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    Haute Route Ventoux 2021 Ride Report

    Haute Route Ventoux 2021 Ride Report

    Haute Route cycling events exist to offer the amateur club cyclist a high level, professional cycling experience. Multi day stage races, from 3 to 7 days, with all the trimmings you would expect from watching (too much) Tour de France on TV.

    From aggregate General Classification timings and motorcycle outriders to post stage massage, it's not your average Sunday sportive. 

    Two weeks ago I took part in the Haute Route Ventoux 3 day weekend. Reflecting on the event now that my legs have recovered, I have to admit that it was one of the best cycling experiences of my life.

    I wasn’t expecting that, for a few reasons. I think I was expecting the event to be a bit on the serious side, with lots of serious riders all taking themselves very seriously.  

    And it was a serious event. 285km and 8000 metres of climbing in a weekend is serious.

    We'd all trained hard for the ride and wanted to do our best. Unlike some other events I've ridden in the past, I didn't see anyone downing rosé the night before stage one!

    However the fact that riders were focused didn't stop everyone socialising, helping each other out and mixing well. The balance was good, which I was very thankful for.

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    How to Train for Haute Route (in 4 weeks!)

    How to Train for Haute Route (in 4 weeks!)

    I am sitting on an SNCF train from Brussels to Bédoin. My bike has been precariously placed on the top shelf of a large luggage rack in a thin fluro bag (train rules, it’s luggage apparently).

     
    As I head towards the Giant of Provence and the Haute Route Ventoux amateur cycling race, I wanted to write down my top tips for training for a Haute Route event, especially if you don't have much time.

    Just in case anyone is thinking about making Haute Route their 2022 or 2023 cycling challenge.

    I’m not trying to suggest I’ve gone from 0-60 in 4 weeks, I ride my bike a lot. But I usually ride 'for fun' without a real goal in mind; a mixture of crit racing (very short, very hard 30-60 minute efforts) or cafe rides with mates, as well as some gravel/MTB too.

    Training for a mountainous event like Haute Route Ventoux is a different kettle of bike ride, so it did require some different training.

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    How Does Cycling Affect Your Mental Health?

    How Does Cycling Affect Your Mental Health?

    There are many reasons to start cycling. You might need to get your heart pumping and lose weight. Maybe you want to improve your overall fitness goals. It could be as simple as wanting to build some muscle. But keep in mind that there are mental health benefits to cycling too. Various studies have proven that exercising contributes to a more positive mental attitude.  

    Let’s take a closer look at how your interest in cycling can improve your overall mental health.

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    My Journey From Beginner Cyclist To Zwift Racer

    My Journey From Beginner Cyclist To Zwift Racer

    It’s safe to say that the past year has been full of surprises – and, pandemics aside, one of the biggest has been the inordinate amount of time I have spent on Zwift.

    I unwrapped my smart turbo trainer on Christmas Day 2019 (talk about ahead of the curve) with plans to do “a bit of winter training on rainy days” and, a year later, I find myself racing my socks off every Tuesday night for DWWRT in the WTRL Zwift Racing Leagues.

    Yes, it’s sweaty. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it’s a relatively intense way to spend a weekday evening.

    But it’s also really fun. I promise.

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    Autumn Cycling Kit Guide - What Do You Need For Cool Weather Riding!

    Autumn Cycling Kit Guide - What Do You Need For Cool Weather Riding!

    Cycling in summer is great. Wherever in the world you are, generally you don't need much kit. A pair of bib shorts, a lightweight jersey and some sun cream. You're all set. Conversely, cycling in deep winter is also fairly easy to do, kit wise. Put on all the layers you have, including that 1980s skiing balaclava of your Dad's, and off you go. You know it's going to be cold and/or wet, so you can prepare.

    What to do then when it's just a bit... meh? The autumn and spring months, especially in the UK, can be hugely changeable, making kit choice a bit of a nightmare. Not only that but the weather can change in either direction during the ride. You can be forgiven for thinking it's not worth riding in this weather, or taking all the kit you own with you (ah hello overheating, we've missed you!), however there are a staple few items that can save your autumn/spring ride. Read on below for our top tips on cool weather cycling kit:

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    You CAN be good at Climbing — Top Tips for New Cyclists

    You CAN be good at Climbing — Top Tips for New Cyclists

    Climbing: you either love it or you hate it! Sadly, for most cyclists, the latter seems to be the norm. The thought of going out for a hilly ride brings many out in a bout of ‘oh gosh, doesn’t the weather look like it’s about to turn?’ That’s why learning to climb when you start out is the best thing you can do. 

    Climbing is difficult. It’s arguably the hardest thing you can do on a bike; whether it’s a short, sharp lung-burner, or a longer ascent that seems like it’s never going to end. It’s no wonder then that many new cyclists avoid the hilly rides in favour of a flatter, easier route. Here’s the rub: climbing, like most difficult things, makes you better! Nothing will improve your cycling ability, confidence and enjoyment more than learning to climb. The good news is that climbing is as much about technique as it is fitness, and that technique can be learnt.

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