Ask Pav

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…

Bikes Etc - - CONTENTS -

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.

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