That’s that then…I’m trained!

Sunday saw the end of my TransRockies training…hoorah!!!  A grand total of some 4,700km over 280 hours.  Now all I have to do is get through the dreaded taper, get me, my team mate, and our bikes safely to Canada, and then just the little matter of the race itself, and I’m done!

The last few weeks have been tough…finished off with 3 days back to back, covering 68km, 76km and 82km.  I felt (and was) very slow on Friday in the North Downs, was a bit better on Saturday (we set a new PB for our South Downs route – nearly 20 mins quicker), and I was positively buzzing on Sunday in the Chilterns – not sure if it was “end of training” buzz, all the hard work paying off, or the catering at Team Millichamp, but it felt great!  And we even made it up the dreaded Stoner Hill…always a good measure of fitness!  (Still can’t figure out why everyone else seems to ride down Stoner Hill….wierdos).

During Saturday’s ride, I was inspired to have a photographic theme for my TransRockies – Mark™ fixing his punctures!

Get used to this....

The only problem I can see is that at the rate he gets punctures (3 on Friday), I’m going to need a bigger memory card!!

Sadly my inspiration was short lived, ‘cos I forgot to take a picture of him fixing the second one (probably because it was only 2 minutes after puncture number one).  Oh, and Mark™ has now come up with a sure-fire way to stop himself getting punctures….no, he hasn’t gone tubeless…er…almost the opposite in fact…he now carries 4 spare tubes around with him!

So now I’m tapering – I hate tapering.  I really, really hate tapering.  Your mind plays tricks…it convinces you that you’re going to lose all your fitness, every little ache and pain is a major injury, every sniffle is the ‘flu, every cough is a major chest infection – and woe betide anyone who comes near me coughing and sneezing!!!  (Having said that, my office does sound like a TB ward right now…what a sickly bunch!).  Maybe I should get me one of those surgical masks (no comments about just putting a bag over my head, thankyou!).

Right…I need to go and dismantle my bike and pack it up for its holiday, and finish my packing list…this time next week, I should be on the shuttle bus to Fernie..fingers crossed!

 

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I’m so excited….

….I just can’t hide it, I’m about to lose control and I think I like it!

No, not about doing the TransRockies* – I’m excited about the fact that I finish my training on Sunday!! Woohoo!!!  Just 3 more long rides on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and I’m done!!

To be honest, it’s probably just as well, because I’m soooo tired!!  I’ve not really had rest since the Black Mountains 3 Day thing…when was that.. nearly 3 weeks ago?  I really noticed it on Saturday doing our ride in the Chilterns – Mark™ had been on an enforced lay off for a week ‘cos of illness, and he was just so fresh and fast – and I wasn’t!!   We’d planned to do the 100km route, but cut short to 75km – I was slow and getting slower!  Oh, and just for a change, it was raining….a lot!  (by the way, I’d recommend the Rough Ride Guide organised ride in the Chilterns…very low key, but the route was great with lots of nice singletrack, lots of hills, and well marked).

This weekend is my residential training camp, hosted by Team Millichamp (aka Mark™ and Nic – the BNBF Welsh Female Physique Champion 2011 – can’t wait for that Bread and Butter pudding…or will it be rice pudding?!?!).  70km in the North Downs on Friday, 75km in the South Downs on Saturday, and 75km in the Chilterns on Sunday…and then I start my tapering.  That’ll be 2 weeks of short rides, resting, lots of stretching, packing,  lots of panicking about all the things I haven’t got (or more likely, all the things I have got but can’t find!!), oh and the minor detail of traveling to Fernie 2 weeks today!  Eek!

I’ll report next week how close I’ve kept to the training plan I wrote way back in January, and then in about 3 weeks I’ll hopefully report on whether that plan was any good!!

* actually, I am excited about the TransRockies…can’t wait to start!!

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Silence is golden….

…one word is a fortune lost.  When I was 11, my physics teacher made me write that 200 times for talking in class.  Do teachers still give kids lines?  Probably not…it would probably violate their human rights or something.  This has nothing to do with mountain biking or the TransRockies, it’s just a long-winded way of saying that I haven’t got much to write about at the moment!  But not wanting to disappoint my thousands…er….my hundreds…well, maybe my tens…..OK, my one loyal reader, I thought I should just let you know that I’m still alive, and still training!

I reckon I’ve got 5 more big rides to go before I start tapering.  That’s all.  The last few weeks seem to have flown past, and I’m sure the next 3 will too…I fly to Fernie 3 weeks today…eek!!  I’ve noticed a big step up in my fitness, and I’m covering routes I’ve done before much, much quicker now…..a 70km route at Afan Argoed that I did 2 weeks ago in 5.5 hours took me only 5 hours this weekend, taking 4 minutes off my PB for the first 6.5km climb in the process, so something must be working!!  Either that or I wasn’t trying before.

Don’t worry, I’m not getting over-confident…the little doubts still nag away.  Just yesterday I spotted that Day 3 of the Transrockies is only 46km long, but has 2250m of climbing…yes, 2250m, in 46km.  That’s a fug of a lot of steep stuff!!  On the other hand, that’s also 2250m of descending 🙂

I’ve got to the stage of worrying about injuries….not training injuries, but a falling off injury, either to me or my bike…that would be a tad annoying, wouldn’t it?!  And having replaced all the running gear on my bike, I’m now worrying that I’m going to wear it all out before the race…I know -bonkers!

I’ve just got a few more little things to get – I’ll have to order some more gels, bars and recovery mix, but mostly, I’m pretty much sorted – I think I’ve even managed to source the correct mech hanger for my bike, after my useless LBS sold me the wrong one.  And a replacement bottom bracket after the same useless LBS told me none were available until August!!

Mark™ and I are doing a 100km ride in the Chilterns on Saturday…looks like it could be fun, and a good training ride for sure..I’ll let you know how it goes!!

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Like the TransRockies, only smaller….3 Day Black Mountains Race Report

I’ve just spent the weekend riding the Bearded Man “3D BM”…and I have to say it was by far the best event I’ve done in the UK, and I can’t think of a better way to prepare for the TransRockies!

Day 1 – We’re Winning!

As I arrived at the Bearded Man campsite near Talybont on Usk in glorious sunshine, I immediately started having flashbacks to the TransRockies…in the middle of the field were a hundred little blue tents – my home for the next 3 days (well, one of them, not all 100).

Home sweet home

I met up with Mark™ and got the car unpacked (all the time wondering how I can possibly pack enough for a 7 day race and still fit it on a plane when I have enough gear to fill a big estate car, just for a 3 day race!!). We had bite to eat in the ex-Drop Off Cafe, chilled out, met up with folk we know from other races, and slowly got ourselves ready for the Day 1 ride.  This was to be a short time trial – I don’t know about you, but in my brain, the phrase “time trail” translates to “race” which translates to “panic” which translates to “hyperventilate and ride like a child who has just had the stabilizers removed from their bike” – safe to say this was the day I was least looking forward to!  Slightly unsure of the format, we set on the “6km” ride to the start (erm…make that 12km)… we were so keen that we got to the start before the organisers!   Anyway, after a short wait while they got the timing chips sorted, Mark™ and I set off on the first of two 5.5km laps.  And what a great little route it was…a nice steady climb for 3km, followed by some dinky stuff through the woods and then a speedy track back to the start.

Mark finishes the woods section (Photo by(www.edrollasonphotography.co.uk)

We didn’t go mad, just kept a steady pace, and as a result, we found ourselves in the lead!!   “In the lead” in the same way that “I’ve competed in a windsurfing competition against Robby Naish and Anders Bringdal” (google them)…as a statement of fact, it’s entirely true – in the windsurfing competition, while I was technically competing against them in a speed trail, I didn’t actually present them with much competition!  In the 3D BM Mark™ and I were leading mainly ‘cos we set off first (OK, not mainly, entirely), and no-one overtook us until we were halfway round our second lap!  (When we finished, we spent ages figuring out how someone could finish their 2 laps ahead of us, having only overtaken us once….I blame the lack of oxygen getting to my brain).

On the 6 12km ride back to camp, we bumped into one of my blog readers…I won’t name him to save his embarrassment, but when we met him, he was about 6km from camp, but had somehow managed to miss all the signs and had already covered 25km!  So, I know who I won’t be relying on for navigation in the TransRockies!

Day 2 – Too Near the Front

Yes, we had to ride all the way to that little pass you can see at the top....

After showers, bike wash, re-fuelling and refreshing on Friday night (free beer…how cool is that?!), everyone was up bright and early for Day 2 (possibly because it gets light at 4am in Wales at this time of year, and tents aren’t light-proof!).  We were to be bussed to the start, about 30km away, where our bikes were waiting for us to ride back the 60-odd km back to camp.  This started with a 5km road ride along quiet country lane before turning off onto fire-road in the woods.  I’ll be honest…I can’t remember much about this first section, other than a very steep road climb on which my bike’s front gear refused to change down.  Top Tip:  Stopping to change gear is not efficient!  A great mix of fast singletrack and fireroad followed, and, to complete the TransRockies-esque experience even included a steep carry-your-bike hike-a-bike section.  I can confirm that a light bike is much better to carry than a heavy one!  When we arrived at the feed station (excellent choice of food available), I overhead one of the marshals telling the “sweeper rider” that only about 20 riders had gone through, and he was probably “too near the front”…being near someone who was “too near the front” was a first for us!  The rest of the day was a superb ride, mixing moorland, fireroad, fast flowing single track, another (harder) hike-a-bike, steep rocky descents and just all round grin-inducing riding.  The trails were mostly dry, with a few muddy puddles to make sure we were well coated by the end, but it was all riding really fast – most unlike Wales!!  We got to the finish in 4:35 – 27th overall and 3rd placed team…we were well chuffed with that!   We’d worked hard but not killing ourselves, and wanted to be able to do the same for the final day.

Um..that's a glass of recovery drink, honest...

It was a strange feeling to be back in camp in time for a late lunch and to be able to chill out and recover…that never happened in the Transrockies.  Another evening of good food, chatting, hydrating (not all beer, honest) then an early night, ready to be up and at ’em for Day 3.

Day 3 – Through the gap

Today was to be a circular route, starting from right in the camp.  Unfortunately, word quickly spread around the camp that a number of bikes had been stolen in the night…7 I think, plus some pc equipment…they’d obviously come prepared, and had cut through the fence, before hacking through sturdy bike locks.  Real shame some bastards have to go and spoil the event for a bunch of people..I hope the victims get their stuff sorted out.  I was relieved to have locked my bike in the car, and not just dumped it by the tent as we did every night in the TransRockies.

Some of the guys were sorted with borrowed bikes, and after another great breakfast (they’d even done porridge in response to popular demand!), we set off for another 65km of hard riding.  Today was to be a blast round Talybont Resevoir, before heading off to ride the renowned “Gap” route between Pen-y-Fan and Fan-y-Big (stop that sniggering).   We started with a long steady climb up in the woods to be rewarded with a lovely fast descent (well, fast apart from waiting for Mark to fix a puncture), then spent the next 20km or so around Talybont reservoir..this included a seemingly endless climb that didn’t really seem like a climb.  It wasn’t until you looked back and say where you’d been and how high above the water you were that you understood why you’d been going so slowly!  (Not helped by me feeling decidedly unwell…lesson for me…don’t forget the Zantac).  Anyway, after about 3 weeks of fireroad climbing we turned back on ourselves and rode for about 6km along fast singletrack to the feedstation – lots of lovely muddy bits, and a short diversion into the brambles for me (avoiding the ditch, somehow!).  Now the fun really started…first of all a  long climb with a nasty kick at the end, followed by moorland and woody fast flowing riding, then a bit of fireroad, and we were heading for the Gap.  I’ve ridden this before, many years ago when I wasn’t fit, so knew that it was a good ascent..and Mark and I flew up it, feeling strong and fast.  And once we got to the top, it really was downhill all the way!  I remember the drop down from the Gap being much harder…or maybe I was just much crapper…but today it was a fast and fun descent..loose rocks, drainage ditches. cyclists and walkers all added to the challenges, and I loved it…despite one serious “brown trouser” moment when my bike hit some loose stuff…!!  Apart from a completely bonkers 2 inch wide rock and bramble strewn bridleway at the bottom (I’ve still got the scars to prove it), it was pretty much a potter along lanes and bridleways 10km back to the finish.   We got home in 4:30 ish, tired, hot, thirsty, but in time for lunch and coffee!!  We finished about 27th overall, and 4th placed team…but most of all, we finished fit and strong, and feeling like we could carry on, and that’s a real confidence booster for the TransRockies!

All in all, this really was a great event – really well organised and marshalled (especially bearing in mind this was Year 1), great routes and riding, and good food…and did I mention the free beer??!  Huge thanks to the organisers and marshals!!  Oh, and congratulations to one of my loyal readers…3rd place in the Male 40+ category…great riding (but it means we’ll only see you at breakfast in the TransRockies!)

My lessons learned:

  1. Remember to take Zantac
  2. Buy a new sleeping mat..mine is now just a mat, with no air-holding qualities
  3. Follow the signs 😉

As I headed off to visit some friends near Abergavenny, Mark headed off to Newport to support his wife, Nic, in her first ever body-building competition – you think the training and prep we do for the Transrockies is hard…Nic’s routine and dedication to it is just stunning!  And you know what?  She won!  Not only her class, but best female competitor….absolutely amazing…really proud to know you Nic!!  Pics here!

And finally, thanks to Ed at ed@edrollasonphotography.co.uk for kindly letting me use the picture of Mark on the time trial

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Into the home straight

5 weeks today I leave for the long trip to Fernie, ready for the start of the TransRockies X.  That means I have just 4 more big weekends of training.  Am I going to be “ready” (whatever that means)??  I don’t know, but I do know that by the end of this Friday, I’ll have done as much training as I did in total for the TransRockies 09…and still with those 4 weeks training to go!

I think it’s fair to say that both Mark™ and I have struggled for motivation a bit in the last couple of weeks.  I don’t know about you, but I’m getting to the point where I find that getting up on a Saturday and Sunday morning and knowing I’m facing 5 or 6 hours on a bike is a bit wearing!!  I think part of it is that I tend to end up doing the same 7 or 8 big routes at the weekends.   (I know that probably sounds a bit bonkers, given that there are infinite mountain biking possibilities in the UK, it’s just not always that practical to go off somewhere new).

So, I need ideas to keep me motivated for the next 4 weeks.   Last Sunday, to keep the ride interesting, I set myself two goals: 1. Break my PB for the first big climb of the Skyline trail in Afan Argoed, and 2. doing the whole of Skyline and The Wall without using the granny ring…and hit both targets (37:40 is my new PB).

This weekend is sorted…I’m doing the Bearded Man Black Mountain 3 day race.  I’m really looking forward to it – it’s like a mini-TransRockies: a very short time trial on Friday evening, tent village living on Friday and Saturday night, and 65km routes on Saturday and Sunday round the beautiful Black Mountains in South Wales.  Plus there’s two big bonuses…they have a beer sponsor*, and (tempting fate here) the forecast is looking good (for Wales!).

But after that, I’ve got 3 weekends training…I know exactly where I’ll be, but how do I  keep the rides interesting?  

*not that I drink beer anymore. obviously….my body is a temple (ahem)

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A bit of a rant…..Enough of the last minute changes!

If you’ve entered the TransRockies this year, you probably got a mail from the organizers today, announcing yet another change to this year’s race schedule.  I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a bit fed up with the changes….or at least the lack of logistical information that comes with them.

In 2009, it was all pretty straightforward:  You got to Fernie and stayed in a hotel for a few nights prior to the start.  On Day 1, you took your bag down to a truck near the start, got on your bike, and joined 300 others cycling up a crazy mountain.  At the end of Day 1, you picked your bag up off the truck, walked to a tent, showered, changed, walked to the food tent, ate, watched the awards and rider briefing, and slept in your tent.  Next morning, you carried your bag to the truck, got on your bike, and joined 300 other cycling up a crazy mountain…..and so on, and on, and on until the end of Day 7.  Simple.

A month or so ago, we were told the “great news” that the first 3 days of this year race would be in and around Fernie.  We’d stay in Fernie until the start of Day 4, when we’d be bussed for a few hours to the start of Stage 4.  OK, first off, maybe Fernie does have some great singletrack, but it’s not exactly giving you that wilderness camping experience…especially if you’re doing the TR3!  It wasn’t clear whether the tent village would be set up somewhere around Fernie for those that didn’t want the extra expense of hotels…plus, for me the tent village thing is all part of the experience.

So, after a few back and forth emails to the organizers, it seemed that the tent village wouldn’t be set up, so we extended our hotel to the start of Day 4.  We were told that evening meals and breakfast would still be available, “a few blocks” from our hotel (sadly, being a Brit, I have no idea what “a few blocks” means….a few hundred metres?  half a mile?  a mile?  Dunno).   I guess that evening meal includes the awards and rider briefing?  Who knows!

Now, we’re told that Day 3 won’t be finishing in Fernie, it’ll be finishing in Island Lake Lodge..which seems to be about 10 miles outside Fernie.  I don’t have a problem with that, but what I do have a problem with is the absence of logistical information that comes with this change.  Does it mean that there’ll be a tent village at Island Lake Lodge?  Or are we all expected to book into the Lodge..they certainly seem to be offering a “bargain” package?  Or will we all be bussed back to Fernie?  Maybe we have to ride?

OK, I know the TransRockies organizers read this blog sometimes…so, come on guys…don’t just sent out a glossy email telling us about the wonders of some posh resort…give some logistical details.  We’ve got enough to worry about with having to race round crazy mountains every day – we don’t need extra hassle and worry wondering how it’s all going to work for the first 3-4 days.

 

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Worn out yet??

I came home today to be greeted by two things:

  1. a pool of dog sick
  2. a lovely box of bike bits:

Oooh...it's like Christmas! Well, it would be if there was an orange in there....

I’m guessing you’re not going to be interested in a post about dog sick, but maybe the bike bits?

It’s getting towards the time when you might want to think about replacing everything that moves on your bike.*   Chances are that if you’ve been doing the hours and hours of training, no matter how fastidious you are with your bike maintenance, things will be starting to wear, stretch, rub, bend and break.  During the race, you’ll be riding the kind of distance that your average “weekend warrior” will take several months to complete, so why start with a load of clapped-out bits?  And don’t leave it until the week before the TransRockies…give it time to bed in.

Straight after I finish the Bearded Man 3 day race in the Black Mountains (that’s in Wales, if you’re not from these parts) in just over a week, I’ll be stripping my bike down, and putting lots of lovely shiny new (or nearly new) bits on….cassette, chain, rear mech, gear cables, shifters, bottom bracket, brake pads, brake fluid.  The only bit of drivetrain I won’t be replacing is the chainrings…but that’s only because mine are only a few weeks old.

You might think that new shifters is excessive, but mine are over 3 years old and have already done one TransRockies…and I saw how much Mark suffered with no rear gears!  If you peer closely at the box of goodies, you’ll see I’ve got the SRAM Flackjacket gear cables – not that I’m a pessimist (!) but if it’s as wet as it was in 09, I want to keep as much crap out of the cables a possible, and I reckon the Flakjacket ones do it pretty well…for a price!

I’ll talk about the spares I’m going to take with me another time…but you may want to think about ordering things now…I was told this week that it would take 4-6 weeks to get a new rear mech hangar for my Trek!  (Luckily, I sourced one somewhere else).

If you ever do want me to blog about dog sick, let me know…as the owner of two dogs that eat anything and everything – the smellier the better – I know more about that than I do about bikes!!

* this is one of my “Stating the Bleeding Obvious Top Tips”…more to come over the next few weeks!! 

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Giant snails and chain mysteries…

Ok, I think I’ve spent too long riding my bike now – I’m starting to find the most boring things interesting.  Take the Giant Snail of Kent for example:

The High5 gel moved quicker.....

OK, we’re not talking the giant Polynesian snail from Dr Doolittle, but it’s was much bigger than your average snail, honest!  (That energy gel is at least 30cm long..er..nearly).   And there were loads of them out on the North Downs Way today…must have been a race.

Other than that, it was a pretty uneventful ride until about 2km from the end, when this happened:

Ermm....how did that happen?!?!

I was “hurtling” down a rooty, fast descent, hopping over tree roots, and as I picked up  pedaling again, it didn’t feel or sound quite right….and not surprising really…the chain is outside the dérailleur cage!!  Now I know I’m not the best bike mechanic in the world, but even I can route a chain properly, so it wasn’t like that when I set off (and I think I’d have noticed before).

Any ideas anyone??

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Torq RoughRide Race (Swim?!) Report

What can I say…the Torq Roughride was wet…very very very wet.  I should have known the great spring weather wouldn’t last…after all, they announced that parts of the UK were suffering from a drought on Friday….lo and behold, 2 days later, we had 30mm of rain in 18 hours.

I got woken at 5am on Sunday morning by the rain – I tried to convince myself it always sounds worse when you’re tucked up in bed, but one glance out of the window soon disproved that!   Even the drive up to Kington was exciting, with rivers of water across all the roads, and a bit of sideways rally-cross action in the car just getting into the field for parking!   As Mark and I headed up to the start, dressed in full waterproof gear (including winter boots), I was stunned to a pair of riders at the start in nothing more than football shorts and cotton t-shirts…and it wasn’t like it was nice warm summer rain…it was cold – only 7c!!   I gather 30 people were treated for exposure during the event…I wonder if these people were 2 of them?!

Waiting to start..wanting to go home..perfect UK biking conditions?

The thing about biking is, it doesn’t matter how waterproof you’re gear is…it doesn’t work in torrential rain.  Water seeps down your neck, under the cuffs of the sleeves, sprays up underneath…and no breathable fabric can cope with the heat you generate slogging up hills.  In short, you get wet.  And once you get wet, you start to get cold.

It really wasn’t much of decision to do the short route (43 instead of 75km)..we were barely managing 10km/hr, and it was almost constant effort…you had to pedal downhill, pushing aside a bow-wave (tyre-wave??) of water as you went…and I didn’t need to re-live TransRockies 09!!  I must admit, I was even tempted to try and find a shortcut back along the road when I got to the bottom of Hergest Ridge, about 8km from home…I was freezing after the long road downhill, and really didn’t fancy that slog up..and up….and up…….and up.   The thought of getting lost trying to find our way back put us off, and we did the climb (followed by the only decent downhill all day) and finished in exactly 4 hours.  My stuff is still drying out as I write!

I think Mark and I made 3 good decisions this weekend:

  1. We decided not to camp…good call, in pissing rain, in a sloping sheep field complete with a lot of sheep poo!
  2. Cutting the ride short…had we done the long route, it would have taken us 7-8 hours.
  3. We agreed that we’re never doing the RoughRide again.  This was our second, and I’ve concluded that the route planning is done by Mr Penrose, of the endless stairs fame*.

    RoughRide Route Profile??

    Clearly this year wasn’t helped by the weather, but the route just doesn’t seem to work..you don’t get any reward for the endless climbing.  I’ve done other events in this area – the CRC Builth Wells MTB Marathon for example – and that manages to get in some great downhills.   Each to their own…I know some people enjoy it.

Huge thanks to the marshalls out there yesterday though…standing around in the rain for 7-8 hours must have been horrible..at least we had exercise to keep us warm!!

* I’ve learnt something doing this blog…I thought the endless stairs was by Escher, but apparently it’s by Lionel and Roger Penrose and then adapted by Escher for his etching Ascending and Descending.  So there.

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How prepared are you for TransRockies X?

With just over 8 weeks to go (eek!), there’s a few things that you should probably be doing:

  1. You should be feeling fit and strong and wishing the TransRockies started tomorrow
  2. You should be feeling as weak as a kitten and wondering how you’ll complete Day 1, let alone Days 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7
  3. You should be looking at your calendar and noticing that almost every single day involves riding a flipping bike
  4. You should have chosen your TransRockies bike, and have it built in or near it’s TR configuration…and then broken the most expensive bits.  Obviously, you’ll spend the next 8 weeks faffing with it and wondering if the bits you have on it are strong enough/light enough/bedded in enough/too worn and whether you should try just one more tweak (don’t forget you’ll probably need to change your entire drivetrain a few weeks before the race)
  5. You’ll be used to your preferred riding food…gels, bars, whatever (as long as it’s not Mule Bars). In fact, you’re probably sick of them. Ha! just you wait until you’ve been eating them 7 days in a row (note: I’ve finally finished my 2009 surplus bars!)
  6. You should have done some back to back rides, and have them planned in most weekends between now and August. You have done some back to back rides haven’t you?
  7. You should have figured out (or at least started to) your TransRockies clothing…which lycra shorts, which shirts, which gloves etc etc. You’re not really planning on taking those baggy shorts, are you?
  8. You should have learned how to tell the difference between Black, Brown and Grizzly bears (remember, there’s different things you need to do depending which it is).  For more top tips* on how to deal with a bear encounter, read my earlier blog post “Are Wild Bears Catholic”  (Actually, I wouldn’t bother learning the difference..you won’t see one!)
  9. You should be thinking/worrying/obsessing about the race for every waking moment, and most of the sleeping ones
  10. Your friends should have figured out not to mention the TransRockies, to avoid setting you off on an endless tedious description of how your training is going or about the minute difference the latest widget has made to your bike
  11. Your ludicrous cycling tan should be almost finished, something like this:

Nice look?!

* Disclaimer:   I know nothing about bears.  Do not take my advice about dealing with them (or anything else for that matter)

 

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