GUIDE: Staying visible, warm and safe when riding after the Clocks Go Back

Here we go! British Summertime is ending – the clocks go back at the weekend, but with the right kit there is no need to stop riding through the autumn and winter.

Get yourself the right clothing and kit and there is lots of riding to enjoy on the shorter days like getting in the long winter miles, safe commuting, exhilarating night rides or even the thrills of cyclocross racing.

The UK reverts to Greenwich Mean Time at 2am on Sunday, October 30. That means all clocks are turned back to 1am at that time.

It might be the start of the winter season, but the good news is you’ll get a whole extra hour in bed on Sunday morning.

Light up, layer up, embrace autumn and get out and ride!

STAY VISIBLE

The most important aspect of riding once the clocks have changed is to make sure you are visible to other road users. It’s time to invest in new lights – front and rear – with enough power to make you seen and ensure that you have brighter coloured clothing with at least some form of reflectivity and visibility.Light sets

There are a number of bike accessories that can also help with your visibility.  Some mudguards have a reflective stripe, as do some commuting tyres, or adhesive reflective strips can be stuck to your bike. Lots of clothing, helmets or luggage items will have reflective patches which it’s worth looking out for when making your purchase.

reflective ban 1

 

STAY WARM & DRY

As the temperatures tumble it’s also obviously very important to stay warm on your rides. If you have the right clothing, that’s doing its job properly, then you are much more likely to get out in the autumn and winter weather and feel safe in the knowledge that you’re going to be warm and comfortable whatever the elements throw at you.

650x blog thermals

It’s time to think about whether your clothing selection is good enough to get you through the winter. Have you got warm base layers, enough mid-layers and is your jacket outer shell really up to the job?

Make sure that you have good quality options for all the three key layers – as you may know, layering your clothing is the trusted way to maximise your comfort and allow for adjustments. A good base layer (against your skin) manages moisture; the middle insulating layer protects you from the cold; and the outer shell layer shields you from rain and wind. As well as thermal baselayers, Roubaix clothing tops and jackets, don’t forget to think about tights, hats, gloves and socks for your extremities.

650x blog waterproofs

 

STAY SAFE

Good lights and visible clothing will both help you stay safe this winter. Make sure that you also have the other accessories that won’t leave you stranded in the cold or wet.

It’s time to stock up on inner tubes and more durable winter tyres. If you’re riding in an area you are not that familiar with then a GPS unit is handy to carry and when the weather gets really cold consider carrying a tyre sealant canister to make punctures much quicker to resolve.

Whatever you do though, don’t let the weather stop you enjoying that ride!

See our Winter Wheel packages here

GUIDE: Multi-day nutrition plan to help you stay the course

Taking on a multi-day event and how to get the nutrition you need to succeed.

There are many multi-day cycling events throughout the year and a growing number of sportives run with this format such as the Haute Route or London to Paris. Track cycling has it’s thrilling Six-Day races which are contested by pairs of riders and made up of several individual events spread out across a set number of days typically during the autumn months. The London Six Day is set to take place at the city’s iconic Olympic velodrome at the end of October.

To understand this in a little more detail, we spoke with expert nutritionist Annie Simpson of OTE Sports to find out what each rider needs in order to succeed.

Velodrome
Breakfast

Simpson is quick to point out that breakfast is all about replenishing any depleted energy stores and refuelling for the day ahead. Protein is important for muscle recovery, while carbohydrates play a pivotal role in replacing any calories that got burnt during the previous day’s racing.

Simpson’s staple multi-day breakfast includes:

  • A large bowl of porridge made with milk, topped with a banana, a sprinkle of seed and nut mix and a drizzle of honey.
  • A two-egg omelette is also advised in order to hit optimal protein intake.
Pre-race

“Lunch can effectively be the pre-race meal if consumed between 2pm and 3pm” explains Simpson. “The idea is to have a meal that’s packed with carbs – a move which should ensure riders have enough energy to compete in the evening race.”

She also adds that it’s important to avoid foods that are high in fibre and fat, as both can take a long time digest – an issue that could lead to discomfort during and after the race.

“A good meal idea would be Chicken Arrabbiata served with white pasta” says Simpson – emphasising the need for clean carbs over stodgy options such as carbonara or other cream-based sauces.

During the pre-race period, Simpson adds that the intake of liquid is just as important as food. “A real emphasis needs to be put on hydration” she explains. “Velodrome conditions can often be very warm, especially with a full crowd in the stands.

“It may not sound like much, but a 2% drop in body weight due to dehydration can negatively affect someone’s sporting performance, so it is in the rider’s best interest to stay as hydrated as possible before and during the event.”

velodrome
In-race tactics

Ideally, each rider should consume 60g of carbohydrates per hour. This should ensure that they have the energy to compete throughout each event, as opposed to running out of energy or operating at sub-optimal performance levels.

“Between events there may not be time to stomach a significant snack, or the rider may not feel like eating much after fully exerting themselves each race” says Simpson. “This is where sports nutrition products like energy drinks and energy gels play a vital role.”

Being made of simple carbohydrates, they’re much easier for a rider’s body to break down. They are also quick and convenient to consume, making them the ultimate source of energy.”

Simpson also recommends protein bars and OTE’s recovery shake – as both provide lighter options for riders looking to take on board as much protein and carbohydrate as possible without feeling uncomfortable between races.

Post-race

After the race, there’s a chance that it might be too late for riders to consumer a proper meal without compromising their evening routine. Because of this, Simpson recommends the following options:

  • Bowl of cereal with Greek yoghurt.
  • Tuna and couscous salad.
  • Chicken wrap.

“Finally”, Simpson adds, “a top tip would be to have a high protein snack before bed. The idea behind this is to help aid recovery overnight. A pure protein shake such as OTE Super Protein, or a protein bar, are great at doing this.”

Have your say

We’ve heard from Annie Simpson, and now we want to hear from you! Do you have any top tips you think we should know about? If so, enter your recommendation in the comment section below.

 

TEAM RIBBLE: Dee Allen wins tough Helvellyn Triathlon

A one mile swim in a cold, but fresh, Ullswater (13 degrees)… a 36 mile (1,489ft of ascent) ride involving a 4.5km category 1 climb up ‘The Struggle’ (which averages 8% gradient and maxes at 20% in places)… followed by a 9 mile (3,118ft of ascent) run to the top of Helvellyn and back down… Those are the three reasons this is deemed as one of the toughest triathlons in the world.

Brutal ride leg

The ride leg alone is so tough that it was described as ‘brutal’ by some of the Tour of Britain riders who followed us up the next day on stage two of the pro race.

Team Ribble

As someone who loves a challenge this race was right up my street. I have to admit though that my training for this race had not been my specific focus for the season, my main focus was the middle distance, and to try and go under 5 hours at the Monster Middle a couple of weeks before.

However, there was no way I could pass on this challenge especially as it was on my birthday. I was confident that the strength gained from the middle distance training would get me through the race and if all went well would hopefully see me make the podium!

OK, so on race day my plan was simply to attack the swim, attack the bike and then hit the run as hard as I could. Due to the lack of ‘fell’ specific training I knew that I could not purely rely on my run, although this is often my best discipline.

Ready, Steady, Go!

The water was cold, but fresh and I was excited to get going – I had panicked at a race a month before where I had a disaster of a swim and I was determined not to let these demons get to me – I aimed to start hard and fast. We turned at the first buoy and I could see that I was mid pack and working through the sea of bodies and green hats. I breathed to my left and I could see that there was another female swimmer, so my aim was to not let her go and to try and get out in front. As we hit the final turning buoy to the finish I put in a spurt and managed to grab a few precious seconds getting out the water as 3rd female overall.

Team Ribble

Out of T1 the aim was to get my head down and push hard and never look back as we headed towards the famous ‘Struggle’ which takes you to the top of Kirkstone Pass from Ambleside. Although most of the bike route was TT/Tri bike-friendly I had decided to race on my trusty Ribble R872 as I felt this would give me a greater advantage whilst climbing.

The R872 sure didn’t disappoint, this bike really works with you and certainly holds its own when you really want to pick up the pace. Now I’m not going to say it made climbing up ‘The Struggle’ a breeze, but it certainly made easier work than if I had used my triathlon bike. Climbing can be quite awkward and harder on the legs and I needed every ounce of energy I could save ready to tackle the nine mile run up and down the mountain of Helvellyn.

It was only when I got the top of ‘The Struggle’ with its Tour de France type atmosphere – the support was simply epic and electrifying – that I got information from the crowd that I was the leading female and that there was no one else in sight. That was a very nice surprise as I had still thought I was in third and it gave me a confidence boost as I cautiously descended Kirkstone Pass (not taking any risks) and then pushed hard as the road flattened out to T2 thinking of every second!

Heading into the Helvellyn run…

Trail shoes on and a quick drink and I was ready to hit the run into the unknown world of how I would fare on the fells and not feeling quite as confident as I usually am when I get to the run stage. As I hit the steep ascent towards the ‘hole in the wall’, thoughts started creeping into my head… saying that I was going to be caught and that I would not make It to the top.

At this point I was briskly walking with no response from the legs to try to run, but as I hit the flatter section towards the summit I was able to get my legs moving and I soon found my running rhythm. I then gained a further boost of confidence when I saw my dad just before the final ascent and he informed me that I was still clear of the second placed woman. From this point I knew I had to make it to the top and then give it everything I had down to the finish.

Team Ribble

Rock climbing

The final ascent is up Swirral Edge which requires the skills of a rock climber more than a runner, but this all added to the fun and the challenge of the race. Finally pulling up with my hands I was relieved to reach the summit and from here I knew it was game on and time to attack the final descent and run into the finish. Pushing hard and back into my running rhythm, the negative thoughts of the ascent had well and truly disappeared and I was now starting to enjoy the moment! I ran towards the finish and even managed to muster up the energy to put in a little sprint finish.

Lifted by the cheers of the crowd I could not help but have a great big smile on my face as I crossed the finish line. I was so relieved to have beaten this gruelling challenge – with the added bonus of bringing home the win!

Team Ribble

Winning such an iconic race, it sure was a birthday to remember.

On reflection, I was pleased to see that I had taken the lead on the bike as coming from a run background you can still be seen as a runner playing at triathlon and just relying on your run. However coming out of the water in third place and then putting the fastest bike split in by two minutes it finally looks like I am becoming a COMPLETE triathlete!

So that was a wrap for my triathlon season, I’m now having an end of season break in Australia! Until the new season arrives – embrace… enjoy… and ride with a smile😉

 

 

EVENTS: Exciting 2017 Tour de France & Alpine Etape du Tour route announced

The route for the 104th edition of the Tour de France was launched today (18th October) and with it the stage chosen for the Etape du Tour Sportive in July, 2017. Up until today we only knew that the 2017 Tour de France will start in the German city of Dusseldorf before heading into France.

It will be the 25th Etape du Tour which is always held over a mountain stage of the Tour and is therefore one of the toughest, and most popular, sportive challenges of the year. Last year’s Etape attracted over 11,000 riders and it is an experience that every keen cyclist should aim to tick off their bucket list.

TdF1

The 2017 Etape will be held in the Alps – for a third successive year – and tackle the 178 kilometre stage from Briancon to Col d’Izoard on Sunday 16th July, 2017.

Tdf etape

If you don’t want to make the trip to France then the Tour organisation (ASO) has also teamed up to bring you the L’Etape Wales on 11th June, 2017 as well as L’Etape London in September.

As the big 2017 sportives approach we will continue to help you get prepared for you big challenge rides with both expert training and nutrition advice and guides to the best equipment and clothing required to make your day enjoyable and not an ordeal.

Read our Complete Guide to Cycling Sportives: click here

Etape du Tour 2017 teaser film

2017 Tour de France

The 2017 Tour will be held over 21 stages from in a roughly anti-clockwise route from 1-23rd July.

After a prologue in Dusseldorf, the Tour heads south through Belgium for a stage finish in Liege. There is an early mountain top stage finish at La Planche des Belles Filles in the Vosges mountains before the race heads south to the Pyrenees and then east to the Alps.

Journalists immediately made defending champion Chris Froome the favourite to win the race.

map_route

EVENTS: Celebrating the World Championships & their return to the UK in 2019

The elite men’s and women’s road race UCI World Championship titles will be decided in Doha this weekend where it might not just be a case of who are the strongest riders, but also which riders can handle the stifling heat in Qatar.

One of the favourites for the elite men’s time trial title, on Wednesday, Dutchman Tom Dumoulin faded to finish eleventh and put it down to the heat and perhaps not being on top form.

Worlds come to the north

At Ribble, we are also thrilled to see that the 2019 UCI World Championships will be hosted in the north of England. We’re sure that our neighbours o’er the moss in Yorkshire will put on a good show and it would be extra special if they devised a course that suited top British mountain men like the Lancastrian Yates brothers!

To get you fired up for the Worlds we’ve found archive footage of the two previous World Championships held on UK soil in 1970 and 1982. Enjoy.

1970 Worlds in Leicester

 1982 Worlds at Goodwood