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Tribesports User of the Week: David G

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Posted by David G under Cycling on 11 July 2012 at 11:00 PM

David G you are User of the Week! 
As our resident cycling expert, you’ve contributed amazing answers to questions and given advice around Tribesports.   

How many kilometres would you say you average a week?

All depends on available time, and where I am in  the schedule/plan. I aim for at least two rides of over 75km a week. Then I might do a couple of fast pedal workouts on the turbo or the rollers. I race at least once a fortnight – more if the events are available. I do a performance session Saturday a.m., and a longish ride with the club on Sundays – but I have had too many clashes of late.  With the race season in full flow, I do may do more km's in the winter than I do in summer. Most people struggle to maintain a work-life balance – it gets very messy with a work-life-cycling balance.

In all, about 8,000 miles a year.

What have been your toughest Challenges on Tribesports and which have been your favourite?

Running 100 miles in Feb was just what I needed. I run during the winter, so I'm in need for the motivation to get out and run. I'm an early riser, so was out at 6am throughout February, running the 9 miles to work a couple of times a week, and then a run home on the Friday. The 27 miles a week scraped me through the challenge. 

Favourites are the ones that make me think how I can use them to mix up regular training. The Do a x mile training ride in x minutes were good for me.  I have a race time in mind, but sometimes I don't have the drive to add numbers to the training rides. Good fun too!

How did you first start competitive cycling and what advice would you have to others who are looking to start racing?

“When I were a lad...” Seriously though, it was very late. I used to ride time trials as a young man, but never in an organised way. Just out-and-back courses with my mates. It was about 9 years ago when I started racing in events seriously. The good thing about Time Trials is that you are never too old... a lot of the old boys get better with their endurance capabilities in later years. I got my first podium medals at 40!

What are your race day tactics? 

With Time Trials, there are very few tactics. Pedal, Breathe, Try not to get overtaken, Stay Safe.

Do you pasta carb-load before a race? What does your diet look like before an important competition?

This is were the house of cards tumbles. I'm hopeless with food planning! I don't go for seriously changing the diet for a particular event. I use the cycling staples of pasta and malt loaf, but I've also raced after a night on chicken biryani and Guiness! I very rarely drink alcohol, plenty of water, plenty of electrolyte. I also do some (non sports) consulting at a large sports nutrition company, which gives me an endless supply of gels, bars and powders that I consume in vast quantities before an event.

What has been your most memorable race?

This has to be a 50 mile (80km) Time Trial in 2008. The conditions were hot, and the course was a few laps of the A4 near Aldermaston. My Garmin GPS had packed up, and I'd lost a bottle when it jumped out of the cage about three quarters in. I had no idea how I was going, and wanted to get back as quick as I could to get a drink. I rolled home to find I came in at 2 hours, 2 minutes and 59 seconds. The best I had done at that distance, and a time I have never bettered. Complete surprise. 

Can you take us through your fleet of bikes which you’ve posted in the Reader Bikes Tribe?

I have two Time Trial bikes, one for racing and one for training. I built them both myself, and love riding them both.

I have three road bikes, each with a different set-up for different purposes. My single speed for the winter, and my track bike – I love track sessions. The simplicity of a track bike makes you feel at one with the bike.

I have a mountain bike too... but that's big, old and ugly. Hey – but there's nothing wrong with big, old and ugly! 

Could you pick out your favourite or is it like asking you to choose a favourite child?

I love riding the Felt – it's just so well built it feels great. And the kids always tell me it looks the business!

Steve asks ‘What are your top tips on bonking?’ and ‘What’s the worst bonk you’ve ever had?’

Avoid the bonk at all costs. Never be without a gel, but always save some solid food. I think the worst I have felt is after climbing Cap Blanc Nez and then Cap Gris Nez on the Côte d'Opale in France with not enough breakfast, and 120km still to go. When the bonk hits, it hits hard!

You’ve posted some great pictures of your son starting track cycling, are you heavily involved in grass roots cycling development?

British Cycling really helps coach and rider development, but a lot depends on volunteers to augment their programmes. 

I coach at a primary school in Ruislip, North West London, which has been lucky enough to build a quarter mile race circuit on school grounds. In total, we have over 70 pupils actively involved in an after school club over two sessions. In my squad, I have 30 seven-year-olds. The noise is deafening, but the commitment is awesome. Last year, the school was awarded a Transport for London Cycling Beacon award for the school's safer and sustainable travel initiatives – a proud moment for all involved.

On Saturdays, I coach skills to the Bronze Development Squad of Hillingdon Slipstreamers – a youth racing club based at the Hillingdon Cycle Circuit in West London. We have over 200 children aged from 5 to 16 on the books, and regularly hit the over 100 attendance figure every Saturday, 51 weeks of the year. Slipstreamers is often the number one ranked youth cycling club based on race points obtained.

Track cycling is something the youth take to very well – so we arrange many youth sessions on the boards at Calshot and the tarmac at Welwyn.

It's not all about youth though. By volunteering with Prime Coaching, I coach intermediate road and time trial techniques at Hillingdon during the summer, and organise Thursday night group rides in the dark, but traffic free environment, during the Winter.

In addition, both my wife and I are National Standard Cycling Instructors. We teach in schools, with social groups, transport planners, and basically anyone who would like to get more out of cycling – children and adults alike. We are currently putting together a local “Women on Wheels” session to get more women cycling in a social capacity, and very cost effective (i.e. Free!) manner.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 pieces of kit would you want with you?

1.The Garmin. I might be stranded, but the stats MUST be recorded.

2.The rollers. Time flies when you're on the rollers.

3.The razor. Wouldn't want to be rescued with hairy legs!

Which Tribesports users make your day?

You all do! There's some real wits out there – all with their own passions, and unafraid to voice their love of sports. Pats on the back all round!

What’s your favourite sports quote?

“Shut up legs! Do what I tell you to do” Jens Voigt – The hardest thing in the world.

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