Sunday, 20 November 2011

Revolution 34

It's been a packed weekend of cycling.  A nice spin round the lanes on Saturday morning (60M), Revolution Track Series at the Veldrome on Saturday night, followed by a 50M club run today, so a decent mileage for the week of 131M (210km).

I need it.  Next weekend is the ride out organised by Onix Bikes that I plan to join.  It's a 50 miler taking in around 5,000 feet of ascent over in the Peak District, challenging for an average cyclist (here's the route for the Onix ride).  So, I've put my winter wheels on my Onix Azzuro, as they have a 32T rear cassette on them and I'm temporarily storing my Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels on my winter bike.  I thought they looked pretty good, here's a picture: -

Kinesis Racelight TK2 - My Winter Bike

With my standard front chainset 53/39 and rear cassette 12-32, it gives me a gear ratio of 1.22 (32.1 inches).  If you were to compare that to a compact chainset (50/34) with a 12-28 on the back (gear ratio of 1.21 or 31.9 inches), you can see it's basically the same, so that's about as good as it's going to get without changing the front chainset, which is a step too far.  More about gear ratios here.

Revolution 34

I had three main reasons for wanting to go to Revolution 34.
  1. To see Mark Cavendish in the Rainbow jersey and back on the boards at Manchester Velodrome.
  2. To see Rapha Condor rider - Andy Tennant - race, to see how his form was.  Andy is someone I ride with from time to time, so it was brilliant to watch him on home turf and cheer him on.
  3. To see the official tribute to Rob Hayles, who has recently announced his retirement.
Cavendish riding the boards caused a big buzz for the event, which was sold out.  Speaking in an interview he said “It’s nice to race at your home velodrome. It all started off here, so it’s good to come back.” 

He wasn't there to seriously race, more of a personal appearance and - although the crowd would have loved to see a Gold medal podium, it wasn't going to happen on Saturday.

Rapha Condor Sharp riders Andy Tennant and Ed Clancy saw to that, putting in a blistering performance in the 1km Madison, nailing a time of 55.351 seconds to take first place.  Cavendish, riding for Team Howies, finished third with 59.421.   You can see the full results here.  Tennant and Clancy looked in terrific form, watch out London Olympics 2012.

Rob Hayles Retires

Hayles takes the salute from the Revolution Riders
Hayles is one of those popular riders who has enjoyed considerable support throughout his career.  You can read his results here.  A special guard of honour was laid on by the major riders there on the night, which was brilliant to see.  Hayles did a lap of honour on a bike and then through the tunnel of pro's to a standing ovation.

He spoke of his career highs and lows during a live interview and his great friend Mark Cavendish presented him with a gift commemorating the night.  It was really good to see and I really enjoyed being there.  Chapeau Rob Hayles for a brilliant career (so far as phase II in the media is just starting).

Summing Up

As I sit here tonight, penning this blog - I feel tired.  I didn't cover myself in glory on today's club run, I felt tired and was dropped on just about every hill.  The route took in about 2.5K feet  across the 50 miles, however my legs felt heavy and I didn't feel like I had much in the tank.  One of those days.  Still, I got up everything eventually (spin, spin, spin) and enjoyed some great descents along the way.  I bought a DVD about Robert Millar at Revolution and it showed him descending on one of his training runs back in 1984, absolutely terrifying!

It felt good to get to the cafe at Rivington, a delightful little place, with an old fellow playing the piano whilst you got your tea and cake down -one to re-visit for sure.  Conditions today were foggy and temperatures were cooler up in the hills, so a steaming hot cup of tea was welcome at that point.

A couple of days rest now.  May do something light on the Wattbike tomorrow night, just to flush the legs out.

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