I’d forgotten the pain of winter cycling…I don’t know how other people manage, but whatever I do, my feet freeze. My hands are usually OK, and get warm after a short time, but my feet just go numb. I’ve got some pretty good winter cycling boots (Specialized something-or-other) which are fully waterproof (at least until the water comes over the top), and I’ve tried different sock combinations, but to no avail. I wish there was a solution because the thought of having frozen feet for the next 4 months doesn’t appeal!
So, the Transrockies. They’ve changed the route since Mark and I did it in ’09, and it’s “only” 420 km now – 550 when we did it. But, the changed route means it has a lot more singletrack. Good singletrack was lacking in ’09 – apart from the alleged “fantastic” Nipika time trail day, there were odd bits, with the best (and most challenging) on the last day coming into Fernie. The Nipika bit was, frankly, 45km of the worst single track I’ve ever ridden. Not helped by constant rain, but the majority of it was unrideable -clinging, grinding mud and tree roots on a really poorly bedded in track. (Our Nipika experience wasn’t helped by Mark getting two punctures and ripping the rear mech off his bike!)
The new route, starting in Fernie and finishing in Canmore, is supposed to offer more “awesome” singletrack. For me, that’s good and bad…while I can train to climb endless fireroad, I’m something of a coward when it comes to hammering downhill – on fireroad, I worry that my front wheel will wash out on gravel; on singletrack I just worry!!! But, more singletrack should at least distract from the pain of the long, long climbs. Looking at the results from this year, the times of the people in about the same position as us were about an hour shorter each day – still 6-8 hours a day so no picnic!
I’ll talk more about the training I plan to do over the next few weeks – judging from last time, the ideal training would be to carry my bike around on my back in knee deep mud being drenched with rain and frozen! In reality, early training will be about building leg strength – so lot’s of cycling up hills, trying to keep my heartrate in my threshold zone (162-165 for me). And build up the miles on the bike…lots and lots of them (3,700 km from Jan – July in 2009). I didn’t do much other training that year – I did a little bit of running and a bit of weights and core stuff, but because of a shoulder injury, I couldn’t do any swimming. My shoulder is now sorted, so I plan to do a lot more swimming to build up the core strength.
Training for the week (a quiet week):
- Cycling – 3.5 hrs
- Running – 12km
- Swimming 1k