by Dean Fletcher
So, here we go again. Every January we start out with our new years resolutions. And every year it is the same. Give up drinking, lose weight, the normal aspirations. January, with the cold weather, increased rail fares, and post-Christmas blues is never a great month. However, it can be the beginning of a great year for those of us who are bike nuts. Work done in January can really pay off as the season progresses.
New Years Resolutions
As anybody who rides a bike knows, the laws of physics dictate the movement. Power to weight ratio is key. So, getting that weight off is crucial if we want to improve. There is no short cut. I am fortunate enough to have a daughter who is a doctor, so have always sought her advice on this. And that advice is very simple to follow. Easy stuff, like chew your food for longer. Eat smaller portions. Drink at least two litres of water a day. There are thousands of diet books and opinions. Common sense trumps them all. Accustom your body to want less food, and keep it hydrated. These are the basic building blocks of lowering your weight
It is extremely important as a cyclist to exercise without the bike. Not doing so will seriously impede your progress. All pro cyclists will tell you the same. Stretching is fundamental. One of your new years resolutions should be to find time every day, preferably after getting up stretch. Ten minutes is all you need to start with. Obviously, legs are the most important, particularly the flexibility of the hamstrings and the calves. These longer muscles need extra care. The core is vital too, to provide stability for the legs on the bike. And the back must be in a god place to avoid pain. My friend Dan Lloyd over at GCN has a good simple routine that can be followed.
Bike Related Exercise
Obviously, another of the new years resolutions should be to get those kms on the bike. With customary bad weather in January, it is always hard to get going. However, it is vital that you do so, even if it is gentle runs, or 30-40 minutes on the rollers. The key is to get those legs turning over regularly. If you can get 100km in each weekend then great, do it. That foundation will be crucial as the season gets going. However, if you can only fit in sessions in the rollers, then build the intensity quickly. Make sure that in a 40-minute session, at least 15 are spent at close to maximum.
Get That Holiday Booked
And the most important of your new years resolutions is to book up your cycling trip in Spain. And why not make 2019 the year that you try something different. Galicia provides some of the best terrain in Europe for riding your bike. Whether it is flat coastal roads, or beautiful scenic mountain climbs, Galicia has something for every type of rider. It is an unspoilt paradise , and here at CyclingGalicia we are waiting to tailor make your next spanish cycling holiday.
by Dean Fletcher
As we wind down towards the Christmas and New Year festivities, our minds turn to the adventures in 2019. My brother in law runs a a holiday booking website. He tells me that boxing day is the busiest day of the year. So, what is on offer for cycling events in Galicia in 2019? Let’s look at three of them.
Ourense Strade Termal 7th April
Of all the cycling events in Galicia in 2019, the Ourense Strade Termal is, by far the most interesting. This will be just the second edition, but already it is in high demand. Limited to 500 places, the Strade is the only opportunity to ride road and gravel this year in Galicia. The start and finish are at the Hotel Caldaría Lobios, who provide a huge buffet after the event. There are three routes available, 70km, 105km and 139km. All three routes have four sections of strade (gravel) and provide a real test to very ability of rider. All three routes have a lot of climbing, but nothing excessive. The scenery is incredible, and the routes cross into Portugal. Get yourself involved.
Gran Fondo de Ezaro 7th July
The Gran Fondo de Ezaro has quickly become the reference for cycling events in Galicia in 2019. It is a qualifier for the UCI Gran Fondo World series that has its final in Poland in September. The route is 134km along the coast close to Finisterre. And the final 2.5km, after almost 1500m accumulated climbing, is the mirador de Ezaro. This climb is hsort and brutally steep. The last 1.8km average around 14%, and the steepest ramp hits 30%. The Vuelta de España has used it on three occasions,and there will be hundreds of fans on the climb on race day. A wonderful event, and well worth all the effort.
Cicloturista de Gondomar 8th September
This is a much smaller event, held on the second sunday of September. What is great about this club run event, is the climb of Monte Aloia. It is the only opportunity every year to experience this climb traffic free. The route also takes in the lovely climb of San Antoniño from Gondomar,again with traffic controlled. This race is non-competitive, and always bring out 300-400 riders just to enjoy their bikes and the stunning scenery of southern Galicia.
by Dean Fletcher
We all know that after a long season, be it competing, ciclotourist or just a weekend cyclist, everybody needs some downtime. The pro’s season ends in October, and they generally take November off. That is forced on them, due to their calendars. But what about us mere mortals? When is the best time to give the body a rest? Taking everything into consideration, I have always found that starting the training before Christmas, is always the best idea.
Starting the training before Christmas
The end of the summer now is generally classed as September/October. Due to the congested calender, many decent ciclosportives are moving their dates towards the back end of the season. Also, an early autumn holiday is also very popular. Indeed, here at Cycling Galicia, we can heavily recommend late September as an ideal time for you cycling holidays in Spain. The weather is excellent, and we can tailor make any trip to suit your needs. It is a perfect way to end the year and take that much needed November rest. And it will set you up to start the training before Christmas.
Getting back on the bike
December is a tough time to think about the bike. Christmas now seems to start in August, but come December, it is a major part of all our lives. We know, that despite best intentions, the food and drink will flow. The pounds will pile on, and the body won’t fancy riding. Therefore, starting the training before Christmas is vital. Leave it through the festive period, and you won’t want to return to the hard work. Start before, and that bit of form that you will capture, will help to cure your excesses. The training must be kept simple. Easy rides, plenty of cadence, any climbing done at a steady pace. It is the month to tick over physically. When January arrives, you are ready to step it up, not start out.
It is more mental than physical
The beginning of the training is more mental than physical. In Europe, the weather is never the best, but every opportunity to get out should be taken. It really is purely body maintenance that December requires. Don’t go crazy, just don’t let yourself fall into the trap of putting off a ride. I always find that going out in a small group is better than on your own. Thus, you can make sure that you all chat away, and don’t exert yourselves too much. The hard kms will be mid-January through to end of February. December is a time to celebrate, to enjoy. That can include the bike, and those 3 or 4kg less come New Year are worth the small effort.Continue
by Dean Fletcher
As a person who has always suffered from mild back problems, cycling was always going to be a challenge. Having one leg just over a centimetre longer than the other means constant adjustments. Especially in the terrain that I normally ride in. Thus, for me, my saddle position is very important indeed. I lend one of my three bikes out quite a bit to clients, as well as friends looking to try out a Bianchi for the first time. Thus when I have them returned, like to adjust them back to exactly the same position. Tape measures and spirit levels come out, but as we all know, there is always a small difference. Therefore I was intrigued to be introduced to the new Saddle Adjust Free App. And I must say I was impressed by it.
What is the Saddle Adjust Free App?
The Saddle Adjust Free App can be downloaded from the Apple store using this link
or from the Play Store on this link
The app is free, and very simple to use. It allows you to save all your favourite saddle positions, as well as take photos of them. It may be that you favour a different saddle position, depending on what sort of riding you are doing. I like to tweak my saddle if, for instance I am doing a four-hour flat ride, as opposed to a couple of hours climbing and descending. The Saddle Adjust Free App allows these adjustments to be easily made, and more importantly for your saddle to be reset to its original position exactly. I can honestly say that customizing you saddle has never been so simple.
How to use the Saddle Adjust Free App
Once the app has been downloaded, the process of configuration is very straightforward. The smartphone is placed on the saddle, and thus can be adjusted to the MILLIMETRE. The app is very minimalist, so even if you are not a “techie”, it is easy to use. Within a couple of minutes, you will be able to discover all its benefits. The app has its own presets depending on what sort of bike you use it on. Also, it allows for the saving of each saddle adjustment that you enter. Thus, you no longer have to worry about lending your bike to anybody. In no more than a minute, your saddle will be back where you want it. EXACTLY where you want it. Give it a try, you won´t be disappointed.Continue
by Dean Fletcher
As we draw 2018 to a close, already excitement is building here in Galicia for 2019. Next year is a very exciting one for cycling in the region. Why is that? We will welcome some of the world’s finest cyclists and athletes to the World Triathlon Championships in Galicia. They will take place in Pontevedra over eight days from April 27th to May 5th. Pontevedra, the city now famous for its car free zones, will become a haven for cyclists.
World Triathlon Championships in Galicia – The Events
The ITU championships are all modes of tri and duathlon. The most well know is the swim-road bike-run, made so famous by legends such as the Brownlee brothers in the UK. In Galicia however, there is only one legend, Javier Gomez Noya. Noya, a native of Galicia, although born to Gallego parents in Switzerland, is Mr Triathlon in Spain. He lives in Pontevedra, and this event is like a homage to him. You can expect huge crowds screaming his name when he competes in his triathlon. However, there are many other events in the schedule. Duathlon, run and bike, aquathlon, swim and run, and triathlon cross, swim, mountain bike and run. This last event will take the bikers up Monte Castrove, the mountain that overlooks Pontevedra. This is the photo from the front page of Cycling Galicia.
Who will be competing?
This event is very special, as it includes the best in the world from every category. Not just the pros, but amateurs too. Different age groups, both male and female will tackle the same courses as the pros. Almost 2500 athletes are expected to descend on Pontevedra for the event. It is a huge logistical challenge for the region, but the Gallegos are up for it. The organisation committee were present in the last worlds in Denmark, and the Europeans in Ibiza. Sponsors are in place, and the signups for volunteers are increasing rapidly. Social media is gathering pace, Pontevedra will be ready for this festival of sport. The world triathlon championships in Galicia. Come and get involved and see for yourself.Continue