Assume the (right) Position

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How does it feel on those longer rides – back ache a little? Maybe your neck, shoulders or knees…..and what about the pins and needles in your hands and fingers.

Perhaps you’ve changed your bike and the new set up just doesn’t feel right? Maybe it’s time for a full physical assessment. 

With a busy 2015 mapped out ahead of us, we got in touch with Mark Harvey from Take3 and booked ourselves and bikes in for a full Retul fit.

The first thing that dawns on you entering Mark’s studio is that they only bikes there are his, or his clients. It’s clear this is not a bike shop and there is no hidden agenda to sell you something. Just a love for the sport and desire to help customers progress.

The session takes around 2.5 hours and starts literally in the table where the physical assessment starts before moving on to your shoes and cleat position before you get anywhere near the bike. Posture, flexibility, symmetry and stability are all taken into consideration together with any previous or current injury/problem which you might be experiencing.

Your bike is then secured into a turbo trainer and Mark attaches 8 sensors to your body which feed back to his motion capture software, then it’s spinning to get an initial reading. 

His initial focus is on setting up there back of the bike, the height and angle of the saddle and how far forward or aft it moves. You soon realise from the sensor readings that the smallest of changes to one variable has a much wider impact on your overall set up, and Mark methodically works through these until you are in the best possible position for what you are looking to achieve. We’re both looking to build comfort in endurance rides, but many of his other clients are riding at a competitive level and their set up will reflect the discipline.

After numerous adjustments concentration moves to the front of the bike, and both Damien and I are simply too stretched out. Stem length is changed for both of us and our hands feel better positioned almost immediately.

At the end of the evening we both leave having made a number of changes to bikes which we have covered several 1,000’s of miles on, and ‘tinkered’ with our own set ups along the way. How will it feel when we get out on the road again proper?

Since the fitting it’s pretty much been snow or black ice out there and the turbo has been the order of the day, but we’ve managed to get 75 miles in this weekend see here. The verdict first time out……it felt different, but it felt better. Thanks Mark!

Take3 are offering a generous 20% discount for fitting to anyone who signs up to ride an Allez event in 2015 – Contact Mark directly either through the website  www.take3tri.co.uk or call at 01235 530439  …

The Sharpener – Year 3

Year three for the Sharpener and we thought it was time to refresh the route a little for 2015. The brief had to remain the same; in essence a route to wake up the legs early in the summer Sportive season. 

Early climbing, followed by a long open section to open up the legs and finishing with a final push! So we took a long look, considered with the positive feedback from 2013/14 and turned the Sharpener literally on it’s head – reversing the direction of the course and tweaking it slightly.

For 2015 the climbing will come early. Cannon’s Hill at 3 miles, then Ashenden, Dorton and Brill before heading over the border into Oxfordshire.

The middle third is a flat quiet and fast, with a feed station set up just down the road from Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons – the food being a little less highbrow, but easier to digest en route. 

And the final section? Britwell Hill makes for a grinding climb to Christmas Common, followed by a swooping decent through the corners of Aston Hill and back into Aylesbury Vale.

Take a look at the profile below. GPX files and mapping will be published to entrants in advance – if you have a smartphone we’ll also be publishing with the Ride with GPS App.

 

Helmets – it’s a No Brainer

I feel drawn to write something up as I still cannot believe the number of people who still choose not to wear a helmet. It scares me..

Over a two month period this summer, three cycling friends have had unfortunate ‘offs’ at greatly varying speeds. Now I firmly believe that without helmet protection – at least one of them would now at best be learning to walk again, if still with us at all.

Hitting the tarmac head first would do that to you….notwithstanding broken collarbone, whiplash and a significant loss of skin suffered between the three.

“Don’t think you can decide which part of your body is going to hit the ground hardest, It doesn’t work like that. Looking at the damage to my helmet, I’m certain that without it, I would not be here to tell the tale” Alan Jones – Blue Helmet

“I’m missing the Prudential 100 and still having physio to get properly fixed having been diagnosed with a good case of whiplash” Graham Armit – White Helmet  

So take a close look at the photo’s below – do you think you would walk away?

It’s a no brainer……protect yours and strap a helmet on…

Weather Getting You Down?

Struggling to get the miles in? A perennial problem with our moist, dark, cold spring, but keep telling yourself – It’s not just distance, its quality that counts.

So what about jumping on a Turbo trainer. Are they really ‘masochist only’ soulless contraptions best at home in a torture chamber, or your early season saviour?

Come on, as a cyclist you already embrace a certain level of torture. Most folk only grow to despise the trainer because of the boredom factor…or perhaps the fact that there is literally no let-up or coasting behind somebody who is prepared to take the wind!Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

We like a structured, challenging, motivating download or DVD to keep us keep focussed and there are plenty to choose from. If a thrash metal soundtrack does it for you there is always the Sufferfest, or perhaps a motivational ‘boost’ from Graham Street at Cyclosport who will kick your butt in a 30 minutes HIT session.

But then there is 3LC…..

You don’t need a heart rate monitor, you don’t need a power meter, you don’t even need a cadence monitor – Just a basic turbo trainer, a PC or DVD player and a very absorbent towel. That’s literally all you need to train with Manx cycling royalty including the Missile himself.

There are training DVD’s covering road racing, sprinting, time trailing and for extra fun climbing. Also pay per view sessions and fully structured training packaging including a specific 5 week sportive plan.

Check out the demo video – “it’s not about number crunching, it’s not about watts, it’s about character…”

Got an iphone? Then you should never get lost if you download our GPX files

Love your iphone and yet to invest in GPS for you bike?

Virtually every iphone owning cyclist uses an app (or two) to track their progress and favourite routes. However, surprisingly few ‘import’ the route detail for the Sportives they enter. 

Whilst all apps do not provide this functionality, we have detailed below just how simple it is to import using free app Cyclometer.

Upload the free app from cyclemeter from and then simply download the gpx file for our rides as follows.

  1. Select the route you have entered to ride from the link on our website which will transfer you to the Ride with GPS site page.
  2. Export the GPX Track file (.gpx) onto your desktop, and then mail it to yourself.
  3. On your iPhone, tap the mail attachment you want to import in Mail – You will be prompted about which application you want to open the file. Choose Cyclemeter.
  4. Cyclemeter will be launched, and will display a page showing a map and settings. Tap Import. The file will be imported, and you will be shown the Info page for the ride.

IT REALLY IS THAT SIMPLE….if you get distracted by the beautiful countryside and miss a sign, pull out your iphone and get back on track!

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Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity team up with Allezsportives

Allezsportives are pleased to announce they are working with the Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity, who have added The Sharpener challenge event to their fundraising calendar bupropion xl 150 mg.

Karen Shardlow, Development and Events Manager at FNHC said: “Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity is very excited about being part of this brand new local cycling challenge as it’s something the charity has been looking to introduce to our events calendar for a while.”

Allesportives will donate a percentage of all FNHC riders entry fees directly to the charity, and as the ride will represent a challenge to most, suggest those using it to raise additional sponsorship visit where their supporters can be rewarded with vouchers to spend locally.

Enter the event here making sure you enter FNHC in the ‘How did you find us?” 

Additionally sporty families might want to enter their children in the Florrie’s Scootathalon event running on Bank Holiday Monday 6th May – visit

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Feeling Hungry?

Damien’s secret weapon! Consume cold from the jersey pocket by the slice to slowly release energy and believed  to contain traces of spaghetti bolognaise and eggs. Nothing equine here…

There are countless column inches written on the subject of nutrition and how its best consumed pre, post and during the cycling events.

We’ve compiled a selection of helpful links at the base of this blog, and would encourage you to consider you own preparation carefully.  After all, we’re all individual and the last thing you want to do on an event day is try something untested which you might to struggle to digest..or worse!

Some of us find a banana their inflight snack of choice, whilst others find that banana’s lay heavily if they have already stocked up with a slow release porridge breakfast. 

Whatever works for you, make sure you don’t fall into the trap of simply stuffing yourself with carbs on the night before and skipping the regular maintenance which your body will need on the day.

For our part, we’ll make sure that there are plenty of good top-up foods available for you on the day, whether you favour malt loaf, flap jack, cereal bars or bananas.

Our feed station will also be stocked with Science in Sports drinks to help your digestion further and keep you hydrated. Make sure you start drinking early and refill you bottles this page.

Happy eating.

Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)