    Glad to see you're getting the miles and the hills in Banjo. Having a riding companion who encourages you along is great and the miles do seem to go by quicker though not neccessarily any easier.:laugh:

    The weather looked a lot better than the previous Sunday when I rode over the Black Mountain to Llandovery. I had to keep pedaling down the other side to keep myself from coming to a standstill! :biggrin:
  5. Fairweather

    Fairweather Well-Known Member

    Riding companion on the Merlin - now there's a novel idea!. Thoughts go back to last year when I had to stop to water the weeds, my riding companions who should have been encouraging me along ( I will not mention Lard and 515's names) carried on and I didn't see them again until the finish - the miles went by so quick - well for some people they did!!!!!
  6. So Tyred

    So Tyred New Member

    Southend, Essex
    can you share Lukesdads tips?
  7. OP

    Banjo Fuelled with Jelly Babies

    South Wales
    First one was try and get some nutrition down you shortly before getting to a long climb(first time I used sports gels and they definitely help)

    I think the biggest mistake I was making was going too fast at the bottom of hills in a larger chain ring.Changing to the granny half way up was upsetting my rythm and resulting in a very slow climb up the rest of the hill.

    Unless its a short enough hill that momentum and a bit of grinding will get me over I am now changing down earlier then trying to maintain the same cadence as I go up.Attacking big climbs at the bottom was leaving me running out of fuel before the top.

    Have also made some alterations to cleat and saddle positions which seem to be an improvement. Time will tell :-)
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