Sunday, 27 November 2011

I've gone and done something silly

Right, enough of all the rambling on about old bikes and new bikes. When it comes down to it, it's not about having, it's about doing.

Last year we did Land's End to John O'Groats. That was a challenge - seven months of planning and training, team bonding sportives, charity fundraising, outfit buying and finally the eight days of riding themselves. It was, to me, epic.

This year has been indifferent - a crash and eight weeks off the bike, a couple of sportives, my first big mountain road riding - nothing that really inspired me to knuckle down and concentrate, to get up an hour early through the winter and ride the long way to work, to drag my ass over to the big hills every week and spend every Saturday afternoon prone on the sofa wearing leg squeezing tights. I didn't even shave my legs.

Next year will be different. I've entered something silly. The Haute Route.

Columbiere. Madeleine. Glandon. Alpe D'Huez. Alpe D'Huez again. Izoard. Cime de la Bonette. And a few others.

Seven stages. Distances of 120km, 105km, 136km, 14km (up the Alpe), 136km, 98km, 171km. Ascents of 2700m, 2700m, 4700m(!), 1000m (in 14km, up the Alpe), 3700m, 3200m, 2900m.

I think that counts as epic. I have three goals for this.

1. To get to the finish, i.e. be riding on the last day
2. To complete every stage within whatever time limits are set
3. To have a final position in the top half of my category. This is probably a bit of a "stretch" goal.

Preparation so far has consisted of picking out three other training events, booking a week in the Dolomites, putting together a high level plan and buying some new climbing wheels.

Oh, and the three days after I entered I got up an hour early and rode the long way into work.

Hell, I might even shave my legs again.
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