Ever taken on summin stupid?


New Member
Jan 24, 2002
Some local lads and I have formed a team and registered with the BCF (British Cycling Fed). Now we've applied for entry into the Tour of the North - Ireland's premier stage race with 5 days spanning 300 miles (482.7km). Way out of our league but we're gonna give it a shot. I don't want to die without experiencing a real stage race!

Anybody else planned summin stupid? ???
I would love to do something like that! 100k's a day - you'll make it!

I once managed to get myself into the pro starting pen at a 80k race (out of pure ignorance) and stayed with them for about 15k's. I was even leading the bunch at some stage! They soon dropped me, and needless to say, I think I finished 4th last in that race. (It was my first ever race).
You see, even if you can't be a pro, it sometimes helps to look like a pro! ;D
Here's the route plan - done plenty sub 3 hour 120km races but not sure how the legs will stand up to 4 days worth...

Stage-1, Fri 29th March, Prologue TT 1mile, 5.00 PM, Parliament Building Stormont, Belfast.
Stage-2, Sat 30th March, 75mile road race, 10.00 AM, Downpatrick Leisure Centre, Downpatrick, Co.Down.
Stage-3, Sun 31st March, 7mile TT, 10.00 AM, Lakeland Forum Enniskillen, Co.Fermanagh.
Stage-4, Sun 31st March, 56mile road race, 2.00 PM, Lakeland Forum Enniskillen, (around Lower Lough Erne).
Stage-5, Mon 1st April, 75mile road race, 10.00 AM, Seven Towers Leisure Centre, Ballymena, Co.Antrim.
Stage-6, Tue 2nd April, 75mile road race, 10.00 AM, Dundonald Ice Bowl, Dundonald, Co.Down.

I don't want to die without having lived!!!
Eldron that is just AWESOME. Give us a detailed account of every stage. What bike will you be using? What wheels? Tell us more!
I ride a Look AL274/HSC3 for with a Campag Record/Chorus mix and Mavic Classics SSC wheelset. No TT bike at the moment - will have to battle on with tri bars and Rolf Vector Pros.

If you're keen on seeing how the tour goes - check out cyclelab.co.za (sorry bout the free advertising). I write a weekly column under the name Darryl Fitzell which happens to my real name....attention all weirdos...

Andrew Maclean will be organising a training programme for the team (thanks!) and the column will be a weekly update on how a seriously out of shape cyclist (me) prepares for a stage race. I'm hopelessly out of my league and am going to suffer like a dog but I want to experience a stage race before I get too old!
Ah, I was wondering about Eldron all along. Welcome aboard Darryl! When I first read your post it sounded very familiar. I had this funny feeling all along that you are the 'Couch Potatoe' man.
What are the chances of updating us here 'live' every night during the tour? That would simply be awesome!
Eldron, just a queation about your choice of wheels for the regular stages. Why the Classics SSC? Aren't they a heavy (but bombproof) wheelset? You can get lighter wheels that aren't less aero but are almost as bombproof if not more. For example, D/A and OPs, or CXP 33s. Or maybe the Ksyriums or Nucleons.
Originally I thought the Classics SSC's were heavy and bombproof - on further investigation they're only 150g heavier (per pair) than the Vector Pros. They're also supremely comfortable on 100k+ rides (flat rim + 32 spokes).

Overiding all of that is the fact that I already own the Classics & Vectors and can't afford anything else at this stage :'(

I should be able to post a message or two after each stage - the company I work for offers laptops and mobile phones as standard equipement. Gotta use your perks when you can ;D

A new 'potato' article should be on the cyclelab website this afternoon..
Mavic Classics SSC: front 840g / Rear 1010g (ride through pot holes all day)
Rolf Vector Pros: front 750g / 950g rear (found varying weights for these - kinda fragile too broke front spokes a few times)
Mavic Ksyrium SSC: 690g / Rear 840g (hot damn!!! light as half a feather but really expensive)
Mavic Ksyrium Elite: Front 755g / Rear 960g (affordable firepower)

Much as I like the Ksyriums theres a lot to be said for steel spokes in stage racing....unless you're a pro with 15 sponsored wheelsets in your team vehicle....

Anybody else got some weights?
Eldron, I think you got the Ksyrium weights mixed up. Shouldn't the SSC be heavier than the Elite?

BTW, I am currently using 36 spoked OPs. Will a 28 spoked wheel be a considerate advantage considering that I am 175 lbs. and ride on BAD roads?
hey eldron. do you like the time trials?. do you other blokes like time trials?. iv use use a time trial practice course of 13k atm my average speed is 39.23 kph. (its hilly)
Just checked mavic.com and the weights are right - the Ksyrium SSC SL is mavics new Ksyrium for 2002 and has an Inter-Spoke Milled rim which saves 40g per wheel. The Ksyrium Elite is effectively last years Ksyrium.

175lbs and bad roads? Stick to the 36's. More spokes = more strength. Maybe buy a light weight wheel set for races only - train on summin indestructable.

Personally I hate time trials - riding at maximum for any length of time is not my forte. My ideal race is 100km at a doddle with 300m of all out sprint fury! The other guys on the team seem to enjoy time trialling - they're all british and time trialling is a way of life over here (Cheshire, UK).

39km/h is pretty good! A major time trialling hurdle seems to be a 40km time trial in under an hour. You need to be pretty strong to manage that.