Tester Cake

Katie Archibald | Friday 14th June, 2013


The last month has, unfortunately, not been very exciting. 

Thatís maybe not the opening line your Jeremy Clarksons or Caitlin Morans would use for high level enticement, but I can ride a bike faster so screw them and keep reading. We shall follow a Mary Berry blog format instead and I will tell you about the time trialling Iíve been doing. 

Below is the recipe for my tester cake:


1 x Garmin (Edge 500)*, 1 x Powertap fixed hub *, 1 x access to Microsoft excel, 2 x legs. 


1. You are riding fixed, so ensure you have chosen your gear wisely. For this task, use your excel spreadsheet** containing the formulae to figure out the cadence you will need to maintain in a certain gear to achieve your desired time***. Youíve probably noticed your cadence on a threshold effort before; it maybe sits between 95-110RPM.

2. Enter an event with a fairly flat course, because with all this baking youíre not too good at climbing hills. Plus youíve only got one, well chosen, gear. 

3. Set your Garmin up to show speed, time, distance, power, heart rate and cadence. This will make the readings so small and packed on the screen that squinting to read them is not feasible. The reason thatís ok is that youíll quickly forget the garmin exists once youíre riding and just become a monkey going hard on a bike. An aero monkey with shaved legs. 

4. Do quite poorly in a ramp test in the days before your TT in order to instil a strong desire to prove something to yourself and others now that your watts are once again being measured. 

5. Ride the time trial: this part is relatively simple. BUT BEWARE, whereas on the track you have to pedal hard and turn left, on the road you have to pedal hard and turn RIGHT at the roundabout. Confusing, I know. 

6. Finish time trial and go straight to the cakes and sandwiches. Helpers have put in a lot of effort making the food and not trying two of everything would be rude. Also remember to thank the event organiser and the folk that spent their Sunday morning stood in the middle of a dual carriage way so you wouldnít get lost, they deserve a lot of thanks. 

7. Leave time trial with an odd sense of satisfaction at going slightly faster than last time, an eagerness to go slightly faster next time and, hopefully, some prize money. 

After making the tester cake you should have a nice garmin file with various numbers on it. You can enjoy these numbers by yourself or with friends. Maybe even bring some into work for colleagues to enjoy!
(Disclaimer: consume numbers within 7 days in order to avoid sense of numbness and loss of meaning to life).


For more recipes please visit my website.****

*These ingredients were borrowed from Scottish Cycling Ė THANKS A LOT, YOUíRE THE BEST. 
**Spreadsheet acts as a calculator for speed, cadence, gear size and others once you tell it the ring and cog youíre riding plus the time you want to do and distance of event. If you have lost your copy, contact Katie Archibald on facebook who will be happy to email you a version.
***Desired time must be kind of achievable or the gear chose will be a hindrance. 
****If anyone actually clicked on that link, sorry to disappoint. Itís a link to the company I work for. Want to talk about bikes and mattress protectors? Call in and ask for Katie.


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