Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Ready for Holland....

Last minute prep for the ride to Amsterdam is done. I've stripped the bike, cleaned it, oiled everything, reassembled and taken it out for a few miles to test. Everything seems to be set up perfectly. And with all the grit and crap cleaned away there's a lovely satisfying 'humming' sound as I pedal along.

All we need now is good (dry) weather and we'll be set for a challenging but ultimately rewarding few days.

Last weekend I got out on Saturday and Sunday - not massive mileage but ridden with vigour. On Saturday the weather was dodgy - the forecast was for hail and torrential rain, that never quite materialised but we did get our fair share of showers - some of them fierce. I opted for a 30 mile spin around the lanes, starting in reasonable, bright sunshine and finishing like nightfall had arrived and soaked through to boot.

To make matters worse I was overtaken on the last hill from home by a yellow jerseyed grandpa, legs and face reddened from the shot blasting downpour, he crept up and overtook me like a NATO drone with a nonchalant 'Morning' as he passed. I put on a brave face, pretending I wasn't trying, but he looked so smooth and silky as he slipped away from me - no matter how much harder I pushed he was still moving away - I was up on the pedals now in a futile effort to bridge the gap and reel him in - a desperate and suicidal move - within 20-30 yards I was a quivering jelly and he had disappeared around the corner, a relaxed almost jaunty silhouette moving below the iron clad sky. Perhaps he was an ex-pro, or one of the Sky riders in a disguise - If I could have caught him I might have found out.

Sunday was much better weather wise - dry and sunny - but a humid. One of those days when a 10 mile ride in dry conditions leaves you just as soaked as if it had been raining. I covered 38 miles,  first 15 or so at a lick, then gradually tailing off as the legs get heavier and the hills steeper. I rode the whole way in a big gear to really put my thighs under pressure - at least that worked. i could barely get the bike up the last gentle slope to home - cadence? - non existent - probably 5rpm!

That's it now - no time for any further riding at all. I know I'm not very well prepared - I know it's going to be tough anywhere north of 60 miles - but we'll make it.

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