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Five Ways Not to Get Dropped on the way to Boggle Hole

This weekend I’m signed up for the now infamous “Boggle Hole Ride Wi’ Wayne.” From what I can gather from years gone by the ride's fierce reputation is well deserved as Wayne Randle and the old ‘Yorkshire guard’ turn out in force to really push the tempo. Leaving from our Barnsley Showroom the 100-mile outward leg makes its way through Pontefract, York, Pickering and Scarborough before finally reaching the cosy, coastal youth hostel, south of Whitby. Once at the hostel, we eat, drink, recover, talk about bikes and then get some sleep. The return ride home the next day takes a route with more climbs than the day before and we’ll again see 100 miles on the milometer!

My intention for Boggle Hole is to survive the torture for as long as possible in both directions. Being a lowly weekend warrior mixing with some quality riders (some pro and ex-professionals) I think I will have to implement some ‘tactics’ to get round.

1. Sit in, Sit in, Sit in…

After my harrowing experience at the hands of Wayne Randle and John Tanner on the Humber 100 mile ride, I won’t be sticking my nose in the wind for the first 80 miles in either direction.

I made the mistake of ‘mixing it’ up at the front last time and soon paid the price. I was pinged out the back at mile 55 for a rather lonely and demoralising ride home.

The point to ‘hiding’ and avoiding the front of the group is simple – the majority of energy expelled by the rider is used to push the rider through the air. Sitting in, or drafting, means you let the riders in front, take care of this for you and so save yourself up to 40% of your energy and keeping yourself out of the red.

2. Stay Close to the Front…

This statement can sometimes seem a bit confusing, but there is a massive advantage to riding near the front of the group.

This is because the concertina effect that means a cyclist at the back of the group has to work much harder out of corners to maintain the same average speed as the guys near the front. He is forced to brake more and then sprint back on to the back so he doesn’t get pinged off the back.

There is also a small reduction in aerodynamic drag that comes from having riders behind you and reducing the turbulence you leave in your wake.

3. Avoid the Temptation to Hit the Hills Hard…

Anyone that has ridden with me will know I am a bit of a nob ‘ed when it comes to the hills. Ever since I was crowned KOM in the Lincolnshire Hill Climb Championship I have always fancied myself as a bit of a climber.

I find the ‘go hard’ temptation too tempting and I’ve been caught out a few times by pushing myself into the red and spat out of the back a matter of minutes later. It’s important to keep your power and heart rate out of the higher zones to avoid fatigue and stay fresh.

4. Eat and Drink...

There’s a big risk of hunger knock on a ride like this and no way to avoid it without food or drink, it’s not possible to rely on anything else but your own bodies available energy stores. I’ll start to consider my food and drink the day before the ride, and make some slight adjustments. Personally, I find beetroot juice and an increase in carbohydrate intake makes me feel better and avoid the dreaded bonk.


On the day of the ride, I will always have a good breakfast about two hours before we start. This is almost always a large bowl of porridge, a few soft berries and a banana. I’ll also have half a pint of beetroot juice, and half a pint of water.

The Ride:

I use the following rule for a long ride – 0.5g of carbohydrates per KG of bodyweight every 30 minutes, starting from the zero-hour. This means that after 30 minutes of riding a 70KG rider would consume 35g of carbohydrates and continue to do so, every 30 minutes thereafter.

I am a massive fan of fig rolls, jam sandwiches and bananas. I only use sports products like bars and gels in the last hour of the ride to avoid any kind of sugar crash, but this is personal preference and I have friends who hit the energy products hard and get a lot out of them.

On the other hand, you can ignore all this and be like Hywel Davies… Read about his approach here.

5. Enjoy it But Suffer…

The simple and most obvious way for me to not get dropped is to push hard and suffer.
When a gap appears, close it.
When I’m forced to do a turn - so the quicker riders let me sit in - do it.

It’s that simple, it’s going to hurt, it isn’t going to be nice at times, but I get the chance to ride with some great guys and have a good time! Stay tuned for more details when the ride is done… If I survive.

We still have a few places available.

To join us email [email protected]

16 March 2016

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