Raring to go

I trust you all had a great time over the Festive period, I know I did. It was, even by our standards, relatively quiet, but that’s how I like it. In truth my beloved has been incredibly busy this year and I felt he deserved a few days off, being pampered even more than usual. I tell you that man is going to be sorely disappointed when he dies and goes to heaven.

The weather’s been truly spectacular, much warmer than the last two Christmas’s, so we’ve been out riding most days to wear off our calories consumed. A quick trip to the bathroom scales this morning has reassured me that this has been successful. We’ve also visited some of our favourite places along the coast, revelling in the festive atmosphere.  When you live here it’s all too easy to take the place for granted. I never want to fall into that trap. Instead I love singing the area’s praises to all and sundry, and encouraging people to come visit.

As I look fondly back on 2011, I have but one regret which I suppose isn’t too bad. In October 2010, I received details of a new sportif the “Haute Route”, 700km odd from Geneva to Nice, taking in some of the most iconic cols en route. I really wanted to take part. I knew I could cycle the parcours, the big question was whether I could do it in the time allowed. Would people wait or would I keep being ushered into the broom wagon?

Sitting in a cafe, enjoying a coffee in late August, I saw the band of 300 hardy souls ride the last few kilometres of their endeavours into Nice.  I even spotted a few ladies among them.  Places for this year’s event sold out within 8hours and now I know why. Eurosport featured it on television over the Xmas period. It looked spectacular, really well organised and, checking on the finishing times, I doubt I’d have been the slowest. If only……….

My coach has asked me what I’d like to do this year. I do feel I need a challenge, but cannot face one of those events which attract thousands of entrants. As usual, I’m going to take part in all the local sportifs and brevets, plus the individual time-trial up the Col de Vence. Participation in the Haute Route will have to wait until 2013, but it does give me something longer term to aim for.