If the first few days felt hard, the next couple would feel far worse. I had two days tackling the hardest climbs on my trip and like all things in life, if it’s going too well then something will likely go wrong.
London to Paris complete, I had 24 hours to try and recover from riding for 22 hours overnight and prepare for my first few days in the Alps. Continental Europe was roasting and I was getting quite worried. Should I have spent more time riding 'loaded' before the trip? Was it really a good idea to ride to Paris before tackling the mountains? It was time to find out.
Having planned my two week trip to the Alps way back at Christmas I begun to ponder how best to get to France? I could fly to Geneva but that would require a bike box which I suspected I wouldn't be able to fit on my back for the entire trip, or I could ride to France and catch the TGV from Paris to Geneva. I'm a little bit crazy so opted to ride to Paris, and given I was riding to Paris, why not do it in 24 hours? The perfect way to arrive fresh in the mountains…
When I started planning my trip to the Alps back in January it felt like a lifetime away, but now I'm sat here at the end of May, counting down the day until I head overseas, it sudden feels like time simply skipped the spring and dropped me off right at the end of May. There are now only 22 days until I start my adventure and ride my bike overseas for the first time…
Cyclists are a fairly predictable bunch; most of us follow a familiar routine, or if you're from the south, your cycling ritual. The ritual is supposed to make the lead up to each ride as relaxing as possible so that the ride itself can be an enjoyable experience. Even on the ride most people have a fairly consistent ritual, even if they don't realise it.
I love riding my bike and love eating food; these are two of my favorite activities and take up a lot of my time. Obviously, the two things go hand in hand; the more I ride, the more I tend to eat as I burn through a lot of energy doing so many miles each day. The problem sometimes face though is eating enough to sustain all that activity.
I've completed the Festive 500 for the last couple of years but firmly believe Christmas is about spending time with friends and family. It's okay to ride for a little while on Christmas Day but you've got to keep it short and sweet and spend the majority of the time being festive.
Unlike previous years, completing the Festive 500 was harder this year owing to some poor planning on my part but also the wide range of horrible winter weather we encountered here in Yorkshire.
New Years Eve 2016. I'm sat, or more accurately wedged into the sofa. Christmas has past and I've completed the Festive 500 and my mileage goal for that year. I hadn't set any goals for 2017 and was looking for something different to target other than riding as far as possible. Almost simultaneously an article from Red Bull pops up on my Facebook timeline and someone sends me a link. Titled "Seven incredible stats on Strava" it starts with a piece about someone that rode a million feet of elevation in a year. Immediately I knew I had my goal.
It's that time of year where a single snowflake in London causes chaos whilst up in the cold, dark north people still think it's not quite cold enough to put the central heating on yet. Up and down the country we've seen plenty of ice and a reasonable amount of snow in most places. This sort of weather can be a cyclists worst nightmare, but it doesn't have to be...
Now, if you're all expecting to me slope off and chat about how we should stick to the indoors and get racing around the fantasy island that is Watopia, then you've probably come to the wrong place.
When you're get back from a club ride, or a sportive, and sometimes even a race, one of the first bits of grumbling that normally appear on any forum or Facebook page relate to the standard of group riding on that particular occasion. The ride or race might have been great but if someone didn't feel safe in the group they will probably mention it when they get home and so ensues the lengthy discussion on how to improve the standard of riding in the peleton of riders out each week.