Tour Of Watopia 2021 – Stage 2: Longer Ride

Well by jingo, that was knackering. I mean, I knew it would be a tiring ride, what with the pre-ride notes saying 900m of climb over 40km, but to do that on a Tuesday evening after a bank holiday weekend spent eating excessive amounts of scones and cake? Yeah, brutal.

This was a new route for me – the Muir and the Mountain.

Whilst very much not obvious from the ride notes, this route started in the desert pens, took you right up the Reverse Titans Grove KOM, then down, into the Epic KOM, a short long climb up the Radio Tower, and then down and back round for another go up the Reverse Titans Grove KOM… because why settle for only one trip up when two will do?

Should I have done this yesterday? Yes. Probably. But as above, I spent yesterday having my one weekly beer (I know, what a champ, I chose a bottle of Stella), and cakes. Lots of cake. Delicious.

That then left me knowing I had to do this ride today. After work. And on the subject of work, it was because of work that I started this one very late.

There was major uphevel in my current contract prior to the Easter break. Which meant today we had two new starters who needed bringing up to speed, along with a bunch of other chore tasks for me to pick up. As such I missed lunch. So I expected to be able to finish early, get in a bit of a warm up, and then smash this one.

Not so.

What actually happened was I ended up in a meeting at 3-4, which ran till 4.20, which meant I had Zwift open and running on my gaming PC whilst the meeting was in progress. At 4pm I watched the crowd disappear and leave me. And at about 4.20 I managed to get under way.

This actually made it more interesting than it might have otherwise been. I had to play catch up for the first time, as best I can recall.

Chasing down the riders ahead gave me something to work towards.

The other thing I did today was try to be a bit more ‘managed’ on the climbs. Knowing I had two (I didn’t realise we went back up Reverse Titans Grove KOM at the end) I made sure I held around 3.3w/kg on the first climb, and then 3.2w/kg for both the Epic KOM and the Radio Tower. This went well, and at no point was I dying as I have been in the past.

Could I have pushed harder? Maybe. But I don’t regret not doing.

Actually coming out of this one I feel like the route is a solid hours workout. It’s hard, but it proved I could do it solo within ~1h 20m. For ~1000 calories, that’s huge for me. One I’d actually consider doing again, as it really is a good workout.

It would have been nice to do this one as a bunch, and I’m genuinely curious as to how much faster my time might have been. Maybe 10 minutes faster? Who knows. I’m not daft enough to repeat it this week. Strange that stage 2 was so intense.

One good thing today – I managed to get my Wahoo Tickr working for once. All it took was a hard reset and a new battery. Let’s hope it maintains. Can’t say I’m hopeful.

Anyway, that’s me done for today. And I am done. I’m absolutely smashed.

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