Whether your wheels are squeaking, your brakes need tweaking, or your knees keep creaking, Bi kesetc’s own c ycling guru Pav Bryan will steer you right…
Your questions about everything to do with cycling answered by pro coach Pav Bryan.
Pav Bryan is a professional British Cycling level 3 road and time-trial coach with over a decade’s experience in mentoring everyone from beginners to pros. Discover more about his services at pavbryan.com, and follow him on Twitter @pavbryan for more cycling-related wisdom. Q After watching this year’s Tour de France, I’ve decided I really want to try my hand at racing. Thing is, I’ve just turned 40. Is there such a thing as veteran races? Or teams that cater for men undergoing what my wife is calling my latest mid-life crisis? Kieran Tweed, via email A British Cycling have ‘Masters’ categories for road racing, so if you wanted to you could train for and enter the Tour of Cambridge next June (see tourofcambridge.com) and potentially qualify for the Amateur World Championships in your age group, which is held in Italy next year – a marvellous event! Otherwise look up the Veterans’ Time Trials Association (vtta.org.uk) – it’s an organisation that literally caters for 40s and older. So get involved, Kieran. It’s never too late! Q I’m in training for a 1,200km challenge but my last training session (600km) left me with no feeling in my left hand and unable to use my rear brake. I cannot adjust my seat because my right knee has been replaced with a titanium joint and I get severe pain in it if I drop the seatpost. I have doubletaped my handlebars but is there anything else you can recommend? Glyn Marston, West Midlands A Wow, Glynn! Big respect for your never-saydie-attitude. It sounds to me like you need to see a bike fitter who is also a biomechanical expert – someone who is almost like a doctor but specialising in bike-fitting and body geometry. Your local bike shop is unlikely to have the means or the knowledge to solve such a specific problem but the website findafitter.bike is a good place to search for a more specialist one locally. This kind of service is unlikely to come cheap but it should solve your problem. If you really don’t have the money for this, try looking at the stack on your bars. You’ll need to raise or lower them to find a more comfortable position. I’d say try raising them initially and see how you get on. Q I’d love to start riding with a group. Thing is, I’m not that experienced or fit and don’t feel confident enough to approach my local club. Can you suggest any other solutions? Jon, via email A Hi Jon. If you go to Cycling UK’S website (cyclinguk.org), their Group Ride scheme is one of the first things you’ll find in the drop-down menus. On there you’ll find an interactive map which will link you to literally hundreds of rider groups all over the country. You’ll find every standard and ability on there and I can almost guarantee that not only will you find something suitable, but you’ll also be welcomed with open arms. Otherwise talk to friends and see if you can’t organise your own group to ride with if you find the idea of approaching your local club too intimidating. Whatever your solution – you won’t regret it!
French cyclist Robert Marchand still breaks records at 105 years old. He turned 40 in 1951.