Page 19 - DLNsep2014-986
P. 19
Don't be a weight weenie!

Cyclists tend to worry about the weight of their bike obsessively - fair
enough as the heavier it is, the more it hurts to get it up a mountain at
25mph (or so I'm told). Oddly, we worry less about our own weight - probably
because we can't see a lighter version for sale in the classified ads in Cycling
Weekly! More recently, I've been paying more attention to this issue for a
couple of reasons - firstly the revelations in cycling magazines that paying
hundreds of pounds to buy a few grams lighter/more aero bit of kit is
probably a bit pointless when you're hauling several kilos of blubber up that
hump-backed bridge that feels like Mont Ventoux on a windy day (I have to
confess to having reached 20 kilos over what I think should be my racing
weight - and it ain't muscle!). Secondly there's the economic aspect of
buying bigger clothes - and when flares make their long-overdue resurgence,
I want to be able to slip into the bell-bottomed retro gear stored lovingly
in the loft...

However when recently perusing a back issue of Cycling Weekly and reading
the column penned by "Doc" Hutch - multi-national TT champion, author
and humour guru - I realised I might be on the wrong track.

As the great one explains, carrying a little "winter weight" isn't necessarily
a bad thing. Listed benefits include:

1. Increased training load - the extra weight helps you get more out of each
hill. No need to search out Majorcan climbs when you can get the same
level of pain in a shorter time period on any local incline! Money saved on
travel to foreign training camps can go on cakes and biscuits to add more
weight (training load) - a virtuous circle.

2. Increased weight will make you faster downhill, so time watching TV on
the couch eating cake counts as training and generates no laundry or bike
for your partner to clean. (Perfect for domestic harmony.) Throw in a little
visualisation to help handle the extra cornering speed - job done!

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