INTERVIEW WITH

ben ryan

red bull timelaps

by notinthepeloton

Tuesday 24th October 2017

It's coming up fast. The Red Bull Timelaps, taking place in Windsor Great Park on the 28th-29th October, was on our to do list as soon as it was created. We've entered a team and to introduce you to our warriors for the 25hr event, we thought we'd throw together some questions so you can get to know the rider behind the bike. Our final interview comes from our most talented member, everyone wants to be like him, his wheel is the one you want to follow....ok, exaggerating big time here! Well we couldn't interview ourselves so we asked you lot on Twitter and some close to us (including our own wife!) for some questions that you would like answered about our Red Bull Timelaps attempt....enjoy!

 

How much training have you done? Do you have a set routine in mind or are you winging it? – Jamie T @JT2UK

I’m not one to create a training plan, just don’t have the time and commitment to follow it (poor excuse but those who know the life of teaching will understand!). So we’ve been using our commutes (7 miles each way) to increase our average speed where we can. Our overall commute rounds out to an hour so multiply by 5 and we are not far off the requirements for the race. We’ve been touching the fitness up with longer rides at the weekend with the other team members. The mileage in our legs have never been a problem, it’s just the pace that we ride in. Normally at the 3hr ride mark, we start to feel the drain if the pace is high but the Red Bull event works out at 6 x 1hr efforts so we’re semi-prepared. Unless you’re a pro’ rider at this event, I think most will be winging it!

What element of training will you call upon the most for the Red Bull event? – Ali McQueen

I’m good at pacing myself, I know my limits. It’s more of a mental approach with me because if I try to hang on to a group which I know is much faster, I’ll pay for it. So focusing on my own pace and then try to match my pace with others will be beneficial for me. I’m not great at steep climbs and there being a main climb up to the polo fields including in this circuit, I’ve got to be careful that I’m pushing in the red because it will take it’s toll. We just hope our quick but flat commutes to work has done enough to produce a competitive pace.

What is your nutrition plan for the race? – Tom Brooks

It’s a difficult one to knuckle down. Obviously a bit of carb’ loading the days before but not overdoing it as although it’s a 25hr race, it works out 6 x 1hr power efforts so it’ll be more about recovery than the ability to ride at long stints. That being said, eating at the correct times so you start your next ride light but ready is also going to be tricky. We’re planning to take some pasta and tuna to balance out what we need, some gels but mostly protein bars. Like you know Tom if we get our nutrition wrong, we usually have a few dates with the toilet!

 

What’s the plan of attack? All guns blazing early on? Or saving it for the end? – nanook @bazer100

As our team mates know, we do like to keep a reserve as they often see us trying to jump away on the back end of our rides. If the pace is high early on, you might see us find a group with a pace we know we can increase if we need to. If we are hanging onto a pro’ group (most unlikely), it won’t be for long. If you want to hang on to our wheel, be prepared that we might up the pace when we know legs are ready for it and although we might not be the strongest rider on our team, we can push for long!

How can we slow you down? – Andy Mc @mc_spyke

Start talking to us, we like a good chat! Apart from that, parachute?!

 

Do you see yourself doing more races in the future? Or does it depend on how this one goes? – Dave @test_richie

It’s always been in our head to give racing a go but have been put off by the risk of crashing. That might seem a weak excuse but taking our team mate Sam for example, a few races into racing plan this year and he’s caught up in a crash which has resulted in his beloved high tech’ Giant being damaged. It’s obviously a risk you take but speaking to Sam, it seems in the Cat 4 races, it’s hell for leather and everyone jostling for positions all the time rather than picking the right moments. Plus, we’re not race ready in terms of speed where our other team mate Chris is clearly is! So watch this space, we might give it a go next year, could be a good blog!

 

How many laps do you think you’ll complete? – Emily @eb6483

With the circuit being 6.7km in length which is just over 4 miles, at full pace around the park that would take us roughly 15mins (taking in consideration the undulation of the course – there are some bumps and a mini climb in there!), there’s 4 15s in 60mins which means we should achieve 26.8km. Multiply by 6 96 x 1 hour efforts) and that equals 160.8km which is approximately 100miles.  That enough maths for you?! In all seriousness, if we achieve near 100 miles overall in our 6 hour efforts, we will be happy with that considering we haven’t mentioned sleep issues, nutrition and obviously the cold!

How does this rank so far to other sportives? Does the organisation seem different? – Al McQueen

So far, OK. There has been plenty of advance with information although I was expecting more in the welcome pack, it’s just full of Red Bull. I’m assuming we will get more information on the day (race numbers etc.). I did raise the issue of the bumps and gravel in the park with the organisers which they informed me would be dealt with prior to the event. We do hope this has been addressed because that could change everything and I want to know I can trust the circuit especially in the dark let alone in the day time. We have dinner included but it might have been nice to include breakfast too. We just heard Chris has brought a stove which will be handy so might bring some porridge along! As this is an inaugural event, it would be harsh to judge everything and look at it all in hindsight so if this becomes a series, it becomes one that everyone needs to tick off their list.

What motivated you to take up the challenge in the first place? – Richard @ABriskwind

First thing that caught our eye was the locality of the event. With it being in Windsor Great Park, we love this place, its quieter than Richmond Park and weirdly has a 38mph speed limit! The rolling fields and history about the place just makes it a great place to ride around no matter what sort of cyclist you are. I’ve been educated in the past that the park actually hosted an Olympic Road Race back in the day so it has cycling in it’s roots. We’ve never had a go at an endurance race such as this so combine that with the location, it’s made a great end of year challenge to push ourselves once again for.

What’s inside the NITP musette. I hear a rumour of roast beef, Yorkshire puddings and Red Bull? – Jamie T @JT2UK

Have you seen our shopping list already?! For those who don’t know and clearly Jamie does, we once took part in an evening smash with Sam and Chris following a roast dinner that afternoon and it probably had the same effect as taking a huge batch of performance enhancing drugs as to the surprise of the other two, we kept jumping on at that front! Jokes aside, we’re planning to try limit pure manufactured sugar based snacks and opt for the natural based foods (fruit etc.) and we will be making our delicious peanut butter granola bars for the weekend.

How will you handle the sleep deprivation? – Emily @eb6483

Well if you ask the wife, we’re not great sleepers anyway. We only sleep for 6-7 hours on a weekday but we can’t be naïve here. The legs are going to demand sleep at certain points. We’ve got a one man tent and I’m bringing a double sleeping bag (don’t get any ideas boys!). It’s the cold we have to be careful about at night, don’t want to get ill at the same time you want to recover as you know Doc, your immune system will be vulnerable trying to recover on two fronts. Also for us, we are quite particular with noise. If there’s a repetitive noise such as a tap dripping, it solidifies itself in our head and we become an insomniac!

How much are you looking forward to riding the Evo2Max Nebular R-9 on the circuit? Do you think it will make any difference? – Ali McQueen

This has been a long time coming now. Think the nerves has wandered away. It’s just dealing with the attention the bike may bring as it’s running 90mm rims and looks like a prop out of Tron! The bike needs a few tweaks in terms of set up but it’s going to be put to good use. It’s been positive so far in test rides and it’s now down to me to do it justice. I’m interested in what difference it will make. On test rides, it pulls well on the flat but once the road becomes steep, the shift in power changes from the bike to the actual rider. I’m good at recovering so I’ll be focusing on getting as much out of the bike on the flats, one thing is for sure with those rims, you will hear us coming from a mile off!

Are you going to be wearing all pink? – Emily @eb6483

You’d think that would be logical but the bike itself says it all so it doesn’t need us to steal the limelight! We have though treated ourselves to some new kit with a touch of the notinthepeloton colours.

Are you gonna’ mind being beaten by the Threo girls? – Threo Rhian @adesignforwife

We was wondering when the fighting talk would begin?! In all seriousness, on paper, we are your average rider and we have no problems being beaten by PEOPLE who are faster than us. We have had the privilege to climb with some female riders who make us look like a tractor when climbing. All we ask is you give us a little wave/hello when you fly past!

Are you gonna’ mind being beaten by the ladies from Wiggle Bike Shop? – Berny Breen @BernyBreen

Jeez! It is getting competitive! If this is the pro’ team, I’m definitely not looking forward to racing them! If it’s the workforce team, with it still being a bike shop, we’re still not over the moon about racing them, bike employees by reputation are normally the ones who you need to look out for. They live and breathe bikes so in theory, the knowledge is there about mechanics and racing. It is great to see though no split in gender and we are all racing the same distance unlike other bigger races (La Course for instance). We do have an issue why women’s sport in general doesn’t match the length and requirements like men’s sport. If someone can explain to me a justified reason why women don’t play best of 5 sets in tennis, we would appreciate it because there’s no reason we can see why they shouldn’t be. Men and women both play 90 minutes of football, it’s a controversial issue at the moment in road racing why women riders are treated differently?

What will be your treat at the end? – Dr Josie Perry @Josephineperry

If there’s a hot chocolate stall in the village, we are making a beeline for there! We’re now thinking something to with Nutella! Either way, we’re someone who knows if he deserves a treat so we will make sure we give it 100% otherwise it’s a salad instead!

 

Have you planned for adverse weather conditions? – Tom Brooks

We’ve done a little kit list to check what we have and we already have clothing and gear to battle the cold. It’s off the bike we’re concerned about. The night time will be fresh to say the least so it’s all about keeping your body temperature warm. There are turbo trainers available in the village to warm up on, whether these will be available to use is another question. We’re not allowed to make a fire so fortunately Chris has invested in a stove. If it’s raining, the Mavic tyres that are set up don’t look they like they are suited for wet conditions so either we be careful in the corners or revert to our N+1 – the Tarmac.

What do you think of your team mates? – Chris Detsicas @chrisdetsicas

Where do we start?!:

Sam – he’s a pocket rocket, got a perfect sprinter’s physique and he puts the effort in to be the best he can be. He’s recently reverted to being a food vegan and swears by it, we admire him for this and have enjoyed some of his vegan snacks on our longer rides. We will be looking to Sam to blend himself into a fast group to win us some laps.

Chris – he’s a machine defined. Whether it be on the flat or on a steep climb, he’s deceivingly quick. We’ve never seem him out of breath or struggling so he’s got a great poker face. He’s the one we will be sending out if we need to chase some groups down.

Ali – He’s the diesel engine of the team, his never give up attitude really comes through when the chips are down. Many a time we have seen him on a steep climb digging deep just turning the pedals to make sure he’s not defeated. We will be looking to him when everyone is low on energy and we need some recovery stints.

If you could swap one of your team members for a pro’ cyclist, which pro’ would it be? – Tom Brooks

Ooooo, it would be very controversial to drop one of us but I’ll take one for the team here and swap myself for the only man who can ride any terrain quick. It’s got to be World Champion Peter Sagan, he would smash this circuit and lap many in the first hour without sweat.

 

How are you going to keep your team motivated? – Mrs Notinthepeloton

Oh hello wifey! Looking forward to your free weekend?! Off to buy some candles are we and just watch hours upon hours of boxsets?! Well to answer your question, we will sit our guys down around our bikes, look them dead in the eyes and say:

I don't know what to say really. Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives all comes down to today. Either we heal as a team or we are going to crumble. Inch by inch pedal by pedal till we're finished. We are in hell right now, gentlemen believe me and we can stay here and get the s*** kicked out of us or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb out of hell. One inch, at a time. Now I can't do it for you. I'm too slow. I look around and I see these young faces and I think I mean I made every wrong choice a middle age man could make. I uh.... I pissed away all my money believe it or not. I chased off anyone who has ever loved me. And lately, I can't even stand the face I see in the mirror.

You know when you get old in life things get taken from you. That's, that's part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losing stuff. You find out that life is just a game of inches. So is cycling. Because in either game life or cycling the margin for error is so small. I mean one half revolution too late or to early you don't quite make it. One half second too slow or too fast and you don't quite win it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in ever breakaway of the game every minute, every second.

On this team, we fight for that inch On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us to pieces for that inch. We CLAW with our finger nails for that inch. Cause we know when we add up all those inches that's going to make the f****** difference between WINNING and LOSING between LIVING and DYING.

I'll tell you this in any fight it is the guy who is willing to die who is going to win that inch. And I know if I am going to have any life anymore it is because, I am still willing to fight, and die for that inch because that is what LIVING is. The six inches in front of your face.

Now I can't make you do it. You gotta look at the guy next to you. Look into his eyes. Now I think you are going to see a guy who will go that inch with you. You are going to see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team because he knows when it comes down to it, you are gonna do the same thing for him.

That's a team, gentlemen and either we heal now, as a team, or we will die as individuals. That's cycling guys.
That's all it is. Now, whattaya gonna do?

 

What is your team’s top 3 strengths? – Tom Brooks

I think perseverance is up there. All four of us won’t give up. We all know the pace we can maintain competitively and we all have a kick (some longer than others!). Although we are riding one at a time, the group dynamic is strong and we’ve all got each other’s backs. The support is strong. Our third main attribute I would say personally would be judgement and that ties back in with our pace. Me personally I know when I’m in the red but we’ve all discussed judging the pace within groups and applying our kicks if we need to at the right moments.

 

If Red Bull’s slogan is ‘It gives you wings’, what’s the slogan for the notinthepeloton team? – Mrs Notinthepeloton

You again! That’s a great question Mrs? Married are we?! Free after this race for a drink or two?! We could come up with many slogans but for this race alone – ‘notinthepeloton; just winging it!’

 

Thanks to everyone who contributed to our interview. If you’re free this weekend coming 28-29th October 2017, us and many other teams would definitely appreciate your support so get yourself down to Windsor Great Park and come see us at the athlete’s village near the polo fields. All the best to all the riders racing, it’s gonna’ be interesting!

notinthepeloton

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