Tag Archives: Team Ribble

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!

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

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😉

 

 

Team Ribble: Ailbhe goes top 10 in European Cup Triathlon

Since my last tri race in Malmo, Sweden, I’ve raced in both Denmark and France. If only fitness was gained at the same rate as air miles, hey!

The European Cup round in Denmark coincided with the Nordic Championships and had only a small number of starters. I went into it wearing no. 9 on my arm and was ever so hopeful of ‘beating’ my race number. My original goal was a top 10 and my edited goal, closer to the race with the excitement building, was a top 5. On the day I managed ninth place and achieved my original goal and my first European Cup top 10 in a senior field. First international top 10… I will take it.

Bike1

I forgot my biking legs

Was I disappointed? Yeah. Why? Well… a trending pattern this year is that I seem to forget to pack at least one of my three abilities be it swim, bike or run. This race it was my biking legs! Will I ever pack them all for the same event? I do hope so!

The race went as follows: a sea swim with approximately 300 metres to the first buoy which meant not so much hustling and bustling to get to the front as soon as possible. I appreciated this and made it to the first buoy in fourth place sitting on the hip of Amanda Bohlin, who is currently ranked 64th on the World WTS rankings. I had her marked before the race as she also raced in Sweden and I knew how much faster she was in the water than me there. I got to the first buoy and was happy. I had a hip to swim on and I felt good.

BikeinTransition

Right hand turn around the buoy and it seems I maybe stepped out of the race for a few seconds… where did that hip go?! I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I put in a big effort to try and get back on feet, but it seemed I was swimming in a ‘30 mile an hour zone’ when the rest of the girls were cruising along the motorway… the feet were gone. Exiting the water in sixth place with an 11 second gap to the front pack, I was faced with the most difficult of T1’s I have yet to endure. There was a man made scaffolding structure put in place to get us from sea level to the road… it was steep! The picture below doesn’t lie!

Prerace montage

I suffered… a lot! Anyway, onto the bike and I thought – with my biking usually being my strongest discipline – that I could get on to the back of the front pack. Rich shouted the time gap to me and I could see the girls just there. ‘Just there’ became a little more with every wincing glance. Legs – shot. Engine – empty… Uh oh, this is gonna be a hard day!

I chased as hard as I could, for as long as I could, before hearing the group from behind coming up behind me… Okay Ailbhe, settle yourself because your now in the main chase pack with three girls up the road (such a dream number for a breakaway group, but anyway, next time!). I knew two of the girls in the break, one had beaten me in Sweden (Bohlin) and the other I had beaten so I was hoping that I could stay in the chase pack – sit quietly – and catch that girl on the run… dream world – BANG – back to reality.

Sitting in the back of the chase pack when I was already suffering was silly because the course had corners and a lot of them. I didn’t like having to get up and sprint every few seconds and in no time at all, after yoyo-ing for a little while, that elastic went pop and I was in no man’s land… oh god Ailbhe, what have you done?

Bike2

After a couple of more corners two other girls from that chase pack had the same experience as I had earlier. They came back to me and we had a group of three. In the blink of an eye, I had lost them too. You are kidding me! Looking down at my legs wondering if they were actually still attached, I just closed my eyes and pedalled as hard as I could and I eventually got back on to the two girls. A second wind maybe? Who knew? I was ready to work though.

We rolled through on 20 second efforts until the last lap where for some reason the two girls wanted to play tactics and decided they didn’t want to roll through… ok, great. I flicked my elbow numerous times, but there was no sign of anyone pulling through. I looked back – I had a small gap. Ah! That explains that. I moved right over to the side and ushered the girls through. I couldn’t trust that my run legs were packed based on my bike legs being a no show. I needed them to pull their turns. Up the final hill and into T2… the girl in front of me came crashing down.

Thankfully I had a bit of trouble getting my feet out of my shoes and a gap bigger than I would usually like had grown between us ended up being a blessing as she fell and took up a considerable width of the road! Thank god for my god knows what number mistake of the race so far!

Bike3 crash

On to the run and I flew out of transition – faster than usual… uh oh, was I going to suffer?! We hit the hill on the run which we would do twice and wow oh wow were my legs on fire. Oh god Ailbhe please, please, please come on! Crested the hill and suddenly started to feel ok – ish… The girl just ahead of me was a different girl who I had beaten in Sweden but we ran very similar run splits so I was aware of how level pegging it might be. She had a gap out of T2 and it stayed that way. Although I feel like my legs came back a little bit, they were just not really in the mood to race. I hurt a lot during the race but I wasn’t hurting because I was breaking speed limits, I was simply hurting because my body was just not feeling race day! It happens.

I passed girls from the chase pack and finished up in ninth place. Upon analysis of the race it actually looks that had I just stayed in the chase pack, never mind the front pack I was actually running to battle for a podium spot. That’s an encouraging outlook on a very topsy turvy performance but people don’t always see the ifs and buts of racing because it doesn’t really matter most of the time. You judge a race on the result not on the ‘if’.

On to a French tri

I had a week before my next race which was with my French Grand Prix team Brive Limousin Triathlon in Quiberon. Quiberon is the fourth race of five in the grand prix Divison 1 league. I was very excited to get over there and race in France again as I hadn’t raced with the team since Dunkerque in May – which was my first race of the season. I was all set and ready to rock and in the days before the race I was feeling very springy and everything was looking food. Bike legs felt like they were present on the bike warm up. Run legs felt like they were present on the warm up. Shoulders and arms didn’t feel heavy and I felt happy in my nappy and ready for what was to come.

Down to the beach start and one look at the starting pens had my jaw dropping! It was such a long run-in that the race format all of a sudden had changed. It was now a run-swim-run-bike-run race. There was a lot of beach running to be done in Quiberon with entry and exit in and out of the sea. My run-in left a lot to be desired and its sad to say that that was actually the best of what was to come in the next ten minutes.

My swim – pffffft – just didn’t happen. No reason behind it – it just wasn’t there. I would have been quicker aqua jogging through the 750m than swimming it like I did! Absolute no, no. Out on to the bike and the chase was on. There were single bodies all over the place and I knew the chase had to be hard or this was really going to be an awful day. I could see two groups of two girls up the road and I absolutely drilled it as hard as I could on my Ribble Aero 883 and I bridged that gap by myself and we were now a group of five. Ok, time to work. We could see the chase pack up the road. They were just there.

Drilling it

We had one really strong girl in our group who was organising the turns and drilling it as hard as she could. I did my bit and kept on her good side. With two laps to go she decided she wanted to go and see who would go with her on the technical bit of the lap coming into the transition area. I had just taken my turn on the front and had slotted in at the back when she went. The girl behind her went with her but the girl third in line didn’t want any of it. I came from fifth wheel back and chased it down and got on their wheels again.

My legs were feeling strong but that gap wasn’t closing. 45 seconds was the call. As a group of three we rode the last two laps and came into T2 only to hear the group from behind hot on our heels. All of that work for just six or seven seconds advantage? Oh no!

Run

Out of T2 I went in third position and the legs didn’t feel half bad. Ok Ailbhe – run with these girls, just run with them! I was passed by four girls, I think, on the run and I passed three girls but at that stage it was a little too late. It turned out that the front pack was huge and it was a case of running for a spot from around 45th onwards… yikes what had happened? Bad day at the office… what on earth? One day all three will go smoothly and I won’t know what to do with myself – I dream of that day!

Anyway, next up for me was a race in Ireland. Maybe all three disciplines will go to plan there… who knows? The suspense is a killer! The season is drawing to a close now so better make the most of the evenings and weekends.

Stay safe and happy pedalling,
Ailbhe

 

 

Team Ribble: Tri victory and top 10 performances for our Ribble racers

Three members of the Ribble Cycles staff were in racing action last weekend – and there was one gold winning victory. Here’s how they got on…

In triathlon…

Dionne Allen from Ribble’s Customer Service team won the Monster Middle Triathlon in Ely, Cambridgeshire on Sunday and finished tenth overall in a field of 170 finishers.

She contested the longest event on the day which was over a 1.9km swim, 92.8km bike leg and a 21km run.

Team Ribble
Dionne speeds past Ely Cathedral on her way to victory. Photo: Ian Green Photography

On her Ribble Aero TT bike, Dee rode the near 100km bike leg in 2 hours 47 minutes and recorded an overall finishing time of 4 hours 43 minutes 47 seconds.

The impressive victory sets Dee up for a good race in the gruelling Helvellyn Triathlon in September which is considered to be one of the toughest races in the world. The open water swim is in Ullswater, the tough cycle leg includes Kirkstone Pass and the run is to the summit of Helvellyn and back down!

In road racing…

Graham Payne finished seventh in TLI Cycling National Road Race Championships, held last weekend at Audlem in North Staffordshire.

Graham described it as a frustrating race but has to be pleased with a top ten finish at championship level.

Team Ribble Graham

“It was stop, start, stop, start, all day long,” said Graham, “Breaks kept going away, being caught and then there was another long lull. The winning break went towards the end of the race and after missing it I was sprinting for the minor places.”

Over 200 riders competed across a number of age categories and they were the largest fields ever assembled for a TLI National Championships with spectators enjoying a great day of racing.

In time trialling…

Matt Stell was the unluckiest or luckiest Ribble rider of the weekend when he was in a spill with a vehicle during the Association’s 12-hour Time Trial.

Team Ribble Matt Stell
Matt Stell in action. Photo: Ellen Isherwood/Lancs Racing Scene

A car accidentally blocked Matt’s riding line and he could not avoid colliding with it and causing damage to his front wheel. Despite the crash Matt still finished the WCTTCA & LTTCA event and even beat his 12-hour personal best by six miles to cover an amazing 264.81 miles! Matt’s distance over the 12-hour event put him in sixth place.

Matt’s great form continues – earlier in the month he recorded a fast 20 minute 34 sec time trial over the 10 mile Levens course in Cumbria.