2015 Review: Grant Fraser
The first in a series of posts reflecting on our members’ 2015 season, Grant Fraser picked himself up from an early season accident to ride from London to Paris to raise money for a very personal cause.
London to Paris in 24 Hours. Since losing my mum to cancer a year ago I decided I wanted to do something to raise some funds for the hospital that looked after her over the years. I organised a ride with a few close friends and aimed to cycle the iconic route in 24 hours. We had a photographer and van follow us to document it. I’m very proud to have completed it and we raised over £3000 for a great cause.
The season started off on a low for me. Getting hit by a van and taking me off the bike for three to four months and writing off my bike. Fitness went to zero and I piled on the weight. I managed to get back on the bike and slowly started training again, but my confidence was low and I tended to ride alone. Spring came and went and as summer came around I felt my fitness was coming back. I started joining club rides and to my surprise was okay – until I hit a pothole and went over the bars, my new bike getting totaled. So two bikes down in one season. Luckily the insurance paid out and I was back on the bike shortly after. Morale is high, but I’m still lacking in confidence due to the offs.
Tom and I raced over at the Velopark back in July. We were both strong and in retrospect could have done really well if we had planned things a little better. It was a last minute race and so was just a turn-up-and-ride for both of us. I’m a sprinter, and this circuit suits me for that. I went for the prime and missed it by half a wheel! But that was me spent, and I just held on for a bunch finish (which ended in a massive crash which we avoided). Thinking about it now, Tom and I should have attacked seconds after the prime sprint, the pack was down to 19mph and we would have easily been able to put half a lap into them if we got down to work. Maybe another time and a bit more thought on race tactics!
Fueling the fire is important. I’ve been trying to cut down from my 80kg lump to a target of 75kg. A weight I’ve not seen since I was 13. That has meant at times i’ve missed meals, not 100% intentionally. I’ve learnt that you still need the energy to keep the legs spinning! I’ve bonked once or twice this year from stupidity and forgetfulness. Eating at the right time and eating the right things combined with training properly is the thing for me to take away.
Since the crash with the van (it was on a evening winter training ride) the thought of night-time riding doesn’t fill me with joy like it used to. Which pretty much means my winter training rides will be limited to weekends when the sun is briefly out, that and spin classes at the gym. I’ll try to keep the base miles up as much as possible, as I do not want my fitness to drop. I’m contemplating a few winter series races, but will have to pick and choose them as I’m not a fan of being cold or wet!
I really want to enter a road race, put my cat 3 license to use! I currently race in the National Championship of the British Supermoto, which gets in the way of the bike racing, but I want to try to balance it out a bit in 2016. I’ll need to spend more time in the hills over the winter to up my hill climbing ability, and get myself a bit more competitive, but I think it’s attainable.