Preparing for a sportive with Jonny Tomes of Chevin Cycles Skipton

Preparing for a sportive with Jonny Tomes of Chevin Cycles Skipton

rising the white rose classic sportive

Signing up for a sportive like the White Rose Classic can be a great way to both motivate yourself and to structure your training, but it can also be daunting – knowing where to begin training in preparation for a large ride like the Hawes long route is difficult. Lending a helping hand in this article is Jonny Tomes from Chevin Cycles Skipton, offering his experience in preparing for a reputable sportive like the WRC.

I’m planning on riding all 120 miles of the Hawes Long Route on the White Rose Classic this June, but I have never ridden that far before, how should I train?

I’d recommend that you try to increase your mileage incrementally – perhaps start by adding a loop on to a ride that you’re familiar with, or take the hilly way home, and build it up steadily from there. You don’t necessarily need to have ridden 120 miles before the event but you need to be able to ride and fuel for 6 hours.

My work obligations limit my riding to the weekends, how do I maximise my weekend riding?

When your riding time is limited, you need to make sure that you’re maximising the effect of your training. Using a heart rate monitor or a power meter is an ideal way to do this, to ensure that you ride at the correct intensity to gain the most benefit. If you can utilise both days on the weekend there is potential back up your cardio gains – you can even benefit from doing one longer, steady ride and one shorter more intense ride if you’re strapped for time on a weekend.

I see more and more bikes on the road with disc brakes, what are the advantages/disadvantages?

climbing Langabr in the white rose classic cycling sportiveDisc brakes provide you with more braking power and more control. Disc brakes will also dissipate heat better on longer descents and won’t wear out your rims. Conventional calliper brakes however are lighter and favoured more by the traditionalists among us.. whether they are aesthetically more pleasing is down to personal choice!

I’m tempted to switch to tubeless, but I keep hearing horror stories.  Are they safe to take out on a long ride, like the Hawes Long Route or even 85 miles of the Settle Medium Route?

They are safe to take on longer rides yes, in fact I would recommend that you convert to tubeless before the event. The weight savings will be your friend, especially when you approach Langbar at the end of a long ride! Being able to run lower tyre pressures means more comfort and grip without sacrificing rolling resistance and any small punctures will be dealt with by the sealant. In the worst case scenario you can always carry a spare tube to stick in and inflate to get you home.

maintaining your bike before a sportiveWhat’s the single most important thing for me to do to prepare for this summer’s riding season?

I’d say that there are two things that you can do to best prepare for a good summer of riding – firstly, ride through winter. That doesn’t have to mean hundreds of miles a week, or riding outside when the weather is really bad, but riding regularly will make a world of difference when the sun comes out. Getting a good turbo trainer and getting set up on Zwift can help with this as it alleviates the boredom of riding a stationary bike and can be a social experience.

Secondly, make sure that your bike is in tip top condition. Whether it’s a year round bike that has seen the salt and grime of winter roads, or a summer bike that is consigned to indoors over the colder months, get it serviced before you need to. By ensuring that your drivetrain, brakes, cables and tyres are in good condition, and by changing them when they’re worn, rather than failing, you can limit your chances of a mechanical issue ending your ride and keep the puncture fairy at bay.

As I get older, I struggle to ride the distances I’d like to ride, particularly since I don’t get out as much as I should.  Should I be looking at an e-Bike?  Isn’t that cheating?

Riding an E-bike is a great option for everyone. Whether you are looking to explore further than you feel your legs can carry you, to keep up with a group of friends or to fly down more downhill runs on an MTB ride, E-bikes are a great solution for everyone. If you feel like you need a bit of assistance to get out more often, you can control the settings to modify how much help you get depending on how you feel – had a good breakfast, feel energetic? Switch the motor off on the flat and only use a low power mode on the hills. Feeling lethargic, but fancy getting out to the cafe if the sun’s shining? Stick it in turbo mode and have some fun with it!

My name is Jonny Tomes – I work at Chevin Cycles in Skipton.

I have been riding bikes all my life really, but I guess you could say that it really took my attention in 2008 when I rode my first cyclocross race around Myrtle Park in Bingley. After that I was properly hooked and started riding more regularly.

I have a fairly mixed background in racing, having done quite a lot since I took it up properly in 2013. I have raced in cyclocross, including a couple of National Trophy rounds, triathlons and also raced on the road and in crits such as Otley, Ilkley and Harrogate town centre races.

I’d say my favourite memory from racing days would have been the Otley Town Centre race in 2014 – three days before the Tour de France rolled through the town. Even though the actual race itself ended too soon for me with a puncture half way around, the atmosphere and the crowds made for a very memorable evening!

I took a break from racing and riding after the 2017 season and didn’t ride for a bit but I have started to slowly get back into the swing of things – now that the weather is clearing up (hopefully) I will be commuting regularly on my trusty Genesis Day One single speed!

I hope the White Rose Classic is blessed with the best of the weather and everyone (organisers, riders and marshals) have a fantastic day out.

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