Last night saw the return of something to my life which has been missing for almost a year. Exercise on a bike.
I felt like my legs couldn’t turn the pedal, power was nowhere near what I used to be able to put out and I couldn’t manage very long at all. You can see my sorrowful attempt of a ride here.
There’s a few reasons why I’ve been off the bike; work, raising a young family (a two year old and a one month old), moving home, laziness… I could go on but this would bore you to tears.
However, this week I signed up to the UCI World Championships Sportive. 100 glorious miles through the Yorkshire countryside, following some of the route which the World Championships will take place. Magic.
So what better time to start getting back to some form of fitness than six months before the big event!
I’ve done century rides before, Sportive’s also, but never with trying to fit in training around family time!
So follow on as I go through the training, riding and equipment which is going to get me there.
Oh and to add to the story, I’m dragging my wife along for the 100mile ride… the poor mite only gave birth last month, has never ridden a sportive before but those that train together, right?!
In 2016 ZWIFT led a very successful campaign to find the an emerging star and throwing them in to the pro peloton with a contract with the women’s world tour team, Canyon//SRAM. Guess what? They’re back at it again in 2017 and you can sign up here
For many this is a dream of a life time, the possibility of racing all over the world starting from your very own living room, or spare room, or garage, or just about wherever you could fit a tablet, phone or a laptop and hook it up to your turbo trainer and ZWIFT.
If you’ve not heard of ZWIFT before or familiar with how you can ZWIFT check out my blog here where you can read all about it and also read about the Wahoo KICKR too.
So what’s this all about and how do you win a pro contract? Well, basically, if you’re a woman and think you want to try your hand at being an elite level cyclist on one of the best cycling teams in the women’s pro peloton, you need to sign up to the ZWIFT
academy and get pushing the pedals.
At the launch of the event on Monday the 12th of July, Leah Thorvilson, winner of the 2016 GoZwift academy, spoke about how she won and what life was and what life had become. It may surprise you that Leah doesn’t come from a cycling background but a running one. After four surgeries in three years and recurring pains and more injuries, Leah turned to cycling, more specifically ZWIFTing.
What followed was months of reality checks and surprise as she found herself progressing through the rounds and all the way to he final training camp where she won her pro contract. If this shows you anything, if you’re thinking you would never win, a runner who when on her Time Trial bike for the first time didn’t know where the brakes were won and is now about to enter her first National Championships. Still think yo’ve got no chance?
In 2016 each of the three rounds of competition, a panel of judges narrowed riders down by carefully analyzing data gathered during online rides and workouts. CANYON//SRAM Sports Director Beth Duryea, Professional Pursuit World Champion Mike McCarthy, and TrainSharp Founder Jon Sharples were part of the selection committee who chose twelve semi-finalists before narrowing it down to the final three.
“Finding talent in cycling is a numbers game, in terms of casting the net wide and drawing performance data back in. That’s what excited us about the Zwift Academy concept. Indoor training provides the accessibility for participants, a safe environment to train and a controlled environment to analyse data, then Zwift adds the social element build a community of riders and spur them on. It doesn’t surprise us that Leah is our winner. We’re looking forward to seeing how she can develop into a bike racer,” commented Jon Sharples, TrainSharp Founder.
“When you see an idea really become something, it’s an amazing feeling,” noted Ronny Lauke, CANYON//SRAM Racing team manager. “We took a chance with the Zwift Academy and we’re very pleased with the potential we saw not only in Leah, but in the other finalists as well. Watching and seeing all these women dedicate themselves to the sport, it makes one wonder how many more are overlooked.”
The 2017 academy is already up and running and you can sign up by clicking here. Who knows you may even end up like 2016 winner Leah.
I just wanted to write a quick update to let you know I’ve started a Strava club, you can find the link here if you would care to join in!
I’ve only been uploading my commuting rides on there at the moment – I’d like to be able to link people together from all over and hopefully bump in to fellow commuters along the way who also commute from East London in to the City and Westwards!
As the community hopefully grows then maybe we can start organising weekend rides and further on from there, who knows. The possibilities are as far as the miles in your legs! Endless.
It’s a place for all you bike-curious lot. New, old, seasoned cyclists to mediocre lycra lovers. All are welcome, all are accepted and absolutely no one is judged!
Look forward to you joining the pedal pushing club!