It’s starting to come together…..

So,  just 9 weeks* to go until the TransRockies……9 short weeks.  63 days.  If you take into account travelling, that’s 8 weeks training.  Doesn’t seem like much really….I prefer to think of it as 2 months, ‘cos that seems longer!

*I could be wrong about that..as I’ve said before, Maths isn’t my strong point..would you trust the numbers given by someone who got 9% in a Maths exam??  Well..hello..that’s me!!  I was so crap I’m not sure I even knew what a  % was 😉

I digress.  As the title says. things are starting to work.   I’ve just finished a 19 hour training week, including 5 hours on the road (ugh) on Wednesday and back to back 5 hour rides this weekend.

Can you see Mark's bike? Stealth, innit?!

Yesterday we did 75km round the South Downs, in beautiful sunshine…dry, dusty and fast, and some good big climbs.  And we followed that up with 66km round the North Downs today….and it felt good!

As I slogged along yesterday I was thinking about how much of a “head game” long distance riding is.  I had 2 punctures, and after the second one, I just couldn’t get back into it.  I know I wasn’t really tired, but there was a little voice in my head telling me I must be tired.  It wasn’t helped by running out of water with 15km to go..that fear of “crashing” on a hot day nags at you!  I eventually found my “race face” (as Mark™ calls it) and we flew along the last 8 or 9km.

That spell did show how you need to be in tune with your team mate…there’s no point having your team-mate disappear off into the distance when you’re feeling crap..even if you’re not talking*, just having them there can make a real difference.  And your “teamie” needs to know if you want them to set the pace, or hang back and let you find your own pace – or just let you stop and bang your head against a tree!

(Not like the couple who we saw doing the TR in 09..on the 10k hike-a-bike on day 2, he was pushing both their bikes up the hill, while she struggled along about 100m behind – and then suddenly he just chucked her bike into a bush and walked off!  We were convinced that day would be their last, but they made it through to the end…how their relationship was after that is another matter!!)

It was Mark’s turn to have a bad bit today….45-55km really dragged for him.  I felt really pretty strong all day, and apart from falling into a tree (on my bad shoulder) and having yet another puncture, had a great ride.

(Can I just point out that since I went tubeless, I’ve had more punctures in 2 months than I’ve had in 2 whole years!!!  I’m not impressed.  And the gunk in tubeless tyres makes putting a tube in really really messy…but at least you end up with waterproof hands!!) 

Torq Roughride next weekend (ugh)..then at the end of the month it’s the Bearded Man 3 day Black Mountains ride…can’t wait for that!!

I’ll be posting my not-very-original top tips for the TransRockies here over the next few blogs, so keep reading!

* I didn’t think Mark and I did talk that much when we’re riding, but at Llandovery someone we know came up behind us and said “I wasn’t sure it was you, but then I heard the bickering and knew it was!!”

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4 Responses to It’s starting to come together…..

  1. evo says:

    umm,…..nine weeks doesn’t feel quite long enough for me. scary.

    i was riding in the brecon beacons at the weekend, taking in some of the route for the three dayer. some very big climbs in day two and three. i can taste the pain already. but if it remains dry, it will be a brilliant weekend.

    • Richard says:

      yeah…some days I think it’s loads of time, other days I panic!!
      I’ve done some of the bm route in the dim and distant past…I seem to remember climbing endlessly! How did you get on at Llandovery?

      • evo says:

        llandovery was a slow slow grind. had to wonder during the forest of doom why i was paying money to do this. But it was good chatting / moaning with other riders….kept me sane.

  2. Mark (TM) says:

    Yeah a good w/e training, despite a bit of a low point for me today… But I think the ‘banter’ between us helps alot. Makes me smile at times (which is just what I need) and well other people seem to recognise us for it too eh!

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