One ride closer to getting my Eddington to 100

My training this month is about hills but I can’t lose sight of the need to keep the distance going. Many clubs put on ‘Reliability Rides’ this time of year, they are the first big rides of the year designed to make sure you bike and body are in shape after the winter months. Unlike sportives there is little support or route guidance, all riders need to be self sufficient, know the route, and expect little more than a cup of tea or coffee as a reward for finishing. I had planned 2 for this week, Malvern and Wyre Forest, as they covered a few big climbs, but adverse weather meant these were a no-go for me. On the Tour 21 ride there will be no choice, if it rains … it rains, if its windy … Its windy, however in training there is little benefit to riding in conditions that are unsuitable – you do not ride to the optimum, so you are not gaining anything, but have everthing to lose in the risk of accidents or pushing your body too far resulting in illness.

Even though training is important, there are other things that are important to me as well. On Friday I gave a blood donation, my 52nd to be more precise, but this one seemed a little more important than the others. The Tour 21 is happening to help those with Leukaemia, a blood Cancer. Whilst blood donations can be used when ever and where ever required (if you sign up for it you get a notification thelling you how it was used), it was another reminder telling me why I am training the way I am, and why I will be riding the stages of the Tour de France with the rest of the team to raise £1,000,000. This pint of Blood may be a priceless life saver that helps someone who has an accident or needs an operation, so it was certainly worth taking time out of my training schedule to make a donation. (to give blood please call 0300 123 23 23)

With Zwift and a few tweaks to my schedule I was able to keep training and fit in all the rides I needed to do this week. The weather was better on Monday, so I used the Sunday as my rest day and rode the Malvern route on the Monday instead. On Wednesday I did the same double hill route as I did last week, although this time I did the ‘New Route’ first followed by the ‘Old Route’, with an extra climb in the middle. It’s good to mix up my rides a little, not only do repetive routes become boring, but you are likely to cruise around rather than put the effort needed to prepare properly.

Saturday was the Club monthly 100 miler, so an ideal chance to get in a distance ride. A cold windy day made the ride uncomfortable for Adam, James, Kate, Mike, young Dan and myself, and we were a little slower than we would have liked. At lunch we met up with the other V-Sprint groups riding 100k and 120k routes. The Cowshed at Wootton Wawen is a popular stopping point for cyclists, a good variety of warm food for those long winter rides. It can get a bit busy, as it was on Saturday, so you sometimes have to wait a little longer than you would like, but it is popular because the meals are good, and on a 100 mile ride it is important to refuel properly. At the end of the ride I was surprised by my Grandson Finley who was waiting at the Ewe and Lamb with Andy and my daughter Lisa. When we arrived at the Ewe and Lamb we had only managed 99.4 miles. As Finley looked out of the window for us, he told Lisa and Andy we were coming, looked again and we had ridden straight past which must have been a dissapointment for him, but we were not going to spend all day in a cold wind for the ride not to count as 100 miles, A third of a mile down the road though we turned around, having made sure we would hit out 100 mile target. Finley didn’t have to wait long to say hello, and it was a nice for me to be welcomed home with a hug from him.

I intend by the end of this year to get my Eddington Score to 100. Your Eddington score determines how many rides of a certain distance you have completed, ride 1 mile once and your score is 1, ride 10 miles 10 times and your score is 10, and so on. My Eddington score currently stands at 83 having ridden 83 miles on 83 seperate occassions. But that does not mean I only need to ride 17 more 100 mile rides to reach an Eddington of 100. I need to ride 41 more 100’s, having only riden 59 so far. The worst thing about Eddington rides is not reaching your target, if you only manage 95 miles then this ride cannot ever be counted towards your 100 mile Eddington count only your 95 mile count, thats why we were so keen to ride that extra 0.6 of a mile.

14 of the tour stages are longer than 100 miles, with a couple that are so close that the ride to or from the hotel will make sure I ride the miles needed. and with 10 monthly 100’s this year that should get me to 75, Hopefully a few long training rides and a trip to Mallorca in April and I will reach my target. Like the squares I talked about a few weeks ago, The Eddington score serves as both a good motivator and a good monitor of your performance, you can even look at scores for just this year – my score so far this year is 23 (23 rides of 23 miles or more), which considering we are only 45 days in to the year, that is quite good. I feel my training is going well, despite the weather we have had recently I have managed to get out and ride, either on, my own or with friends.

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