Month: July 2011

Reflections on the Tour

I’m still wallowing in post-Tour euphoria; and you thought it only applied to the riders. I’ll come crashing back to earth later this week when I start to miss my daily fix. Fortunately, help is at hand, as I’m heading to the Basque country this… Continue Reading “Reflections on the Tour”

Postcards from the Alps IV, V and VI

According to L’Equipe, spectators wait an average of six hours to watch the peloton pass. At one end of the spectrum are those who watch it at home on television nipping out just before the riders zoom past their front garden. At the other… Continue Reading “Postcards from the Alps IV, V and VI”

Postcards from the Alps III

I derive an enormous amount of pleasure from riding part of a Tour stage ahead of the peloton. Today dawned bright with that omnipresent bitingly cold wind. As we rode into Briançon you could see the fresh snow on the surrounding mountains. With a fair tailwind, it… Continue Reading “Postcards from the Alps III”

Postcards from the Alps II

It had started raining heavily before we set out for Gap muffled like members of Michelin Man’s army. It was also cold, another day at 9°. We passed many a sodden cyclist en route happy, for once, to be in the warm and dry of… Continue Reading “Postcards from the Alps II”

Postcards from the Alps I

Yesterday was sunny and fresh first thing in the valley. After a hearty breakfast, we set off destination the top of the Galibier. It starts gently enough with the gradient rising slowly up to 7% towards the top of the Lauteret.  We were heading into… Continue Reading “Postcards from the Alps I”

Just the two of us

This is the first time we’ve rented a holiday home in France. It’s spotlessly clean and functional. When I made the booking I rented a chalet for 7. Not in the expectation of having guests but merely to have enough room and facilities for… Continue Reading “Just the two of us”

Well worth the wait

Mindful of the importance of today’s stage, I was up and out at the crack of dawn. It was lovely and quiet, still a little fresh, with only the road cleaners and the odd car heading for the nearest bakery for me to worry about. I… Continue Reading “Well worth the wait”


As part of my training programme I’ve been swimming on alternate days. I verified with my coach that he didn’t expect me to be steaming up and down the pool during my 30 minute session. Instead, the pressure from the water is intended to help my… Continue Reading “Swimmingly”


In preparation for next week’s hills, I’ve been doing endurance intervals. Basically, riding in a higher gear than I would normally to replicate effort on a steeper ascent. I don’t mind these exercises as my natural inclination is to churn a higher gear, and lower… Continue Reading “Endurance”


Tomorrow is a French Bank holiday: Bastille Day. This evening we enjoyed a splendid firework display in our home town while tomorrow we’ll watch one in Cannes. During the summer months, for a variety of reasons, we enjoy a large number of pyrotechnic displays thanks to… Continue Reading “Pyrotechnics”