TCR#8 2021

December Musings

So the route for the revised tcr#8 is out. Its still west to east, but a little different now.

The offroad bit at the top of the Stelvio. omg!
  1. BREST.
    Start point as per the cancelled race in 2020.
    Excited but scared. I suspect the bike / I will get shaken to pieces
    good alpine climb
    What does that mean?? oh, a 25k stretch of gravel next to the stelvio – in other words, Assietta was just the warm up. Raises issues re routing to / from, bike and tyre choice, spares, resilience etc. Could be a hike a bike section.
    I know nothing about this one….. yet
    Needs a ferry ride from Italy to Greece.

So I have the following questions and initial thoughts.

  1. Bike choice
    I can use my Cannondale Synapse from tcr#6. Everything is sorted except for luggage…. I have some ideas to improve things
    Or maybe I can use my Fairlight Strael I bought as an uber commuter…. Its really comfy, resilient, etc etc.
    The Strael might need a new rear wheel to match my dynamo wheel I can borrow from the synapse.
  2. Luggage
    I’m thinking of a tailfin, and the mounting options point to the Strael. There are options for an axle mount that will work with the Cannondale, but its more complexity / bolts / things to fail.
  3. Tyre choice.
    I was using GP4000s, but split one on tcr#6, but they roll so well. I will look at Rene Herse tyres… I will look at carrying a spare / spare pair hence looking at the tailfin.
    Carrying 2 spare tyres was not an enjoyable experience for my tail pack on tcr#6. I put a fresh set of tyres on for the gravel section at Belanisca and all was good.
  4. Route choice
    yay lets get going. Lots of options / alternatives needed for the ferry crossing, and also CP3 / offroad stelvio.

Outline Plan

I use a mind map to keep track of things – what decisions I have made, etc. Bubbles go green as I decide / buy things. I find it stops me changing my mind etc.
The top row is for the route planning – these will go green when I have initial routes, more bubbles will be added for strava heat map review, facilities review etc etc.
The left hand column is for training – each bubble is for a week. I will add major events / rides to this. Again, bubbles go green as I progress.

Training Plan

I had a coach for Tcr#3, a carry over from my ironman days. I found his really useful, especially accountability.

I self coached for tcr#6 – I basically concentrated on aerobic training, based on Phil Mafetone principles – keeping HR to 130, MAF tests, 4 bike commutes a week, a couple of hard turbos a week for intensity, and building to 2* 6-8 hr rides at the weekend. I had a repeatable basic week that I could hit for 26 out of 30 weeks, with additional volume being added at weekends as the weeks progressed.

This year, everything is different.

I have no bike commutes – I am working from home due to covid. The commutes may have made me tired but riding everyday in all weathers made me strong, and were a core component of my week.

However, I have a lot more time as I no longer have a commute 🙂

I tried using a coach over the summer (Neil at Turn Cycling). He got me going again, riding outside, but I personally felt little accountability, and missed flexing things myself. It did get me fueling properly again though.

So I need a basic structure to fill in for the missing bike commutes.
I found a plan on Training Peaks for Paris/Brest/Paris from Rob Lee, ( Its reasonably high volume, but if I split the midweek rides, its similar to the length of my commutes. It concentrates on aerobic conditioning, with some harder turbos / efforts thrown in. I’ve been previewing some of the basic sessions over the last couple of weeks, and they feel familiar. Its 26 weeks long, but Ive spaced it out for planned kayak trips / training camps etc.

The plan starts next week – I am excited.

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