As you know I have been trialling Rouvy as an alternative to Tacx after some software issues.
It’s ok, Garmin karma got its own back on me when I whalloped my Forerunner on the kitchen door and the screen exploded. Sucks to be me.
We might come back and do a review on Amazons repair service at some point but that would need them to send the watch back… anyway consumer issues aside, I have been having some fun on Rouvy. The riding is fast and despite one or two people putting out over 10 watts per kilo and zooming past from 3km behind, it seems a decent community. So I am happy.
So much so that mid-week last week I entered a race on the Caves route course.
I downloaded the footage and despite only being on a mobile phone joined the race in augmented reality (AR).
I’d done some reading and knew that the racing on here was intense. I still wasn’t prepared for just how much despite a nice 10 minute warm up with a couple of hard sprints.
The timer on screen counted down and the 220 of us intrepid racers flew out of the car park at the start and on to the route. For the first 5 minutes or so I was totally unaware of what was happening as riders flew forward and back past me with the drafting indicator firing on and off repeatedly.
There were some graphical issues but these were soo resolved as the race settled down.
I say settled down but these guys start fast and then don’t let up.
It was super hard and I was drifting outside of the top 100 riders despite putting down nearly 3 watts per kilo and over 200 watts total on the big climb of the race.
At the first split I was already over 5 minutes down on the leader but I was more focused on how the graphics neatly let you know where you were and did the time checks. I could see a group wasn’t too far ahead and set about staying close on the downhill before pulling as hard as I could in the valley road to get back on.
I did and it was nice to do some turns and have a little rest as well in the wheels.
By split 2 the leaders had increased their lead to 8 minute and it was clear that the climbs were proving too much for me to hang on.
My group was still working well together and we set about the flat roads and little lumps on the run in as hard as we could.
Every up hill metre was earned and hurt. This was despite my standard turbo and sensor set up as opposed to direct drive. I was tweaking the resistance up hill to make it more authentic even though it was costing me.
The flat was where I could really make a difference.
The last 2km were downhill having turned off a main road. I was sprinting as hard as I could but I was cooked. In the end I was 86th place at 11 minutes.
I was happy with the place and my ride, but gutted with the time gaps.
But the bug has bitten. When my Fenland Clarion CC racing season ended I never imagined I’d get my shorts and jersey on the race for my team again in 2020… I might squeeze one more in… any flat routes out there? ! 🙂
I was very excited to announce our partnership with local cycling club Fenland Clarion during this weeks podcast.
This is the result of a lot of behind the scenes conversations and planning.
The first thing is that after three years with St Ives/Plastribution/Technoflo I will be back as a first claim member of Fenland. I will be still be second claim with SICC and will support both clubs by participation and marshalling events.
Fenland Clarion CC means a lot to me on a personal level as this was the club I joined at the age of 17 in 1991. I was a wide eyed long haired kid on a Dawes. Skinny and relatively fast compared to nowadays. It was the time of my life. We piled our bikes in a van or each other cars before heading all round the country riding bike races and stopping for a bag of chips on the way home.
One of my first open bike races was a four up team time trial in Leicester and I was delighted to have been picked in the Clarion C team. Matt Clarkson, Tim Stone and Trevor Reade (I think!) were the team. Tim was ill and dropped in the first of 30 tough miles.
The winning team had Chris Boardman in it. We did see them flash down the dual carriage way in the opposite direction to us. It was an amazing experience that stayed with me. I like to think that competing against us that day pushed Chris to that Olympic success in Barcelona the following summer… I may be wrong.
Over a period of house moves and the need to ride local to see more of my kids in the evenings, I had spells with Peterborough, I-team/Wheel2Wheel (on the South Coast) and Fenland again before St Ives.
I learned a lot about cycling and a lot about the local racing scene. I hope to be able to share and express this in my role with Clarion.
My other admin experience came as one of the two founders of Yaxley Riders, a group based in my home village. That group had an initial aim of bringing the deluge of new riders to the sport to a certain level before passing them on to local cycling clubs who could develop them further. It worked well to start but as the group grew so big the direction changed. It wasn’t what I wanted any more and so I stepped away, which was emotionally hard considering the time, effort and money I had invested.
Fendrien came off the back of that departure as a nod to the similarities between our area and the Flanders area of Belgium. Something that Clarion have always acknowledged.
So I will be working on their website and social media channels to try and promote the club and get the message out there that joining a cycling club in 2017 is a lot different to how it might have been, even 10 years ago.