So it's now just over 10 days until we ride the 515km of the Tour De Yorkshire and given it's mid-December there are a few small problems to consider; the biggest of these being the weather we'll likely encounter. Currently it's pretty mild outside and i'm back in shorts but it's quite possible that when we start the ride it 10 days time it could freezing, raining, foggy or even snowing in places.
This kind of weather presents a small problem for any rider. We all know how much food it takes to keep us fuelled over a 100 mile ride in summer when it's warm outside already, but when your riding 100 miles in winter you need so much more fuel to power you around the ride and to cover the energy lost just to keeping warm. This makes it more and more likely that as a rider you'll hit the wall or 'bonk' as most riders refer to it.
So we want to keep as warm and dry as possible on the ride to limit the energy lost to the cold that will drain our pedal stroke and make it harder to get back on the bike each day. Therefore Madison.cc have kindly provided me the same kit used by the pro team Madison-Genesis to get me around the ride. I've been testing the kit out for a few weeks now but the true test will be seeing how pro kit performs over a pro-cycling route in the toughest conditions of the year.
So over the three days of the ride i'll be hoping that the pro's have really raced in the toughest conditions and given the insight into the kit that will help keep an amateur like me pedalling around the route.
One particular stand-out item from the kit i've ridden in so far is the Road Race Apex Men's waterproof jacket which Madison-Genesis use in the wet races through-out the year. This fairly compact and slim jacket is pretty discreet with it's all black design and reflective strips that with it's race cut is a nice snug fit. At first glance it might seem like any other waterproof jacket but once you wear it in the rain it's certainly stand-out. I wore the jacket for a 70 mile ride in the storms over the last few weeks and the jersey underneath stayed completely dry for the duration of the rain - absolutely perfect for avoiding getting wet and cold on a ride or as a pro in a big race. Even better, it has some neatly hidden vents to keep the sweat away too.
Obviously we'll be hoping it doesn't rain over the three days but given it's Yorkshire we won't hold our breath!
The second item i've been wearing is the Road Race men's bib-tight which is the thermal bib-tight the pro's use to train in the cold during winter. They are made of a thermal material with some reflective strips to keep you seen and again are black. It's really important to keep your legs warm on a ride as without them warm they won't be turning the pedals at any pace so it's important the tights keep you warm. Again, the tights perform well and keep your legs warm in the wet and cold having survived the same storm and keeping me warm through-out. You'll never find a pair of waterproof bibs but you can find a set that keep you warm when wet.
Fingers crossed the pro kit keeps me warm over the route and takes us one step closer to replicating the ride that pro's will do next spring.
So with 10 days to go it's time to go get training and prepare for the challenge. Don't forget to follow us at #TDY500 and #Festive500
**I will add that Madison did provide the kit for free so you might think i'm a little bias but if I don't like something i'd be sure to say!