15th February 2021 ‘Talented’ Rouvy rider – Day 326 since lockdown began in the UK

Apparently, according to Rouvy, I am a ‘talented’ cyclist, who knew?! This is my badge. For me it is all about being a bit fitter and enjoying my bike despite the colder weather.

The cold weather has kept us of the roads this last week but we have been Rouvy riding instead so the fitness continues to develop. I have been using Rouvy for about six weeks now and have cycled a virtual 422km, climbed 7315m and burned 10,488KJ, in the case of the later that is the equivalent of 9 hamburgers. That has been the biggest surprise for me that I have actually used so little energy despite working as hard as I have, I need to work harder! I think as I get fitter I probably will increase the distance I travel and the speed I do it, although there are a lot of up hill bits. We have also gone out into the real world whenever the weather has permitted, so I have actually cycled quite a bit more than Rouvy indicates.

The reason we chose Rouvy is because two other members of the family can use my subscription free, and the video is more realistic and of real places unlike other more popular virtual cycling apps.

To get through the ‘Rookie’ level I had to ride up a predefined route called the ‘Grandfono Stelvio Santini 2020’ which is a regular race starting in Bormio Italy. The 2020 race was cancelled but you can ride the famous Stelvio climb which is part of the race in Rouvy. As you can see from the following image it is hilly, to say the least with a maximum gradient of 15% which I think is just over 1 in 6. You can see why Bormio is famous for skiing and downhill racing. I did it in 2:10 hours with an average speed of 9.26km/h and with an average heartbeat of 148/min. The best climb this year was 48:54 minutes, more than twice as fast as me putting out over 7.1 watts/kg (of body weight) whereas mine was 2.2 watts/kg!

Near the end of Grandfono Stelvio Santini 2020, some lovely scenery. The picture was taken from the video used to create the virtual ride. The orange and red bar at the bottom shows you the overall gradient. On the left is a list of people riding at the time and above that an enlarged image of the gradient on the section of road in front of you. The numbers in the black box indicate one of the riders speed, cadence, wattage per hour at wattage per kg of their body weight.

I also had to complete a challenge and the one I chose to do was called the ‘Cup of tea’. It consisted of five hill climbs in different parts of the UK, hence the title. The first part of the challenge I did was to cycle up a virtual Cheddar Gorge. It was 5.42km with an average gradient of 4% and a maximum of 24%, that is nearly 1 in 4. I have a simple trainer with sensors for my speed and cadence so that the app can calculate my power output in watts. My trainer cannot simulate going up hill so the app algorithm simply slows me down for the steep bits. To go faster up the steep parts I have to peddle faster or harder and increase my wattage, all very clever. A ‘smart trainer’ can actually add resistance to the bike wheels going round so that it feels more like going up hill, but they are a significantly bit more expensive. The best time up the virtual Cheddar Gorge was 8:48 minutes. I did it in 16:47 minutes.

A virtual Cheddar Gorge

I have actually progressed in my Rouvy cycling career from ‘Starter’, to ‘Rookie’ and now to my present standing of ‘Talented’! To move up you have to collect points from doing training sessions, complete certain routes in time trial mode which means no stopping, and complete a challenge which is usually associated with riding in a certain country or something like hill climbing. To achieve the next grade ‘Elite’, I will also have to enter a Rouvy race, hope I am not expected to win it.

For me it is all about being a bit fitter and enjoying my bike.

AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE I WILL STAY AT HOME, KEEP THE 2m RULE AND WEAR A FACE MASK

Staying at home! – STILL Protecting the NHS – STILL saving lives

I AM STILL Keeping safe

Stay safe.

Welsh Government’s Guidance on weddings and civil partnerships can be found here:

https://gov.wales/guidance-marriages-and-civil… and the frequently asked questions at: https://gov.wales/coronavirus-regulations-guidance…

To read the current Government guidance on getting married in England please follow this link: COVID-19: Guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships.

You may also want to read the frequently asked questions sections of the guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do.

  1. Actually a rest day from Rouvy today, time for the blog!
  2. Vegetable bake for dinner, smells great.

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