My first brevet

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Mery Christmas

Merry and healthy Christmas everyone !!

That was a wonderful Christmas holidays. I spent a lot of time with the family, and of course I put in some mileage under my belt.

I am somewhat satisfied with myself in that I managed to stay away from Christmas eating excesses. I did eat more than I planned but not as much as I usually eat!! What the heck, its Christmas after all. The scale however is still stuck at 120 kilos. Maybe this is good this time of the year!!!

Bike wise now this three day period was very constructive . On Christmas Eve I went out with some friends. The plan was to do around 80 kilometres but since the weather was very bad we changed the plan and rode a different route - the mountain pass that we planed to use would probably be frozen. As we moved towards the north it started to snow. What a wonderful feeling!! The landscape was like a Christmas painting- the village in the distance covered in snow, with smoke coming out of the chimneys.

(me and some friends)

Riding in such conditions taught me two lessons – a) always carry a spare pair of socks and b) I need to buy overshoes. I was dressed quite well except my feet. I was wearing a thermal cap under the helmet, waterproof gloves, a thermal vest, a winter jersey and waterproof jacket, and winter tights. I was therefore very comfortable with the temperature except that my toes froze. Water crept in the shoes and my socks were soaked in water. It was gradually becoming unbearable so I decided to return home. Nevermind – I am learning. I know that in the brevet I will put an extra pair of socks in the pocket !!

On Christmas Day I woke up at 6:00 and by 7:00 I was ready to go. I wanted to put in 3 hours and be home before the family woke up. Good plan but I forgot something - the roads were frozen!!! In the beginning of the ride I could sense that something was wrong with the bike’s traction but as I climbed higher and higher I was actually hearing the thin ice crack under my wheels. Logic prevailed and I decided that enough was enough and turned around. I would ride somewhere else where hopefully there would be no ice. The downhill was very very slippery so I decided to walk back. I could see the headlines – “Mad cyclist is found in the ditch with broken bones”. MTB shoes really proved their worth by the way - I could walk almost normally!!! I walked about 600 metres and rode again when the road dried up. I then headed towards the my “training ground”, where I did three 10 kilometre laps and headed back home. I decided to take a detour and rode through the empty city. It was fantastic. I could smell the food in the stoves – bread in one house, soup in the other, roast pork in the next. Lovely feeling that only a bike ride can give you. I returned home a very happy man.

The Boxing day ride was even better. The temperatures were a couple of degrees higher so the road was clean. At last I could do my ‘long ride’. Again I set off very early and felt very good. Perhaps the longish rides of the previous two days woke up my body and I was riding fast for my standards. The roads were completely empty this time – everyone must have been sleeping off the Christmas festivities except me it seemed.

(not a frequent sight)

I felt very strong and added a couple of high intensity intervals in the ride. My recoveries were very good and my legs felt fantastic. On the long uphill on my way home I tried to ride up with a lower gear / higher cadence and I think it was much better as a shaved off a couple of minutes of the longish 8km climb.

Today I will take a rest, and tomorrow I will go out for an easy ride – I am really enjoying all this.

Week ending 25/12/05

Weight - 120kg (STILL !!!!)
Odometer - 310 kms
Resting HR - 59bpm


Post a Comment

<< Home