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What Was Your Hardest Day On The Bike? | GCN Asks The Pros

What Was Your Hardest Day On The Bike? | GCN Asks The Pros

– Any cyclist will know that,
beautiful as the sport is, sometimes cycling can be
tough, and it is no different for the the professional riders. So I, at the Women’s
Tour in Great Britain, thought I would ask the
professional women riders what their hardest day on a bike was. (upbeat music) – Ooh…
– Uh… – Ooh…
– Ooh… (laughs) – What was your hardest
day on a bike ever? – The day where I had to commute and I got a puncture and I
hadn’t taken a spare inner tube, so I just took the hit
and rode with a flat tire. – I’m glad to hear
someone had a bad commute. That’s harder than any race, brilliant. – Yeah, I got to work and
I was knackered (laughs). – Probably racing you up that climb in Taiwan last October. That was pretty tough, I’ve gotta say. – Yeah, that was a painful day. I couldn’t walk for hours. – Well, I’m glad you say that. That was pretty tough,
’cause of the altitude and all the climbing. – It was worth it though. I mean, you rode super well. – Yeah, it was a really good day. That was like no ride I
have ever done before. – Ooh, ever? Probably we had an all dash tour like two years ago, and they
took us up Mont Ventoux. I mean, cool race to do, but
it was pretty savage (laughs). – Well, it’s hard to say,
because cycling is an artwork, but I would say when I won
the French marathon in 2014, was I think the hardest day in my life. – But worth it, hey, if you win? – Yeah, exactly, so it was
less painful at the end. – Oooh, I had a few. I think, World Championships, but that’s, I forgot, that’s easy. – But it worked out well, hey? – Yeah exactly, Strade Bianche
was also a really hard one but of course, also in
training some hard days. – What I think it’s been Giro
2016 when I had heat stroke, just in the middle of the race and I got like 16 minutes of delay and when I came to the finish
line, it was 40 degrees but I’d been asking for a
jacket because I was cold. – Oh, I think it’s worse in racing, maybe some races in
Holland, full of side winds. – Side winds sucks eh? – It sucks, yeah (laughs). – Oh I think Strade
Bianche this year really, I will remember the end
of my life that day. It was so cold and so long. I really, I was just
looking for the finish line. – I think it will be today (laughs). Yeah, it’s such a long stage and the (speaks in a foreign language) kilometers. Yeah, I think its longest
stage in the year. – (laughs) Oh, I think this
year in Strade Bianche. Yeah, that was a hard race, yeah. – Oh, it’s a tough one on the spot. Maybe it’s from the Women’s Tour actually, 2014 Emma Johansson was in
the yellow jersey from Day 1, so we went really hard Day 2, I got piped on Day 2, and then Day 3 was meant to be my day, it was flat, perfect, got
dropped down to five kilometers. So, that’s the price you have to pay when your defending yellow, but it was worth it in the end. – Probably a training to day to be honest. Train harder than you race, so yeah. – She’s got it, she knows. What was your hardest day on a bike, ever. – (laughs) Ever, well, I
remember a really tough stage in Giro when I was really bad and we had a mountain stage with I think three climbs
and a finish up hill, and I finished like half an hour later than the first rider or something. So that sticks in my mind, but for sure there are
many more hard, hard races. Also last Strade Bianche was really hard with the weather of course, so yeah. – Oh, too many hard days
on the bike (laughs). – The worst experience. – Um, oh that’s a hard question. Actually I don’t know,
always Liege is hard, oh last year, Yorkshire I suffered a lot. – Well there you go, everybody
has though days on the bike even the best professionals in the world. Why not let us know in the comments, what your hardest day on the bike was. And you can maybe click up here if you want to see how
to feel more comfortable on a climb, for when your struggling.

100 comments on “What Was Your Hardest Day On The Bike? | GCN Asks The Pros

  1. A trip with school, whole day, 100+ km with only a breakfast and a sandwish, we planned to stop at some places but they were closed so we couldn't get any food, at one point i was terribly dehidrated, because i hadn't drunk for 5 hours. We had to go about 40 km to get some water. One mate had a puncture, we couldn't fix it because there was a problem with his wheel so we had to go to a bikeshop, i and my friend went 9km with one hand on the bike because one was holding the tier and the other was looking at the maps and we kept changing because the tier was big and heavy so we couldn't rest our hands anywhere, we had to hold it almost straight out. We lost 1,5 hours with this, the rest of the team went for lunch and then went home, but because it was too late and we were 30 km from our destination we couldn't stop. It was terribly hot and some roads were really bad. It was a long day. 😁

  2. The womens teams have much cooler jersey designs compared to mens pro teams. Maybe I'm just a girly man thojugh

  3. …Dragon Devil Ride 2017, 189 miles (305k and 13,200ft of up!) – it was cold, grey, rain, sleet, fog and having to do 'The Devil's Staircase' after 118 miles – all on a lovely day in June !

  4. Worst day – on a local 100km sportive that had 6 Lakeland climbs including hardknot (not the fred). Mate crashed badly on penultimate climb into a wall, watched him get taken to hospital and then having to cycle the last 30km on my own….. tough last climb.

  5. Hardest would be a 60km effort with an all day drizzle. Just mentally brutal dealing with the wet. Though the last 10km of my first 100km ride my legs were pretty spent Most painful a 25km ride that ended with me crashing at 64km/hr. Nothing broken, tons of road rash (worst shower ever followed) and that was 13 days ago. Slowly gaining confidence back on descents.

  6. Early September of 2017, I was on my commute home from work, we had a huge forest fire about 30 miles out and the wind was blowing towards the city so it was literally raining ash and it was so hard to breath because of the smoke. Ash getting in my eyes and probably inhaled some too. Hated that day so much.

  7. Hardest day was climbing the longest mountain pass in s. California, 30 miles of climbing around 5% grade to reach onyx summit. My support car got lost and I was getting pretty high up and was extremely cold but kept going. Thankfully my car found me and I made it to the top. I was so exhausted I didn’t even want to do the descent!

  8. My hardest day on a bicycle was during a 600k randonneuring event June 16th. I had forgotten my $$ in my car, and at 7.5 miles into the event had to turn around and go back to the start. I spent the first 125 miles alone and wet from the thunderstorm and then at about 160 miles in we encountered 90 miles of strong head winds. With 63 miles left I had an emotional breakdown and cried in a McDonald's for over 20 minutes. The 98 degree heat at noon as I was attempting to cover the last 20 miles added insult to injury. I finished in 32 hours and 25 minutes without a single pedal stroke left in me to give. Definitely my hardest day ever!!

  9. In the darkest depths of winter I hit a huge pothole puncturing both wheels and ripping a hole in my rear tyre, I stuffed some leaves on the inside of the tyre put a new tube in and set off again… only for it to start tipping down with rain with myself still 30 miles from home. My hands soon became numb with cold so couldn’t get my last bar out of my rear pocket. I vividly remember riding home freezing cold, with blurry vision and the worse bonk known to man… after a big lunch at home I decided to go to the circuit race training in the evening, surprise surprise I became ill the next day and was off the bike for over a week.

  10. This was so great because we got to see a bit of the womens pro personalities! We need more of these and get to know some of the other riders, not just the stars! Good job Emma!

  11. Ah Emma… Great stuff as always. Loving the interviews with the girl's and that most of there hardest days either involve climbs or heat…😵 Loved how Emma's face lit up when Fleche Wallone came up 😜

  12. There's a race here in Canada called the Paris to Ancaster which is a point to point cross style race. I felt good and was jumping from group to group all day not pacing myself at all. On the finishing climb I had a double full leg cramp, fell over and had to sit for 20 minutes b4 I could get up and walk across the finish line.

  13. My hardest day in the saddle was the 23 of June this year doing the coast-to-coast in one day from Seascale to Whitby 150 miles I was 16 hours in the saddle 😳 but well worth it so happy to see the finish line😁👍

  14. My worst day on the bike was this last winter, during the coldest day of the season, with temperatures far below zero. On my early morning commute to work I not only had one … I had two punctures !!!. Every time I stopped to fix it, taking off my gloves, it was an agony; my hands were freezing, I was losing sensibility, my fingers really hurt, and doing the repair in those circumstances became extremely difficult.

  15. Two years 3 years ago, was attempting my first century. My friend described it as 'a bit hilly' at the beginning but, otherwise flat. It was multiple cols with over 7,000ft of total climbing. I climbed the first col of 2,000ft, gave it my all thinking that was it, only to have more climbs. That was a tough day both physically and mentally because I was both so tired and emotionally unprepared.

  16. These women are all such strong riders. PLUS, for many English is not their first language but they speak English so beautifully. Strong and Smart. PERFECT!!

  17. When I was 18. Went on a 50 mile club ride with no food or money (dumb kid). bonked hard at the end. Worse part is I still had another 20 or so miles to ride to get home. This was 80s so no cellphone.

  18. First day back riding after I broke my arm at the end of November last year – it was painful, but I just wanted to ride and I was sick of being told you shouldn't… it was my extra special Christmas day present to myself and it hurt despite all the fizzy Oh… and I loved every minute of it.

  19. Thought I was in shape…did the 1987 Fresno, Ca "Climb to Kaiser" with a 42/24. Couldn't walk for and hour after finishing

  20. I laughed out loud with Hayley Simmonds' answer. I can't remember anybody saying their toughest day was with any of the guys. Should have ended with that one.

  21. Girvan 3 day in the 80s, crib with 120 riders, I was last out of every corner. Sprinted for over an hour….

  22. Hardest day on the bike was my first race this year minus temps and not knowing what I was doing it was brutal enough.

  23. Worst day. Got hit by a car, walked while carrying my to the police station to report it. No cars were available to carry me to the hospital. So made a 20 minute walk to the er while carrying my bike. Spent 6 hours (while still in lycra) waiting to be seen. Took x rays and the doctor forgot about me which delayed me by another hour. Took a cab home afterwards..that day sucked.

  24. Walked 10mls in cycling shoes..cause I couldn't get a lift.. ;/ and the sidi shoes still lived to tell the tail…

  25. My first century 💯!
    I went out planning to do a 40-50km ride. Had just one bottle of water and no snacks! We ended up going further and further. Luckily for me the weather was cool and I had some good friends and mentors who helped me ride back safely.😰

  26. Excellent! Its nice to hear from women pro riders speaking honestly on the difficulties. Interviews like that give a human perspective. Great job on a tough topic. Thanks to the riders and thanks you…

  27. My hardest day was pulling a BoB trailer on dirt roads, out of food and about 400 mil of water left 50 km left to ride. One climb was 11 km the other was about 4 km, I had to stop and rest only 2 km from my destination at 104 km so far for the day so I could get over a short climb into town of about 500 metres. Shattered describes it .

  28. #torqueback. Emma or Si or Dan, I have noticed that I seem to prefer a lower cadence in the drops (80 to 85 rpm) than I do on the hoods (85 to 95 rpm). Is this normal, or does it reflect some sort of technical flaw in my riding? I don't have a problem riding in the drops for an hour at a time if need be (thanks to the compact bars I ride).

  29. 85 mile ride in the summer in Columbia South Carolina. The sole of my shoe broke about 25 miles from home. I ended up pedaling with my foot on top of my shoe .

  30. Mine must be 110 km with strong head wind pretty much the whole way. Also,the gears were completely messed up after trying to fix them myself and they wouldn’t change. Being too afraid of making them even worse,i rode the bike as a single speed set in the highest gears possible. Being relieved when getting a puncture(it means stopping for 15 minutes where legs stiffen up,struggling with mini pump and riding on soggy wheel rest of the way) mid way through tells it wasn’t a very good trip.

  31. Nettie! Love her!
    Hardest day in the saddle was my first sportive. Went out too hard and bonked halfway through. Lesson learned.

  32. My hardest day was in a road race in Wyoming. It was over a 100 degrees that day. When I crossed the finish line I had to yell for someone to catch me because I was cramping so bad I couldn’t unclip and dismount my bike. A couple of guys caught me and took me off my bike and set me under a tree and brought me a lot of fluids. It was extremely painful

  33. Hardest day i have done was a Cancer fund raiser , a group of 20 of us rode 424 KM, in one day, took about 17 hours. raised 85K

  34. What was your hardest day on bike Emma? Mine was and still is 113 km of constant 6 to 10% grades where the climbs were 80 % of ride, seems alway a strong head wind, lol, never fails

  35. Getting caught out in a snow bomb when commuting. Misjudged how bad it was gonna be, got hit by a car, and the next hour was snow, ice, near stationary traffic, cold, numb extremities, fear and pain.

  36. And the best answer award goes to Hayley Simmonds! "…racing you [Emma Pooley] up that climb in Tawain last October." LOL!

  37. I live in Junee, otherwise known as a town built on hills, I have to climb out of the saddle to get out of my own driveway !!
    I decided to do hill repeats for 40 mins with my son one day, couldn't climb the stairs to the front door when we got home !!!!

  38. my hardest day was a five hour shift working as a bicycle messenger in Basel CH in 2004 when we had -17°C and I didn't own proper winter gear. It took five minutes of riding at those temperatures until I couldn't feel my hands and feet anymore. To date I still see the dots on my feet where I got frost bite.
    I guess this might count as painfully tough 😀

  39. Hello GCN, I live in Finland and I want to start cycling to work but I don't know yet what's the best bike I could ride. The roads on my route are about 60% asphalt and 40% gravel. So what kind of bike would you guys recommend? I would really appreciate your opinion. Thanks.

  40. Hardest Day, last Sunday, 130 miles into a head wind from Paris to Arras. Found out Northern France is not flat !!!

  41. Great to see recognition of the hurt Emma put on her competitors – especially those daring to enter a portaloo after she's used it. #2kilokaka

  42. I agree, more "Ask The Pros" with the women pro's too! Great job Emma, love your new GCN role as much as watching you race.

  43. Doing a 30m sportive earlier this year (I know, only 30m right?). Was struggling with energy all the way round and got home to find one side of my rear disc brake was jammed on!

  44. Have had 20+ concussions back when I used to ride bmx, only stopped riding for the day after two of them. Riding around a skate park with a swollen face and a headache, yeah it was hard, but good friends,good times, lifelong memories and all that (except the amnesia for the 10 sec leading up to the crash….)

  45. I watched the women's tour as it came through Suffolk. I was disappointed that it never got as much attention or mention as the Men's race. Still great to watch live and on Euro sport 🙂

  46. Hello i am quite young (15) ive had my first propper cycle today 15 miles is this good and any tips would be apreciated

  47. Planning a 100 mile ride on a sunny day in temperatures of 30°c, but only managed 60 odd miles, due to 9 punctures and a completely perished spare innertube. A 12 hour long, very frustrating, tiring day out!

  48. 3 years ago, I was 19 and attempting my first century with a mate. 50 miles in I start to get some knee pain but luckily all the climbing was out of the way. The pain gets steadily worse and each pedal stroke is arduous, but the worst part was having to stop at junctions and then get going again. Just agony. End up getting home after cycling 90 miles (frustratingly close to 100). The next day gave rise to unbelievable swelling. I was limping for a couple weeks and didn't do a long ride for a long time after this. Important lessons learned on position on the bike and training load.

  49. Last week while doing the GCN’s Epic Ride of Andalusia, I didn’t bonk though. Matt had me scared enough from the video, so I fuelled to the max, lol.

  50. For me, hardest day was a few weeks back in the Pyranees. First climbed Col de Spandelles, descended down the other side, then climbed Col du Soulor and was on the descent down the other side back to the hotel when a thunderstorm appeared… I didn't eat enough during the ride (a gel and a banana) and pretty much hit the wall when I'd finished. I ended up in the pub for a late lunch wearing everything I had and trying to eat spaghetti bolognese whilst shivering profusely. Glad I did it though!

  51. In 2016 i was in the Netherlands for a student exchange programme from India… i was in Nijmegen and i biked to Arnhem to watch a Vitesse Arnhem game, it was pretty late when i was returning, it was raining whole evening, already soaking wet i hoped to reach home as quick as possible, it was i guess 20km to go till Nijmegen in the middle of Nowhere i got a flat, i rode as far as i could on the flat tire, till riding on the rims was not possible anymore, it was dark and not a soul to be seen anywhere, then my front light died, must have run out of battery or the water made damage, was using my phone all day for navigation, in another 15 min phone was also dead… in the middle of the night no lights no direction… just walked like a zombie for hours no idea where, somehow probably waking for more than 2 hours found a railway station, and luckily got a train to Nijmegen. My bad day did not end there, went back to hostel hungry as wolf… put something chicken on the oven, and it caught fire, managed to get the fire in control but the smoke made the fire alarm go off and whole international students hostel was out of hostel at midnight…. i didn't not get to eat the chicken, but made a good friend with a friendly fireman.

  52. Last January I rode a MTB sportive in the Western part of Flanders (near the North Sea), where the ground is really clay-ish. Some local farmer was against the event so he ruined the field road by riding up and down several times with his tractor.
    My wheels got stuck because of the loose clay so I had to carry my bike for several kilometers. At the end of the section I had to pick the clay out of the spokes and brakes to get the wheels spinning again while my fingers were freezing. Though day but it makes you that much stronger for summer 😊

  53. Well, actually, my hardest day on my bike might be a little bit different. Actually it was one year ago when I got a heartattack during my ride.. And actually, it was the second time I've got a heartattack while riding my bike!! But hey, I have survived and still riding my bike!! 😊


  54. Last day LEJOG 2014.
    Could not get HR above 120bpm, water retention so bad looked like Michelin Man at finish. But was towed to finish by great cycling ally from that trip – cheers Michael:-)

  55. The day I learnt how to sprint out of saddles, was the same day I learnt the feel of flying.
    And how bad it would be to have your wounds stick to your bed.

  56. DK200 that turned out to be 210 with two missed turns and a bizarre mechanical at 130.. 14 hrs on the bike that should have been closer to 12, oof da!

  57. I trained for a gran fondo just doing short rides. During the gran fondo my legs and lungs were ok, but EVERYTHING else hurt. Arms, hands, feet, neck,shoulders, rear end, back.

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