Author Topic: The mental strain of riding for a year  (Read 1746 times)

red marley

The mental strain of riding for a year
« on: January 06, 2015, 05:48:27 pm »
Apart from the physical demands of riding such long distances, the logistical challenges of keeping it going with so little off the bike time, I wonder how best to minimise the mental pressure of riding ceaselessly.

Anyone who has ridden a long multi-day Audax will know that weird feeling after riding through the night of not really being able to count the days properly ("is it tomorrow or still yesterday?"). And in Steve's case, there is no differentiating between weekends and weekdays - just an endless ride-eat-ride-eat-ride-eat-sleep-ride-eat. How do you cope when doing this for a year?

Perhaps we should organise at various points during the year some 'events' to help him get a feeling of structure to his time?

On a related note, I was thinking today as I went past the Olympic velodrome, whether it would be possible or desirable to arrange a tour of some or all of the national velodromes (Newport, London, Manchester, Calshot, Glasgow) with some booked time on the track. This would give him a chance to see a larger appreciative audience, build up a few miles on the track and generate some publicity. Perhaps something for winter 2015?

mattc

  • "Hannibal"
  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: The mental strain of riding for a year
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2015, 05:52:21 pm »
Anyone who has ridden a long multi-day Audax will know that weird feeling after riding through the night of not really being able to count the days properly ("is it tomorrow or still yesterday?"). And in Steve's case, there is no differentiating between weekends and weekdays - just an endless ride-eat-ride-eat-ride-eat-sleep-ride-eat. How do you cope when doing this for a year?

Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: The mental strain of riding for a year
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2015, 05:52:40 pm »
A GPS track won't be accurate on an indoors velodrome. The concept of 'events' is pretty good. Steve did comment positively on folk turning up to see him.

I think seeing and talking with people on the road will help, regardless of whether he drafts them. Chatting does help keep the dozies away.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: The mental strain of riding for a year
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2015, 06:24:42 pm »
What about a visit to York Rally in June, a few laps of the grass track (or similar) to satisfy the "crowds".     AUK used to have a stand at the rally perhaps it could be used to generate publicity for both.
But I also like the idea of visiting all the velodromes, he wouldn't need to do so many laps that it would affect his mileage.   But think of the national interest that might result. 

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: The mental strain of riding for a year
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2015, 06:50:07 pm »
Several velodromes are buried within large conurbations. Steve is selecting routes that let him average better than 16mph now and close to 20mph in summer. It is very hard to keep up those sorts of averages amidst traffic lights and start-stop junctions.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Ruthie

  • Her Majester
Re: The mental strain of riding for a year
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2015, 06:51:14 pm »
I can't imagine that adding to the mental effort by taking him out of his routine would be helpful.  Add in the additional effort of having to speak to people and be sociable, and I'd have thought it would take too many spoons.

But then, Steve's not me, and may be more energised by that sort of thing, whereas I find it draining.
Milk please, no sugar.

Re: The mental strain of riding for a year
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2015, 06:57:24 pm »
An interesting talk came up on Facebook, based on experiences of covering RAAM. It articulates all the stuff that long distance cyclists know as a background to what they do. It's useful for us to see it laid out, and informative for those who've not done anything like this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLsRNoUx8w3rOTHcf_7m_EA9eSrsOcmgvX&v=K7pycevab2M

Re: The mental strain of riding for a year
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2015, 07:10:30 pm »
York Rally is to be held on 20/21 June 2015, according to Steve's calendar on Sat 20/6 8.00 am - 9.00 am he will be in Northallerton and Sunday 21/6 3.30 - 5.00 pm he is due in Leeds.    There are many historic time trialling courses in this area, probably the most famous being the 12 hour circuit where in the 1967 Otley CC 12 hour Beryl Burton beat all the men and the men's record.    Would it be possible to include some part of the circuit in Steve's ride?    I don't know how much publicity "the team" wish  to generate.     

Re: The mental strain of riding for a year
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2015, 07:51:57 pm »
Steve is planning to take in the events he knows, is comfortable with and where he is well-known - ie audaxes and time trials, in particular the 24 and some 12s and 100s, plus maybe some more club ones.   
They both take place in the country so make sense. 
He also spoke about doing some flatter sportives, to engage with a bigger audiences. But track might be too much of a stretch. The idea of riding any distance and not being credited doesn't sound great. 

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: The mental strain of riding for a year
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2015, 11:07:13 pm »
The limited amount of time I have spent riding and talking with Steve has given me three impressions. Firstly, he likes to keep things simple. Secondly, he doesn't regard anything he has done as being anything out of the ordinary. I once introduced him to someone as a "super-human distance cyclist" or some such and he corrected me with disarming modesty: "I'm just a bloke." Thirdly, whereas he clearly appreciates the help people offer him, I don't think he wants a fuss made.

How much, I wonder, has Steve actually looked at a map for his first 7 days' cycling? I'd guess he just knew most of those roads, had a pretty good idea of the distances involved and was riding within his comfort zone.
Basses lower the tone.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: The mental strain of riding for a year
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2015, 11:12:23 pm »
Steve checks weather forecasts and generally creates his routes mostly from memory.

Once he starts staying away from home, he loses some route flexibility, so may need to ditch some planned home stays in reaction to adverse weather and suchlike.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

cygnet

  • I'm part of the association
Re: The mental strain of riding for a year
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2015, 11:50:36 pm »
Steve checks weather forecasts and generally creates his routes mostly from memory.

Once he starts staying away from home, he loses some route flexibility, so may need to ditch some planned home stays in reaction to adverse weather and suchlike.

One of my fellow club members is involved with this:
http://www.weatherbagel.com/
Possibly of use where routes can/must be more planned out?
I Said, I've Got A Big Stick

Re: The mental strain of riding for a year
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2015, 10:58:52 am »
One of my fellow club members is involved with this:
http://www.weatherbagel.com/
Possibly of use where routes can/must be more planned out?

this looks great thanks!

Does Steve listen to music as he rides? I found that helped last year on my world cruise. And digital radio is good too, eg download the free Tune In ap to a smartphone and listen to Radio 4 all day long, boredom sorted! (well, apart from Thought for the Day, and You & Yours, natch)

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: The mental strain of riding for a year
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2015, 11:56:18 am »
That site appears off-line to me.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

mattc

  • "Hannibal"
  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: The mental strain of riding for a year
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2015, 01:08:20 pm »
That site appears off-line to me.
me too. same at 7am. Win8 and Android.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: The mental strain of riding for a year
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2015, 01:14:54 pm »
The limited amount of time I have spent riding and talking with Steve has given me three impressions. Firstly, he likes to keep things simple. Secondly, he doesn't regard anything he has done as being anything out of the ordinary. I once introduced him to someone as a "super-human distance cyclist" or some such and he corrected me with disarming modesty: "I'm just a bloke." Thirdly, whereas he clearly appreciates the help people offer him, I don't think he wants a fuss made.

Conker that  :thumbsup:

I love the fact he is so modest when in fact he is such a long distance superstar  ;D
Does not play well with others

cygnet

  • I'm part of the association
Re: The mental strain of riding for a year
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2015, 07:34:39 pm »
That site appears off-line to me.
me too. same at 7am. Win8 and Android.

Damn. There were issues with the server before, but when I was last in touch (and before I posted) he said they were back up. Will try and find out what's happened this time.
I Said, I've Got A Big Stick