Yesterday we split into small groups to ride routes in the areas close to us. Alex, Ryan and I rode almost 60km from Beverley hitting two local hills, Trundlegate and Stoneknowle (which Alex had tried to avoid before now due to his hate of hills!). We included a few sprints at random points in the ride and it was an enjoyable outing in the end and I’m looking forward to doing more group rides in the coming weeks.
During this session we rode from Beverley Westwood out to Trundlegate (South Newbald) with a view to doing some hill reps/training.
The session was about having good control of the bike going down and when climbing and using the right gears, effort and generally practice for going up inclines like that.
When I was at the bottom I looked at the hill and thought I was going to struggle but it didn't seem so bad after I got past the steepest part!
The easiest part was going down as I didn't have to pedal as much because if I wanted to keep control on the turns and stay on the brakes just in case.
The hardest part was definitely when the hill kicked up again. In this session I learned about the RPE scale (Rate of Perceived Exertion). This is a way to measure how much effort you are putting in when riding or doing any form of exercise.
The Cycle Academy has been really valuable for me so far encouraged me to stop smoking and improve my general fitness!
The event, One Hell of a Hill Climb, was held to raise money for an adapted bike for Daren Smith (a local cyclist who is in rehab from a stroke). There was a great turnout of riders and volunteers and there was lots of healthy competition and plentiful amounts of last minute doubts!
The event was thoroughly enjoyable due to the friendly atmosphere and the chance to compete against experienced cyclists. Although most of us, including me, set off with high hopes of being fast, these quickly changed to hopes of actually making it to the top of the hill!
Overall, it was a great, well organised event for an inspiring cause and I’m really pleased I took part. I also hope that the fundraising for Daren’s adapted bike is a success.
Results can be found here: - https://www.sportstimingsolutions.co.uk/rd.php?id=324
Humber Bridge Sportive - Sunday 9th June 2019
For most of the Academy riders this was the chance to complete their longest ride to date (approx. 40 miles or 64km) and to be part of a Sportive for the first time; the benefits of this being that the route is signed, well marshaled and includes a feed station (one on the route and food at the end).
The aim was to start and finish as a group and work together as a team to complete the route. There were 12 of us in total and 850 riders out on the course so it was important for the group to communicate well (both verbally and non-verbally), give clear instructions and ride safely.
Fortunately, the weather was on our side! We did experience some of the common issues when riding in a group...mechanicals (x 4), water bottles dropping out of cages (x3), riding near other riders/groups, negotiating junctions and turns.
My advice to the group at the start was that they are likely to learn something new every time we ride out and that was definitely the case today. It was great to see how much they have improved both individually and as a group and I was really impressed with the way they conducted themselves during the event.
All in all, a superb day all round and great experience for the group to see and take part in a large scale cycling event.
Today's team session was based on teamwork on hill climbs and rolling hills. We set off up the hills in groups of 2 riders using slipstream techniques, in slipstreaming the lead rider pushes through the air ahead of them, helping the cyclists behind them by making less drag.
We also built up more experience on gear shifting when starting hill climbs. Preparing our gears for a hill to ascend or descend was key. We covered about 40km/24 miles with 430 metres/1400 feet of climbing. All riders did very well and team contribution was at its best, 2 new riders joined the team session and also gave 100% effort in the group.
Cycling is all about teamwork. This is the idea that was reinforced on Wednesday's session which involved a team pursuit where a team of rabbits set off 15 minutes before a pack of foxes set off to chase them down. The idea was that if both teams coordinated their best riders and rotated who was doing the work at the front of the group they would finish at the same interval they set off.
As it turned out, the rabbits were caught. We learned some good lessons about the importance of coordination and drafting, and maybe next time both teams will finish at exactly the interval we set off.
Until I started cycling with a group I never realised the importance of drafting and the difference it makes to the effort you are making at higher speeds and over longer distances.
I will definitely be putting this into practice in the future.
We started off by going through nutrition information such as when and what we should eat before, during and after a ride.
We then went onto gears and what gearing we should use for certain areas e.g. for hill climbs, flats and down hill. This was particularly useful as we've been riding around Beverley and the surrounding areas (Newbald, Etton, Cherry Burton etc).
We then jumped on the turbo trainers to look at our position on the bike and made some adjustments if needed.
Overall, a great session as all of these areas contribute towards becoming a better cyclist!
Looking forward to trying out these skills on the road in my own time and on the group ride next week.
tour de yorkshire: blog post by roisin gorry (member of the cycle academy) saturday 4th may 2019 (photos courtesy of Josh Harrison Photography, joshharrisonmedia.com)
On Saturday morning Bridlington was buzzing and so were we as we met in the morning for the initial team meeting.
Seeing everyone wearing the club kit really made me feel part of the R-evolution cycling team and it was amazing to go on the same stage that the top male cyclists would also later be on and have Marc Chavet present our new club to the Bridlington crowds!
We then had an unexpected meeting with a group of Bridlington schoolchildren who were interested in what we did while we were at the club and why we were wearing shoes that made us walk in such a funny way. We even had requests to sign t shirts.
Then the highlight of the day...cycling out together from the Tour start line with the crowds cheering and then watching the elite cyclists go past at a slightly faster pace!
What a memorable day!
In this session the Academy went out on a ride around Beverley and the surrounding areas (Cherry Burton, South Dalton). It was the first time all members of the team rode as one in full kit. The group looked amazing in the matching jerseys, shorts, helmets and shoes, giving a great sense of teamwork, it really feels as if we are coming together and improving each week at speed.
It was a lovely evening to go out to try all of the skills needed to successfully ride as a group as well as socialise with other members. Trying not to run into the back of someone or falling flat was particularly difficult when clipping in and out of pedals!
I am sure on Saturday at the launch at the Tour de Yorkshire in Bridlington we will show just how well we have come together, reflecting all the hard work the coaches have put in for us.
Yesterday the Cycle Academy spent 2 hours at R-evolution HQ in Cottingham. We got involved with basic bike maintenance activities lead by Head Mechanic Oliver which was extremely useful as we are better prepared for problems with punctures, brakes and gears.
Afterwards the groups switched roles as we were in two groups and my group moved onto kit fitting. The kit looked really nice and I’m very much looking forward to wearing it out and about and at the launch at the Tour de Yorkshire on Saturday 4th May 2019. We tried on jerseys, bib shorts, gilets and jackets as well as helmets and shoes. Once shoe sizes had been sorted we moved onto practicing clipping into pedals which was challenging to begin with but with practice (I think I’ll be doing a lot of it) definitely becomes easier. We then met Hull Thursday Road Club and had a group photo with them. They have allowed us to borrow some bikes to help to get the Cycle Academy started.
There was a really good atmosphere at the session and I found it really good to continue to get to know everyone involved and it really put it into perspective how much R-evolution are putting into giving the Academy such an exclusive opportunity so I’d also like to say thank you everyone involved and I am excited about further sessions with the group and the exciting launch on Saturday 4th May in Bridlington!