Sunday 25 August 2013

So here I go again...

...on my owe-oo-own...

So sang labradoodle-haired rocker David Coverdale. Except this time, going again on the Haute Route, I'm not on my owe-oo-own. This time I'm going with lots of people.

There's the LEJOG (Land's End to John O'Groats) crew from 2010. That's Darren, Jon, Phill, Dave and the special additions of Sarah and Andrew. Together we are "Team Tastic"

Then there's most of Team Infrared from last year's Haute Route. That's Tony, John and David (I don't think Bernard is doing this year). They're not special enough for Team Tastic, so they've formed their own team: "Pitpass Chainreaction Cycles Elmer the Elephant". They've also roped in a few more people for a serious assault on the overall team prize.

Then there will be all the random people who I met last year on the road - hopefully they'll have the same names on their numbers so I can recognise them.

I'm feeling pretty relaxed about the whole thing, especially compared to last year. Having done it once I'm over a couple of mental barriers - firstly "can I do it", and secondly "I don't want to fail for a random reason". As I ticked the event off last year random failure will be just one of those things, rather than a soul-crushing disappointment.

Of course this year the route is different. I've made some handy cut-out-and-stick notes on each stage.

You get the idea. I'm also about the same fitness as last year but this time I'm almost 8lbs lighter. I clearly find it easier to not eat than I do to train harder. I've no idea if it'll make much difference but it can't hurt - plus it'll make my face-stuffing challenge after the race far more exciting.

On the subject of training, good ol' Training Peaks tells me that so far this year I've done

  • 6456 km on the road bikes, in 250 hours.
  • 878 km on the mountain bikes, in 57 hours.
  • 1 hour 16 minutes in the gym. Poor effort there.

So it's a week to go, all the work has been done and I just need to finish packing. I've started though.

And here's the full shot of the energy products - mainly Torq bars (Organic Mango, Pineapple and Ginger), Torq gels (Raspberry Ripple, Banoffee Pie with Guarana), Powerbar Rides (Peanut and Caramel), Torq Recovery (Chocolate Orange), Torq Energy (Orange) and For Goodness Shakes recovery (various flavours, for use on waking up, pre-breakfast).

Sugary goodness
I just hope I can resist eating them all before the actual race.

Sunday 18 August 2013

Cor, it's been a bit quiet on here

Wow, that was a bit of a break. For some reason the urge to write has been missing, and to tell you the truth I'm not really sure it's back. I've still been doing the same things but I don't feel the need to tell the world about them.

So, time to tell the world.

My last post was back in June, when I did a longest day ride. Since then I've done a few things that in previous years I'd have written about.
  • A long weekend training in the Pyrenees, with 42C heat, a couple of H.C. climbs, fabulous food, swimming in cycling shorts, the world's worst cheese and ham toastie, a kitten, a minor bonk riding up a climb that almost had me rolling over the edge whilst trying to eat a gel, an astonishing thunderstorm, discovering the secret tunnel in Heathrow terminal 5 and learning that my new bike shoes don't cause me immense pain whilst riding in hot weather. Which is nice.
  • Buying a new frame at a massive discount and turning it into a very posh "winter" road bike that's probably lighter than my summer road bike.
  • Doing some gentle early morning rides with a group from work, including a few newbies.
  • Nearly, nearly dropping Jon on a short climb. Except I didn't.
  • Training, lots and lots and lots of training.
So rather than writing, here are some images.

Bespoked, our hosts in France.
Bikes, poised.
Frame, naked.
Cake, unpurchased,
Dangerous Dave, our Pyrenees guide.
Lola the kitten, who turned out to be a boy.
Oh, I mentioned training. Two weeks to go until stage 1 of the Haute Route Pyrenees. Gulp.