IT’S been an eventful few days and I’ve barely had a moment’s exercise. Travelled down to visit my pal Hamish Telfer in Sedbergh just after New Year and we made plans for our 2013 bike trip through France.
In fact we’ve now sealed our fate! We’ve booked a couple of places on the European Bike Bus to take us to Calais and then we’ll pick it up a couple of weeks later in Montpellier after we’ve dipped our bike shoes in the Med. All going well the bus will carry two satisfied and no doubt knackered cycle tourers all the way back to Blighty.
Making the booking has set off a kind of chain reaction – we’ve had to fix dates; seriously consider a training regime; think about planning the route through France; and have a look at the gear we’ll need. We also still have to decide whether to camp en route or depend on gites or some other form of B&B accommodation.
Many of those decisions will be made in due course but the most immediate concern for me is to get into a good weight-shedding training schedule. I’m thinking of some long and slow rides for a month to six weeks then start introducing some shorter faster rides, maybe some interval-type training. I did this last year before our LEJOG trip and it seemed to work. The long slow rides helped me lose some weight too – fat-burning cycling, just what I need.
And to help me during those training months I’ve splashed out and bought a new road bike – a Specialized Roubaix. My thanks to everyone at Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative for advice and help in choosing my new bike – everyone there has been really supportive and enthusiastic. It rubs off on you…
I’ve been using a Specialized Secteur Elite for past couple of years and it’s served me very well – I hope the lighter, all carbon frame of the Roubaix will encourage me to get out more and blast it more. Might even try and schedule in a couple of Sportives for later this year too although I’m not really attracted too much by competition – I’m a tourer at heart.
Also thinking of digging out my Gary Fisher MB this winter and doing a bit of off-road touring and camping. The camping side of things is a doddle – I can get the weight down to a minimalist level, and it’ll be interesting to see how much terrain I can cover on a bike as opposed to walking.
So that’s my evenings taken care off too for a while – trying to sort out a route through France. Anyone know of any good routes between La Manche and the Med?