As you can imagine, I’m not particularly excited by the prospect of pedalling 500km over the next nine days (well, hopefully seven) in the cave but it’s something I think I can do (I know I can do the distance as I’ve done London-Edinburgh-London) and that I can fit in around work.

So, my strategy is going to be to try to do three hours per day for the first three days, have a day off and then do two hours per day for the next three days to cover 522km in total with a day spare (for travelling home) and the final day to get out and actually ride (Cragg Vale or Yorkshire Dales.)

I’m going to start early with a one hour session at 0615 before work and then either an afternoon session at lunchtime finished with an hour in the evening or one before breakfast and one in the evening of either two hours or one as required.

Don’t all be jealous now but this will be the glorious scenery I’ll be enjoying for the majority of the Festive 500:

As you can see there’s also some fire fighting equipment in there as it also doubles as the Emergency Equipment Station. I say doubles but triples is more accurate as that little cupboard on the right that the breathing apparatus is bolted to is the non-hermetically sealed smoking room.  I’ll have a little bit of motivation with that authentic Belgian Six Day atmosphere which will keep my imagination running and keep me going.

You might also notice the clipboard. Cyclists do like statistics – RPM, BPM, Watts, cadence etc. so I did a test ride for an hour this evening just to see exactly what it is I’m going to do each time and the hour breaks down like this:

Warm Up:

1 minute at  66 watts;

1 minute at 88 watts;

1 minute at 109 watts;

1 minute at 69 watts;

6 minutes at 109 watts.

Hill Profile / Intervals:

1 minute at 69 watts;

1 minute at 130 watts;

1 minute at 69 watts;

1 minute at 175 watts;

1 minute at 69 watts;

1 minute at 200 watts.

This is repeated 5.75 times (i.e on the sixth repetition, the 200 watt final interval is omitted)

Cool Down:

1 minute at 69 watts;

2 minutes at 88 watts;

1 minute at 69 watts.

That’s how each hour breaks down – I have a cadence of 105 rpm rising to 115 rpm on the ‘hills,’ and the brain inside the machine accounts for 487 calories. It’s definitely a good (for me) hour of work so hopefully I’ll be able to keep it up. If I start to struggle, I may try some steady rides to keep going.

But what about the evidence?

Well, I’ll upload manually onto Strava (I usually use runkeeper when I remember so it’ll probably be there too) as soon as I’ve finished a session and I will take photographs of every one I do for uploading here. I’m also going to get a responsible adult to witness a log sheet which I’ll also keep. The Captain of the ship has agreed to be my referee so he’s going to make sure I do everything properly and bully me as necessary.

So, tomorrow it begins….

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