Scorchio through the Trough of Bowland and on up Kingsdale and down Dentdale

Yesterday was super scorchio (hot). Apparently it’s some kind of record (since 1976) for the number of days where temperatures have reached 30°C in England! So maybe it wasn’t the best day to go for a massive cycle ride? But training for l’Etape du Tour continues, and it may well be super hot in the Alps during the race too, so maybe it was good conditions. Anyhow, it was a great ride… More “Scorchio through the Trough of Bowland and on up Kingsdale and down Dentdale”

l’Etape du Tour Training Progress

l'Etape du TourClimbing ChallengeGan FondoMy training for the l’Etape du Tour is progressing. It started just four weeks ago with a tough hilly ride of just 37k. Yesterday I managed a 104k ride and I’ve completed two of Strava’s challenges for the month, the Gran-Fondo (100k in a single ride) and the April climbing challenge (7,500m of climbing).

Here are a couple of selfies from recent rides…

Steve and Pete at the top of the Barbondale Road

Pete & Rachel near Sedbergh

There’s still a long way to go though! l’Etape du Tour in 2017 is 178k long with over 3,500m of climbing. Plus there’s the added difficulty of the race finishing with a wicked climb up to the Col d’Izoard, the highest point of the day at 2360m. That climb is gonna be really tough with over 130k already in my legs!

The profile of the Étape du Tour route – 178km with 3,529m of climbing

Cycling … Carbon Fibre versus Steel

Twenty-five years after I gave up competitive cycling I went and bought a new road bike! What was I thinking? Have I some how forgotten the endless hours of pain and loneliness out on the road? Or the misery of riding in the rain? Or maybe I’ve simply gotten caught up in the UK’s post-Olympic cycling success fever? I’ve no certain idea. But it’s an awesome machine! So different to bikes from the 80’s… More “Cycling … Carbon Fibre versus Steel”

l’Etape du Tour Training Finally Starts…

Well, the l’Etape du Tour training started in earnest today…

I’m too not sure how to feel about my performance, but I guess it was the first time out on my bike for over a year so I shouldn’t feel too bad. I managed just over 37k, but was I totally knackered on the climbs! The route I took kicked off almost immediately by heading straight up the old Sedbergh Road out of Kendal. From there on every single little rise was an absolute killer. Nearing the end of the ride I didn’t think I was gonna get back up to Crook at all!!!

When I watch this video I’m left with two competing and equally massive feelings:

  • What the hell have I done entering such a mind numbingly massive event?
  • Riding a mountain stage of the Tour de France a few days before the Tour itself will be awesome!