Sunday, 24 January 2010

Pay as you churn

Wheels keep on turning and turning and turning and nothing's disturbing the way they go around.

Clearly Edie Brickell never did any turbo training, or she'd know there's plenty disturbing about the way these wheels go around.

But it's with a certain sense of relief that I can report the training has gone rather better than the blog updating this week.

Nothing doing for Monday or Tuesday, but since then I've been hammering the virtual hills, with Friday the only day I haven't been on the turbo trainer. It definitely feels like I've started in earnest.

As well as building up leg strength, turbo training gives you plenty of time to think. Perhaps too much time. This week, I've been mostly thinking about what kind of frame the bike I eventually use for the Marmotte will be made of. On Wednesday, I was still convinced carbon was the way to go. But Thursday and Saturday's training sessions had me thinking I might plump for aluminium. Friday was all about titanium and, for a brief period, custom-built steel.

Of course, it's entirely possible it doesn't matter a jot what the frame's made out of, it's what you do with it that counts. I expect most people doing the sportive will be riding carbon bikes as it is the lightest material, but I'm worried about how it'll hold up if I crash it. Not that I'm planning on crashing it, of course. But it could happen and I'd rather get something that can be repaired rather than something I'll just have to throw in the nearest ditch while I wait for the broom wagon.

I think I've decided on an aluminium framed CAAD9 (pictured above), which has been getting rave reviews in the cycling press and from owners. But this is by no means my final answer and I've been scouring web pages and bike forums for clues that I hope will help inform my decision.

My wife thinks I should write to a range of manufacturers to see if they'll give me a bike to do the training and race on, but I can't help thinking I do enough writing that isn't read by anyone, so there's little point adding to that burden.

Still, if anyone knows of any particularly generous manufacturers or pro teams with a bike to give away for a good cause, do get in touch. Rest assured, their name will be mentioned by me at every possible opportunity, wherever I am and whoever is there to listen.

But back to the training. I guess I must be getting stronger and fitter, but you wouldn't think it given my protests at the end of each session. Maybe I'm pushing myself harder each time, but that could be wishful thinking. Certainly they don't seem to be getting any easier. I dread to think what's going to happen once I start doing two-hour stints and actually getting out on the road.

Meanwhile, this week I'm determined to set up the websites through which you can all donate generously to my two chosen worthy causes. If nothing else, it'll give me a good excuse to update the blog.

1 comment:

  1. Carbon is not just light, it also acts as a shock absorber which contributes to a more comfortable ride. With the long rides you have planned, having a comfortable bike is essential. Carbon can crack or snap if you crash, and accidents can happen, but think positively: if you handle your bike well and don't take too many silly risks then the chance of crashing should be minimal. I've had a carbon bike for almost two years and have only fallen once when I slipped on a frosty painted line at low speed - no damage done at all!