Edition Zero Gravel Race
Welcome to the first of a series of posts from the Pushbikes gravel riders as they prepare for the Edition Zero gravel race on the 26th of November 2022.
The Edition Zero ‘Mains’ is a 240km gravel race consisting of 3400m of climbing, “The hardest day on a bike this side of...” as their website claims. Being hosted in the Waimate region, the race starts and finishes in a town filled with rich cycling history looping around the gravel roads of South Canterbury and the Mackenzie country. For the not-so-insane there are also the two smaller distance options of the Entree 137km and Snack 70km.
The Pushbikes team enjoys a bit of friendly competition and when our Papanui co-manager, Jason Banks, floated the idea of heading down to his home town and partaking in Edition Zero, it was said only half pie serious and more of a joke. There was a bit of laughter about how insane one would have to be to do, but after a week of winding each other up about it, we had our first entry along with accommodation plans being organised! From there a bit of peer pressure kicked in, before long we had half a dozen entries from the staff at the Papanui store, with James being the last after the boss offered to pay his entry if he completes it before the 16 hour time limit.
The shop was a talk of what time we were all aiming for, who’s been out doing secret miles, and which bike and setup each were going to do it on. With the St Martin’s, and Rangiora staff looking on in awe and bravado at the sheer madness and determination of the Papanui crew. The current entry list from the store: Richard, Louis, Henry, Hayden, James and Jason.
With entries confirmed there has been a bit of a flurry of indoor trainers arriving in store for some afterwork miles in the very wet winter we have been having in Christchurch We've been learning the ropes of the virtual world of Zwift, in Jas’ case learning just how tough Ventop is, the virtual Climb of the famous Mount Ventoux. For those that don’t know about Zwift, Zwift is an online training program that enables you to train and race in an interactive virtual world that when paired with a smart can simulate real world road conditions. Zwift makes the once masochistic, staring at a wall, indoor training miles into a far more enjoyable, interactive, experience.
Our go-to smart trainer has been the Elite Suito-T. If you are looking for a more upmarket option that provides a more realistic riding experience it is hard to go past the Taxc NEO 2T with the additional motion plates plus as an added bonus both these trainers come with a 1-month free subscription to Zwift.
In between the all the wet weather there has been some outdoor training missions take place, one of Richard’s favourite loops taking you up Parau - Port Levy Road, then tackling Western Valley Road before heading into Little River. All of the team has completed this except James so far!
For those that prefer the feel of training out in the elements, we’ve been stocking up on the key essentials like: These thermal leg and arm warmers from Pearl Izumi that are fleece lined with reflective logos to help keep you warm and visible in the chilli mornings. The Madison range of waterproof jackets to help keep us warm out in the wet. And our favourite Niterider lights to help illuminate our way.
There have also been a fair few orders placed for bike up grades, to make our gravel bikes more efficient, but more on this in later posts. As we will keep you informed on how the training has been going.