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Top Ten Ways to Ride The Perfect 10

Top Ten Ways to Ride The Perfect 10

This week our big speed machine Mr Ian Cammish offers some top tips on how best to ride 10 miles as fast as humanly possible. He's well qualified, having famously ridden some of the greatest perfect tens ever...

"This is going to tax the grey matter somewhat as MY fastest ‘10’ dates back to 1991 and I’ve been trying to improve on the 19 minutes 17 seconds ever since. If I knew the ‘secret’ of a really fast ‘10’ I might have joined the ranks of the select few who are now sub 18 minute men – now that IS fast isn’t it?

"So just how DO they go that fast? Based on my experience (and what I’ve picked up by being nosy by asking lots of questions without actually giving anything away myself!) I’d list the following:

In 10th position:

It’s got to start with a good sound base of winter miles or turbo training hasn’t it?  So … if you haven’t done any by now, it’s too late. Pop off and ride a few Sportives with your mates and come back this time next year. Do not pass ‘Go’ do not collect £200 etc

In 9th position:

You’ve got to start looking at your bike and equipment. Get a skin suit

In 8th position:

An aero-hat. [Helmet]

In 7th position:

Move your bum forward and drop your front end … ooh err (This is about position on the bike … nothing else. Ok?). Get some tri-bars … they’re supposed to make 1 mph difference! So if you’re currently a 20-40 rider, that’ll immediately, get you down to a 19-59 – so definitely worth a punt surely?

In 6th position:

Invest in some nice blingy wheels and tubs. Tubs are faster than clinchers you know? (I’ll get my coat!).  I can’t believe the number of competitors I see who have obviously spent a fortune on their bikes but turn up at races on ‘hose-pipes’.  Get a nice pair of wheels and light tubs and it’ll be like coming down from altitude – believe me!

In 5th position:

Pedal fast and you’ll go fast.  With one or two exceptions, you won’t go fast heaving 57 x 11 round will you? Get the gear right and pedal fast … the faster you pedal, the faster you’ll go. Simple eh?

In 4th position:

You’re not going to be able to race at 30 mph if you haven’t trained at 30 mph are you?  I know they’re hard (so hard, I haven’t done any since 1991) but intervals are surely the answer to bring out the best speed-wise. Give them a go – but make sure you’re rested before you do them and also allow plenty of recovery time after before trying to race.

In 3rd position:

Get an early start in an evening event or late start in a morning event (that helps on the ‘fast’ courses).  Not only does this guarantee you get more traffic assistance but it also allows you to get to the pubs before they close (when riding evening events) and have a lay in (for ones that are held in the morning).

In 2nd position:

Start steady and finish hard.  Not sure if you can get away with that if you’re after a sub 18 ‘10’ as that’s got to be eye-balls out from the word ‘go’ hasn’t it? (Which sounds far too painful for my liking). Users of SRMs or Powertaps will know how easy it is to start too hard – it’s amazing how quickly ‘it’ comes back at you if you go off like the proverbial bull in a china-shop though. Not recommended.

In 1st position:

Choose a fast course. No way are you going to go really fast on the Cuckney course are you?  There are several courses spread throughout the country which are acknowledged as being the ‘fastest’ – the existing Competition record course at Levens (never ridden it as it’s too far away. Should be banned for that reason alone IMO!), the V718 between the M62 and Hull, and the E2 south west of Newmarket. 

Hit a ‘good’ day on any of them and there won’t be much that can beat the exhilaration of doing a 30+ mph ride. Ride one when I’m there though and it’ll be guaranteed to be ‘wazzing it down’ and blowing a gale.

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1 March 2011