HotChillee training ride one

hotchillee01.jpgVitus Bikes are proud sponsors of HotChillee’s multi-stage cycling events, providing each of the 20 ride captains with top-of-the-range Sean Kelly Ltd edition carbon race bikes for each of this year’s events.

Vitus Bikes are proud sponsors of HotChillee’s multi-stage cycling events, providing each of the 20 ride captains with top-of-the-range Sean Kelly Ltd edition carbon race bikes for each of this year’s events. HotChillee’s rides are some of the most stunning, professional and challenging rides on the global cycling calendar, and they include the eight training events in preparation for the Alpine Challenge, the Cape Rouleur and The London-Paris (L2P).


Each of the riders will be updating us throughout the year with their training ride diaries, the first of which comes from Ride Captain Andrew Gill.

“What a fantastic turn out for the first of the HotChillee 2012 training rides in Surrey, England. Over 150 riders on a freezing cold day is immense! I think Carluccios did its weekly quota of coffee in 30 minutes! This also gave us all an excellent opportunity to get to know each other and catch up with old L2P friends. Following a quick induction Group 5/6 lined up to start the ride.

Our fine peloton set off down to Walton Lane and out to Shepperton picking up the B357 out to Chertsey. We took a left on to the Staines Road, across the first roundabout to duck the traffic and get the blood going up a snappy little warming climb up to St Anns Hill Park. We then headed across M25 out to Longcross (part of the Surrey league race circuit) and up to Stonehill Road (by Foxhills). A right was carefully taken into a frosty Gracious Pond Road all the way to Chobham. Straight across the junction to eventually reach the Bagshot Road (A319), where we followed the road until turning into the B311 and then B3015 to Deepcut Bridge Road minding the sharp bends by the Pirbright Ranges. Following a sharp left and under the Bridge we took a left into Knaphill and then onto A322 Guildford Road to West End. Following an incident, we then cut the route short by a few miles and headed back to Gracious Pond Road to cut across to Ottershaw. Finally, we then followed the smell of cake and vision of a warm seat in Carluccios through Addlestone (where we caught emergency road works – grrr!), Weybridge via high street and then to Walton on B3121.

A few stats: Distance: 43.07 miles / 69.31 km. Moving Time: 2:54:15. Avg Speed: 15.2 mph. Max Speed: 28.0 mph. Avg Temperature: 1.5 °C. Time: 2:55:09. Elevation Gain: 435m. Elevation Loss: 430m. MinElevation: 0m. MaxElevation: 125m.

The plan was for a three-hour loop (ok I was 5:45mins short), which avoided big hills (they come later), heavy frost and traffic to give us some space and scenery. Unfortunately we had a few chilly waits and a couple of mishaps, fortunately everyone was okay.
We had a real mixture of riding skills and knowledge, so I thought I would share a few observations and tips to help with your next HotChillee training ride.

Riding tips: practice riding in a group, become consistent with your speed / positioning of your bike, be silky smooth with your breaking and be aware of everything around you. Speed and durability will come especially if you are using a Wattbike in parallel.
Kit tips: quality cycling kit is everything on cold days. Warm, comfortable and not restrictive (style/colour coordination is critical for cyclists!). Also, base layers, overshoes, gloves and hats are essential. Good cycling shoes with cleats are also a must for long distance riding (check out the Mavic winter kit).

Bike tips: make sure your bike is fully serviced and safe. I pointed out a few safety issues and spotted a number of chains, tyres and cassettes that were due for retirement (get online to Chain Reaction Cycles – kit takes seconds to order, one day to arrive, minutes to fit, but often hours to mend at the side of a road).

Group 5/6 was a fabulous diverse bunch of people so spirits were high and the chat was great even when the teeth were chattering. I hope everyone had a good time, made new friends and notched up some valuable training miles ready for next month’s HotChillee ride.”

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