sábado, 24 de junio de 2023

How to use cycling to feel great about yourself

Yesterday I had a look at the profile and the result of my analysis was “A short ride (131km). Only one hill, Green Dene, at Km 25. The rest all flat” (Send me your route if you want this type of in-depth analysis).

Today, while having breakfast, I finalized my plan. “Have a coffee at breakfast. Sit at the back of the group the first 25km. Then, at Green Dene, ride at 350w for five minutes and get a PB” (I’m also available if you need help coming up with a winning strategy for your ride).

Then, at LW, as soon as the group started to ride, I hit the front and my first turn was pretty much all the way from LW to Esher. My execution didn’t exactly follow my plan.

Worse than that, in that first turn I realized my legs were still tired from Thursday’s ride (https://www.strava.com/activities/9315615637). The idea of 5 minutes at 350w going up Green Dene didn’t look that feasible.

Even worse than that, as soon as Green Dene started I started to pray for someone (not me obviously) to lead us up the climb at a steady pace. A pace below 350w I added in my prayers. 

From there I sat at the back of the group for the rest of the ride. Only to see GC Denis, The Pope and Richard L. taking town sign sprints left and right. 

My completely destroyed ego rebuilt itself as soon as I took the final sprint at Esher. To do so I very conveniently ignored all the wheelsucking I had been practicing all day, including all the approach to the sprint. 

Rebuilding my ego is more important than the fairness of the sprint. 

Follow me for more tips on how to feel great about yourself.

The ride in Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/9325208700/

Take care

Javier Arias González

sábado, 17 de junio de 2023

Chasing The Pope around Kent

I hope that by now you know that you are going to have a hard day out if The Pope came to you with this proposal: Heading down to Seaford via Ashdown Forest - just over 200k and c. 2400m elevation to be taken at a decent pace.(av speed c. 30 - 31kph).

Kent is his playground. The climbers didn’t have a chance in heaven today. He amassed so many mountain points today you could accuse him of gluttony, but being The Pope I guess he has a pass on that.

Nor the sprinters for that matter. He knew the route by heart, he even knew where all the town sign sprints were. 

Riding with The Pope and GC Denis I had high hopes today at the sprinter game but when Declan, a real sprinter, decided to join us, unannounced, I very quickly switched role. 

I kind of was forced to play the role of “this ride is too hard, I’m struggling a lot, sure there is something wrong with the bike that is slowing me down”. And I played that role to perfection the first 50 kilometers. Not once they saw me at the front.

Funny enough two of the hardest climbs of the day came at kilometer 50 and from there I started to feel a bit better. Enough to move to the front a couple of times so my riding mates knew I was still there.

A stop with a coffee AND a coke. A slow start after the coffee stop so we could visit the cliffs. And a few kilometers to warm up again transformed me.

I was now in the weird role of “the last 50k feel better than the first ones”. 

Still chasing The Pope, still beaten in every climb, still missing all sprints but, somehow, inexplicably, feeling better. 


So much so that I moved to the front as soon as Juniper, the last climb of the day, started. Something I don't think has ever happened. 

As always happens in these cases, I was a bit overoptimistic and I started a bit too strong. I, obviously, very quickly, slowed down And slowed down. And slowed down even more. Until The Pope, with his infinite mercy, moved to the front and allowed me to take a rest before attacking him to take the last KOM of the day. I don’t have a chance to make it to heaven.

Less so when you add the way I took the final sprint of the day (I knew very well where that was). 

The Pope attacked and opened a gap. 

I took advantage of the traffic, the work that GC Denis did and the fact that The Pope didn’t sprint to make it first to the line.

Does anyone know how I can book a place with air conditioning in hell?

ps. Follow me for more tips on how to save your soul.

The ride in Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/9283596253

Take care

Javier Arias González

domingo, 11 de junio de 2023

Spanish Cycling Jargon 101 (Part 3) - Cuñao

Look at them, bunch of losers; Only 180km and they are already wasted!

What's wrong with daddy?

Nothing, that today he ‘climbs’ the Aubisque at The Tour.


Cuñao’s literal translation is brother in law.

But Cuñao is also used to describe someone (usually men) in your family or group of friends that thinks and acts as if he knows more than you about everything, even if he usually doesn’t know what he is talking about. He knows everything; he has the solution and the right course of action for every situation but lacks the skills or experience to back his words.

I have three sisters so I’m a (triple) cuñao in the literal meaning and after today’s ride the slang meaning of “cuñao” seems accurate for me too.

Picture this. Last meters of Juniper “hill”, Dai at the front, me on his wheel. 

As difficult to believe as it sounds I had done my fair share of work at the front so I was free to sprint, take the KOM and claim it a fair sprint (some believe that detail never bothered me at the time of sprinting but that’s just gossip).

At a given moment I saw Dai giving up. He was done. 

I knew that was the right moment to move up. I knew that moving in parallel to him would demoralize him. He would give up completely, slow down and I would take the KOM without even sprinting.

I “knew” what to do. What did I do? That’s where the cuñao in me manifested itself. 

I too gave up. I was done.

He felt me giving up, that gave him a morale boost. He kept riding. I slowed down. Dai took the KOM without sprinting.

Now you know, don’t hesitate to ask me if you have any questions about how to take a KOM or win a sprint. You’ll definitely get the right answer.

Btw. The rest of the ride was fantastic, great route, great company, great weather. 

Spanish Cycling Jargon 101 (Part 1) - Me llevaron todo el día con el ganchu is at: https://www.unbiciorejon.com/2019/10/spanish-cycling-jargon-101.html

Spanish Cycling Jargon 101 (Part 2) - Rompepiernas is at: https://www.unbiciorejon.com/2020/09/spanish-cycling-jargon-101-part-2.html

The ride in Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/9245226307/

Take care

Javier Arias González