So, Hansel and Gretel followed breadcrumbs in the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale…I warn you that my story may not be quite as exciting!
Having woken up this morning I realised that actually I didnt want to ride my bike. It was 8 degrees, which felt much colder probably because it was 21 degrees last week. To be honest I just didnt fancy it. However, the Tour is about 3 months away and the thought of having to ride over 2,200 miles in 21 days over some pretty big mountains meant I was getting out on my bike whether I liked it or not – all in the name of raising some money for the very worthy Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research charity.
After a few strong coffees, the 3 amigos hit the road. The breadcrumbs we were following were of the GPS variety and if you want to ride the route you can download it from here
It was the first time I had used my Garmin 500 for sat nav but it worked pretty well. It was also the first time any of us had ridden this route so it was nice not to have to worry about where we were going and just concentrate on riding. We decided to add on a bit and in total we rode about 85 miles. The roads were nice and quiet and the scenery was great (Special thanks to Janet for emailing the route!)
We had planned to stop off to take a few photos for the blog but it was too cold to stop for the first few hours. Not only that but the pace started off fairly fast just so we could stay/get warm. After about 3 hours (75% of the way round) it started to warm up and the desire to stop and take off armwarmers etc coincided with some nice views….. we wolfed down an energy bar each and took a couple of pics.
Although the sun was now shining it still wasnt that warm and we had to crack on to prevent getting hypothermia – though we were never as cold as at the end of our 100 miler in the Cotswolds a few weeks ago when we had freezing rain and hail in the last 20 miles! I am pretty sure Chris hasnt forgotten that - as being the skinniest of us all he was also the coldest! Unfortunately by the time the Tour comes round we will all be pretty skinny and we will need the support crew at the top of the long alpine descents to give us extra kit before descending to stop us getting too cold. Some of those descents require a lot of concentration and getting cold can seriously affect that.
Sadly, the forecast for the next week isnt great. More cold and a bit of rain. Still, the heatwave of last week means that I am in a position to put in an early entry for the One Day Ahead tan lines competition. For those of you who are non-cyclists, tan lines are seen by fellow cyclists as a surrogate marker of how many miles one has put in and therefore how fit one is….of course it doesnt always work this way as people have been know to use fake tan before a race to try and out-psyche their rivals. Quite ridiculous really…. However, we at the One Day Ahead project are all taking this very seriously as the winner of the competition (judged by the fans of course!) gets pick of the bunks in the Winnebago……
So, that ends a hard week at work and a hard weeks training. I don’t think its going to get any easier as from next week I change job and work is going to be really busy right until the Tour. Not only that but the long rides are going to have to get longer as at least 13 of the stages are around the 120 mile mark! But for now I think I am doing OK….there are still 3 months to get fitter! So tonight, to relax and recover from a tough week, we are chilling out with some good food, a dvd and were going to treat ourselves to a few chocolates courtesy of awesome medical students Lloyd and Clare – a thank you for my teaching them / giving them a grilling over the last few weeks! Thank guys!
Have a good week everyone!