Quelle surprise!

Every Tuesday evening is club night, while the second Tuesday in every month is our monthly meeting of club members. Last night we gained yet another new member, nothing particularly surprising there. Except, his reason for joining our club, as opposed to any other, was the free English lessons on offer. He works for an international firm where, in order to progress, fluency in English is required. So, no pressure there!

The club organises three major events each year. First up is the Gentleman, a two person time-trial where your combined ages must exceed 60. This year I’m going to ride the short course with a girlfriend. Our combined ages will surely ensure we’re the oldest pairing. Then, I’m going to ride the longer course with my husband which I can’t help feeling may well be a big mistake but all the local pros were otherwise engaged.

Based on my experiences of the past two years, I’ve found the trick is to push yourself as hard as possible on the out loop, which is always into a fierce headwind, because you have the strong tailwind pushing you along on the way back. Never go so fast that your partner loses your wheel, nor too slow that you finish without feeling exhausted. I’ll be using the short circuit as my warm up for the larger one where I’ll largely be wheel sucking.

Just to make sure I’m as fresh as a daisy for the Gentleman, I’ve committed myself to riding a 150km Audax (av. speed of 22km) on the Saturday before. It’s not the 150km that bothers me, or indeed the average speed, but rather that we set off from Mandlieu Napoule at 07:30. It’ll take me about 1hr to drive there so I’ll have to leave the flat at 06:30 which means getting up at some ungodly hour. Please, couldn’t I miss the programmed comfort break (yes, really) and picnic lunch and start 2 hours later?

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