Day job: No one really knows
Total events: 29
Ride style: Sprinter
Bloody hard work! Safety of all the riders in the group is always our first concern and that includes positioning on the road, keeping the group rolling smoothly and even reminding people to eat and drink regularly. The last is a genuine safety issue as it’s when riders start running low on fuel that they tend to lose focus and make mistakes. We’re also nurturing and encouraging but, if necessary, firm too.
Amazing! Everyone will have highs and lows but the support and camaraderie in the group will be superb and I guarantee the sense of achievement at the end will be immense.
Not necessarily as there will be a benefit to riding in a group but it’s not a magic speed bullet and, especially for rides up to 100km or so, you want to be getting pretty close to that average speed on your own.
On the event, you’ll probably find that you’ll either feel as though you’re riding a bit faster than you would on your own or, quite often, it’ll feel slower. Don’t worry about this, the Ride Captains know what they’re doing, are managing the pace and will get you to Paris.
Really important. We won’t have time to learn this on the event so the more time you can spend riding in a group, getting used to following a wheel and being comfortable eating and drinking while riding next to someone, the better. I’d really urge you to come along to our monthly rides for this reason.
I can’t emphasise how important being able to eat and drink on the move is. We’ll only typically have three scheduled stops and three sips of your bottle and three snacks won’t fuel your ride.
If you’re riding next to me, do not half wheel me (constantly edging in front – ed). Don’t cross the white line in the road, don’t stop or slow down unnecessarily and don’t think for yourself – we make all important decisions for you.
Make sure you get your long rides in – as much for practicing fuelling etc as for fitness and do some back to back days. Even if you’re not following the training plan linked below, cross reference your preparation to it and check you’re where you should be.
We’ll give riders the odd helping hand to crest a hill but we can’t push you all the way to Paris. If you’re consistently struggling to hold the pace and leaving gaps, we will put you in a vehicle for a break and then you can re-join the group.
No but it’ll probably mean some time in a vehicle while the mechanic sorts it out for you. You can really help to mitigate against this happening by having a full service and fitting new tyres before the event and getting into the habit of giving your bike a brief pre and post ride check each day.
As I’ve already said, it’s key and one of the main things that’ll make a difference to whether you make it to Paris under your own steam or not. You need to be eating and drinking little and often right from the start of each day, not waiting until you get hungry or thirsty.
Practice this in training. If you struggle getting bars out of your jersey pockets and unwrapping them while riding, get a seat-tube bag/box and put pre-unwrapped and cut up bars in it. Don’t hesitate if necessary to ask a Ride Captain to unwrap a bar for you – we’d much prefer that than you not eating.
Prioritise hydration, re-fuelling, some stretching and sleep. It can be tempting to over-indulge socially but it will impact your ability to ride the next day so, save the celebrations for Paris.
Take any unnecessary weight off your bike – you don’t need mudguards, pannier racks etc. New bib shorts and plenty of chamois cream.
It’s where the party is and, in terms of time on your bike, it’s the best value for money group!
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Glen is usually behind the scenes making sure that the Hotchillee Ride Captains and event participants have fully functioning bicycles to ride but he occasionally makes an appearance in front of the camera to share his wisdom. If he’s not fixing or building bikes he’ll be out riding in #SweetSussex. If you want to know anything about Cyclocross, Glen is the man to ask.
Consultant with British Cycling and author of the Road Cycling Performance Manual. Lover of cobbles, gravel and Siberian Pine – not so keen on climbs! Nik is the author of all of the Hotchillee Training Plans, Zwift workout files and regularly posts tips and advice on the Hotchillee app. He’s also the evil genius behind the now infamous Hotchillee Gain Train.
Adele has worked within the health and fitness industry for over 25 years starting with a ballet and dance background herself, she has progressed to training and teaching all styles of fitness and offers Pilates, barre & yoga. As a keen runner, Adele appreciates the need for a strong healthy body and mind and incorporates many elements of Pilates, yoga and barre into her own training to ensure her strength and stamina remain.