On January 21st Team Wiggle was officially launched in London and as you probably know Islay's Jeremy Hastings is one of the two Team Wiggle riders. The team was formed to try and break existing UK road racing records on a tandem. Last week Jeremy contacted me and aksed me if I would like to post updates on my blog about Team Wiggle and how it fits in with Jeremy being Islay's Wilderness Guide. Of course I happily agreed and today I have the pleasure to announce the first one of these updates.
Jeremy Hastings: On Islay there was a time when people rode bicycles as a matter of course. I know, I have asked many senior folks and when asked they get the glazed look of reminiscence and talk fondly of bicycle riding all over Islay. So we have history and we have a culture of cycling here on the outer edge of europe. This is continued till this day with VC Ardbeg, Port Mor Wheelers and Islay Wilderness Guide www.islaywildernessguide.co.uk. There are even people talking about cycling as a viable form of very local transport.
Last year after the London to Paris race (that Brian Palmer and I did two years ago and then last year with David Harmon on fixed wheeel) it was then suggested that we, David and I, should do it on tandem. It was to raise money for the Geoff Thomas Foundation. This then progressed to an all out tandem record attempt project. Plenty of which has already been written before. That being said, we never thought it would really get this far and now I have agreed to write about this journey, a voyage of fitness, disaster, tears, joy and hopefully, elation when the records, some of which are over fifty years old, start to fall. Continue reading......
The past few days have seen David and I in Snowdonia on a training camp. The purpose of a training camp is to do just that - train - ride and rest, sleep and eat. With new research and and practice the resting part of training is considered as important as the riding aspect. Nutrition has improved too. So we have strict diets, long miles and plenty of zzzzzâ€™s. The diet is key with plenty of carbs for breakfast; porridge or muesili or pasta/rice, oat cakes and honey and fruit, lunch on the road in the form of dried figs, apricots, SIS bars and drinks as well as gels too. In the evening just vegetables (no potatoes or pasta) and protein. We measure everything we eat and everything we put out in the form of calories. We need to keep on top of the weight to power ratio. And of course drinking plenty and plenty of water. the nice thing about a training camp is that you get looked after and why we have based ourselves in Snowdonia is because Davidâ€™s mother in law lives here and does just that - superbly! All we have to do is concentrate on getting fitter and thinner! Away from home allows that to be even more pointed and concentrated.
Our day begins with a call at 0730 hours for breakfast, check our fantastic Focus bikes, prepare what we need to take with us, 'Wiggle' (our main sponsor) supplied waterproofs and wind jackets, and then head out for between 7 and 10 hours. The riding is hard here, very hard, with long climbs and fast challenging descents. We ride together and often times without the need to talk, just at one with the magnificent scenery, checking our outputs on the Powertap computer (which is attached to the handlebars and reads data from the rear wheel) and pushing ourselves all the time. Our coach sends us a daily plan which, bar injury, we have to to stick too. returning as the sun goes down and beyond, sometimes, we clean the bikes, have a shower and then a supper and relax. We have had to nurse a few injuries this week, David crashed, I have a strained knee, so the ice and elevation comes into itâ€™s own till bedtime. Unlike alot of pro riders we also have our businesses to run so a couple of hours at the laptop finishes the evening till the the comfort of a warm and comfy bed draws us.....
We spend a lot of time of our off bike time discussed strategy, food intake and energy out puts with ourselves and the support team - thank goodness for skype! Without our sponsors - more of that later - we could not operate so it is although hard and concentrated, a great privilege. Next week we head for southern France and Stephen Rocheâ€™s Hotel to join the training camp where the Scottish pro team Endura will be giving us a hard time!
........time is miles