Where did the year go? It’s December already, and in between the pigs in blankets and present shopping, it’s that time of year when people take a look back at the last 12 months and determine whether they had a successful year or not...
Rewind twelve months and you’ll find me cruising the Yorkshire Dales, skipping in and out of snow drifts in a blizzard with a big smile on my face. Indoor training is still a sin to me and everything I do is outside.
Fast forward to present day and I’m sat in the garage avoiding the rain having bought a smart turbo and a subscription to Zwift.
What is the line between obsession and enjoyment in sport? As an individual we probably always argue it’s for enjoyment, but as an onlooker it’s easy to argue it’s obsession.
It’s rare a week goes by when someone doesn’t ask my why I don’t race my bike. The short answer is I don’t really want to, but that doesn’t really answer the question.
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.
Having survived my first day down to the Alps, it was time to get serious and tackle some real climbs and those that i’d seen so many times before in the Tour De France. If you don’t get your summit photo, did you really ride that climb?
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…
After months of planning and working out what to take on my trip to France, I’ve finally nailed down the kit list and tried to pack it all down with two weeks to go. I wanted to strike a reasonable balance between weight and cost without compromising myself along the way.