After the flight back from the 24hr Worlds in 2014 I found myself with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) in the left calf (“deep perforator vein within the medial aspect of the left soleus muscle which extends over a length of 5cm”). Cue many needles (Fragmin/Dalteparin), many blood tests and 3 months on rat poison (Warfarin). This DVT episode was over on March 1st when I took my last Warfarin dose and then promptly crashed after hitting a pothole on my commute home. Cue many more hospital visits, blood tests, x-rays, physio, etc.
Spin forward to July 1st and I’ve been diagnosed with another DVT, again in my left calf (left peroneal vein to be precise) but this time with no obvious cause – no flights, no long days in the office, nothing obvious anyway. Yay! It’s now July 9th and for a week I’ve been jabbing my stomach with a combination of Tinzaparin and the leftover Fragmin syringes I had from the first clot – my abs are sore – it feels like I’ve been doing situps all day.
The clotting profile blood test results from July 1st won’t be available for 6 weeks to 2 months for some reason so the cause of the clot will remain unknown until then (could be remnants of the first clot, could be genetic or it could be another disease). In the meantime I’ve asked to be put on Rivaroxaban
Oh, I also found out that my red cell count is low – I’m likely low in iron – seems odd given my gloopy blood but it’s just like me to have the worst of both worlds – slow blood AND not enough red cells. No wonder my training has fallen in a hole!
So, I will continue to wear my sexy (not sexy) calf compression socks and I’ve bought myself a Garmin Vivofit fitness tracker band which you wear all the time and it vibrates when you’ve sat immobile for too long. It’ll probably just mean I drink a lot more coffee than I do now. All of this just weeks before the National 24hr TT. Timing, kid, you’ve got it.
It looks like I might’ve finally cracked the issue of the cassette rubbing the Raltech disc covers due to their not being enough space behind the cassette. It was thanks to this blog post from Dark Speed Works.
Below is a copy of their guide for my notes. It’s for an 11-23T Ultegra cassette (DA doesn’t seem possible because it has a 2-3-1-1-1-1-1-1 config and I can’t find the individual sprockets to swap out the 3-block). The idea is to convert it to 10spd but with 11spd spacing and move the whole cassette out a bit.
“The solution on this cassette is slightly different from the previous two. You will need to buy a specific 17T cog for Ultegra 6800 cassettes (Shimano part no. Y-1Y917200). And you’ll also need two 2.18mm 11s cassette spacers for Ultegra 6800 cassettes (Shimano part no. Y-1Y953000, Shimano calls them ‘sprocket spacers’). Once you have these parts in hand, before mounting the 11-23 cassette on your wheel, remove the 17-18T sprocket unit (with cogs riveted together). If you drop out this sprocket unit and replace it with the 17T cog that you bought, the cassette will still have a progressive gearing spread (the same gearing that Shimano uses for 10-speed 11-23 cassettes). And one of the extra 11s cassette spacers that you bought will be used as a ‘behind-cassette spacer’ (see below). So, to create and mount the hybrid 11-23 cassette, you would put on the rear wheel freehub body, in this order:
one of the 11s cassette spacers that you bought (needed as a behind-cassette spacer)
the 19-21-23T sprocket unit (these cogs are riveted together)
the 17T cog that you bought
one of the 11s cassette spacers that you bought
the 16T cog
an 11s cassette spacer
the 15T cog
an 11s cassette spacer
the 14T cog
an 11s cassette spacer
the 13T cog
the 12T cog (cog has an integrated spacer)
the 11T cog (cog has an integrated spacer)
Finally, the cassette lock ring (properly screwed on).
When you’re done, you should only have the 17-18T sprocket unit left over. Properly adjust your 11-speed rear derailleur limit screws for this hybrid cassette, test it out thoroughly, and you should be good to go. (Save the 17-18T sprocket unit should you ever need to convert this cassette back to full 11-speed.)
This was supposed to be an A event for me – I wanted to have a crack at breaking the 300 mile mark for 12 hours. At the end, I was almost 20 miles down on last year’s distance, having achieved none of my goals. Fail.
The race consisted of 5 hours on the ball, sitting pretty, so to speak, nailing my selected power and then LEGSGOBANG! a rapid decline such that I (barely) finished the event having averaged the power I’d typically ride during a 24hr. Meh. Big ol’ cup o’ meh.
All I can pin it down to is having a dose of the squits the day before and the morning of the race. Theory being, if your guts is dodgy, you’re body isn’t properly taking on nutrients and I basically just ran out of energy, even though I was eating my Torq goodies just fine.
The next 7 hours were then a feeble procession with a few attempts to pack (quit) but my team wouldn’t let me! I’m not one to bail on a race without there being a fatal mechanical or a hospital visit involved so the going must’ve been grim! Thanks to them I did get a 12hr training ride done and I guess it was still the second fastest 12hr I’ve ridden but when you know you can do so much better it sucks to fall apart so bad on race day.
Congrats to Mark Holton riding the second fastest 12hr ever, a 316.74mi, just behind Andy Wilkinson’s Comp Record 317 miles and Jill Wilkinson who rode the second fastest women’s 12hr ever with a 269.85mi ride. Also, nice work to Hoppo who bashed out a career high 270.89 miles.
Unfortunately due to the general feebleness of modern humans there aren’t many 12hrs run these days and the remaining events clash with other races/rides I’m doing so it looks like I’ll have to wait another year to crack the 300.
Thanks for letting me scrape my entry in Jim.
Having pre-ridden the 25 mile course a couple of times the day before I knew there were roadworks in place on the A4 and assumed they’d be completed by Sunday but alas, no. I guess they decided that it was easier to set up two-way traffic lights and a tonne of traffic cones and delay everyone than fill in the little hole around the drain.
So, arriving on Sunday with some unfinished business to attend to on the ‘ski slope’ H25/2 course, I was gutted to find out the race had been shortened to a 10mi using the H10/22 course I’d PB’d on earlier in the year. My annoying 1:00:04 on this course will remain a while longer.
So, to the 10. It was a spluttery, snotty, horrible ride that may or may not have been well paced (I’m writing this weeks later) and I fell short of my previous best by 16 seconds, even with a supposedly faster setup. Luckily with all the hype around Wiggos Hour Record attempt that night I knew that the air pressure was totally crap for racing so… Excuse 1098: Air Pressure Too High, ACTIVATE!
The Beast from the East starts from Waltham Abbey and heads southwest to Taunton Dean services before returning via a different path to the start. Check out the Beast from the East route here.
Thanks to organiser Mark Brooking for letting me ride the route-check event. Apparently night time temperatures were as low as 3C!
Quick Summary of the Severn Across 400k PBP qualifier I rode this month…
4am – Cycled out to start, arrived late again but not as late as last time so I’m getting better!
Cycled, saying hello as I passed Ray and Mike, got wet, ate cake (thanks @YarntonNursery).
Cycled, got wet again, talked to Frank for a while, dried out by standing outside a cafe eating cake (Tewkesbury).
Cycled, said hi to Martin at Tesco and ate a Turkish Delight (Chepstow, this time not experienced whilst covered in grit after changing tubes).
Cycled, ran out of fluids (stupid small Lucozade bottles) so stopped for a pint and grabbed bottle refill from a pub in Malmesbury.
Cycled, memory failing me now but definitely went for more food oddities at Membury Services – steak crisps? wtf? Pocketed a Jimmy’s iced coffee for later.
Cycled, darkness descended, dodging deer decidedly dangerous during descents. Impressed that Henley put on a fireworks show for my arrival, that was very nice of them!
Cycled the long way to the finish based on the GPS and picked up a receipt in Chalfont St Peter (need to check credit card – that’ll cost me).
Headed to the HQ to see if anyone was there and told the previous community centre users what I’d been up to, the bloke was amazed at the distances covered.
Liam arrived just as I had my phone out to ask him what to do with my brevet card. Consumed a bakewell tart and an espresso and rolled on home, arriving some time before 1am.