Category Archives: Events

Bike to work, get fitter and make a difference with Strava

Now that more summery weather is here there are definitely a few more bikes parked in the Ribble bike shed every morning. Do you cycle to work? If you’ve not contemplated cycling to work it really is a great way to start the day, improve your fitness or maintain some base training miles. You can even see how your fitness is progressing if you record and upload your ride to a social website like Strava to compare your riding with friends.

Route Builder

Tips for your cycle to work

  • Research your route beforehand as the shortest distance is not always the fastest or most pleasant. You can plan routes in the Strava Route Builder (above) or websites like Garmin Connect, Ride with GPS or Plotaroute and route profiles will tell you how climbing there is.
  • Consider having a dedicated commuting bike which you can equip for daily duties. It saves wear and tear on your best bike and you can fit mudguards and lights.
  • Variety makes your commute more interesting so try a few different route variations. Ask any cycling colleagues for route advice as they may know some great, less obvious roads or cut-throughs.

Join us on Strava Global Bike to Work Day

Why not join us in making our cycle commutes count on Thursday 11th May by joining the Strava Global Bike to Work Day. Not only will we all be offsetting tons of greenhouse emissions by being pedal powered but our (anonymous) commuting data will be shared with planners worldwide to help improve cycling infrastructure.

All you need to do is make and record a point-to-point cycle journey during Thursday and upload it to Strava as a commute. You will be part of a global event and contribute to a better cycling future.

Here’s how to play your part and join the Strava community

The hashtag #CommutesCount can also be used on other social media channels in support of a better future for cycling. The challenge is already set to beat the 79,879 worldwide participants in 2016 so make your ride count.

Ribble CGR

How do you compare?

Strava Insights for the UK show that during 2016 an average of 223,376 bike commutes were uploaded to Strava every week, with cyclists logging an average distance of 13.5km (8.39 miles) and an average of 35 minutes in the saddle.

Bikes for commuting

If you’re looking to do more commuting by bike the highlight of our urban bikes is the popular, new commuting bike the CGR.

Versatility and practicality are at the core of the cleverly designed CGR – this is a bike that will not sit idle for very long. With the advantage of disc brakes, a carbon fork, mudguard mounts and pannier carrying capability this bike just ticks so many boxes.

The all-round practicality of the CGR does not prevent it from being a nimble and enjoyable ride and as the bike’s designer says: “We wanted a bike that was comfortable enough to ride every day, efficient enough to ride all day and even agile enough to take off road.”

EXPLORE THE CGR HERE

TEAM RIBBLE: Ailbhe and her Aero 883 all set to Tri

Team Ribble sponsored triathlete Ailbhe Carroll looks back on her 2016 and forward to her new tri season which begins on Gran Canaria on March 26th.

My last race of 2016 was in October and finishing racing that late made for a very long season, yet it was my first ever full season without injury or illness. I got to the end of a season absolutely whacked purely because I completed the season from start to finish. It was the first time I have ever felt like a proper triathlete!! Tick that box off!! Yahoo!

Team Ribble tri

I won one of my final races of last season in a new course record and was happy to represent Ribble on top of the podium. It was a non-drafting race and I was ever so proud to have the fastest bike split whilst on my road bike versus everyone else on TT bikes. Shows how awesome my Ribble Aero 883 is… fact!! My bike was my saving grace in 2016. I have documented all my races here on the Ribble blog and there has always been a pattern of my very forgetful limb packing. When I have rocked up to races and forgot to pack my bike legs, my Ribble Aero 883 has still got the job done. This is testament to the high standard of bike that Ribble put on show. Match made in heaven.

Thanks for all the support

All in all 2016 was a great year. I didn’t get half the results I was dreaming of, but 2017 is another opportunity to showcase again and alongside my wonderful supporters I know we will achieve together. Without my trusty bike I would have been lost. Ribble helped me out when I had no bike at all and the difference they have made to me has been extraordinary. A massive thank you to the guys at Ribble for everything they have done for me as it is simply amazing. Polaris Bike wear have been another high up on that list of wows. Protection of bikes doesn’t come cheap and these guys have helped endless amounts. The amount of times I travel abroad knowing my bike is safe is too many to mention. I made over 30 flights in 2016 and my bike has been safe from start to finish. Thank you for your support.  My feet and body have been laughing it up in Newton and Newline kit from the guys at New running gear. All conditions are catered for and I am ever so thankful for what they have done for me. A team like this makes achieving and living your dream a lot easier. Thank you thank you thank you.

str3tch

New Triumph Coaching team

Alongside everything else, I have joined forces with my boyfriend and two other friends and elite international triathletes to form a coaching business called Triumph Coaching. We would love for you guys to have a look at our website and get in touch if you have any questions. We are very keen to hear from you all and would love to know your goals and ambitions for 2017. We are happy to help you in triathlon or just single sports so whatever your needs are we would love to be involved. Just click the link and you can also find us on twitter, facebook and Instagram at team_triumph1

Progress and tri goals

2017 training began in the winter around Loughborough and it was quite ‘fun’ keeping track of how many fingers and toes still had feeling in them! Winter always brings with it a whole pile of laughter!

Run2

I am happy to report massive leaps and jumps forward in my fitness compared to this time last year. I have been able to reduce my working hours which is allowing me to train more and recover… something I didn’t have time for last year! This I know is going to make all the difference in 2017.

I don’t know whether it’s because I have gained a whole year to my life or not but my average heart rate is decreasing by a lot on all my runs. I have always been a high heart rate kind of gal – things are changing! Either I am over the hill or I am actually making use of this consistency in my training and finding fitness! A crazy thought!

My days are structured and planned down to the last millisecond – it’s not for everyone and can be annoying sometimes as you just feel like rest is a mile away all the time – but hey ho, one of life’s musts!

I have some nice goals set out for 2017 and I am very excited to get achieving these bad boys! I am aiming high and striving for more. I know what’s what and as I am my own coach, I know what I do day in and day out and what my stats and figures say I can do. My goals are big for 2017 and I am very excited to get going this weekend in the Gran Canaria European Cup tri (26th March).

I hope that everyone has had a good ol’ crack at winter training! Winter miles for summer smiles and all that jazz!

Happy pedalling everyone!

Ailbhe

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