Back on track

We all need goals and I’m not talking football here. I’m  saying we all need something to aim for whether at work or play. I’ve been a bit slack the past year or so with not having any major cycling event as an objective. Instead, it’s been a bit vague and woolly. I just want to ride better. By that I mean quicker and with improved technique.

As you know, I’m not overly keen on mass events. I’ve love to do L’Etape du Tour with a group of 50 or so like minded individuals, with full team support. Sadly, this isn’t going to happen any time soon. As a consequence, I’ve plumped for an uphill time-trial as this year’s goal. Largely because last year’s lanterne rouge was way slower than me. Of course, and I didn’t think to check, he might have had a mechanical. I saw the times turned in by the ladies, all young enough to be my daughters, and I know there’s no way I can get even near to their last-placed finisher. So, I’ll most probably be the female lanterne rouge and most definitely, la doyenne. Chances are all the ladies will be given cups just for turning up. It’s the only way I’m going to get one.

Of necessity, a time-trial restricts the number of riders on any given part of the road though, given my snail-like pace, I’m sure to be overtaken by many. I shan’t count it’ll be too depressing. When I set this objective back in January, it was so far off I promptly forgot about it. It’s now only two months away and I’m having a bit of a panic.You have to remember that this is my most oft ridden Col and where I was once embarrassingly overtaken by someone running – uphill, not down.

Actually, I have no idea of the exact date of the event or whether its even being held this year. Events do have a habit of dropping off the calendar but I’m assuming a) it’s taking place and b) I’ll be here to take part. If not, I’ll just keep prevaricating won’t I?

Of course, having been given a good work out by my boys over the past two weeks or so I am feeling in pretty reasonable shape but, since this is all uphill, I really need to step up the weight reduction programme which has stalled somewhat in recent months.

Back in late April, I recorded my best ever time for an ascension of Col de Vence but I’ve not been able to improve on that, until now. Having ridden the hill so often, my split times are engraved in my elephantine memory. This week, my coach set me the task of riding three times up the first part of the hill. I was to progressively increase my speed at each attempt, something I wasn’t too sure I could do. I could and managed to significantly improve my time by the third attempt. Subconsciously I must have been riding slower on the two previous attempts? Well, no, I was on record setting pace both times.Okay, I didn’t ride the entire hill but I’m sure we’ll be working up to this over the coming weeks. Meanwhile, this Sunday’s ride takes us up and over the Col. I’ll be ready.

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