Usually in October I slip seamlessly into my 3/4 bib shorts and long-sleeved jersey but I’m still riding in shorts and a short-sleeved jersey and it’s almost November. Okay, I have on occasion worn arm warmers for the first part of my ride and on some descents I’ve worn a sleeveless gilet, but otherwise the weather’s been such that no further adornment has been necessary. I’m therefore blind to the blandishments of the virtues of winter cycling wear as extolled by the various manufacturers during our continuing Indian Summer.
To be fair, it never gets too cold on the Cote d’Azur and my 3/4 thermal bib-shorts with a zip-up bodice, rather than suspenders, see me through all but the coldest of winter days. Only if it’s absolutely necessary will I manfully struggle into my bib-tights, double layered jacket, thin full-fingered gloves and wool rather than cotton socks. My extremities rarely get cold. I always have hot hands – ruinous for pastry – and hot feet. Of course, I rarely venture out if it’s raining or if it’s below 10C.
I’m still slogging around my regular routes and admiring the scenery. It’s sometimes an uphill (literally) struggle as I’ve yet to recover my former fitness. My doctor has suggested supplementing my cycle training with some Yoga. I’ve never tried this but my former personal assistant, now a highly regarded yoga teacher in LA, looks uber fabulous for her age so perhaps it’s time to give it a whirl. Classes in France are not expensive so I may opt for some private tuition, to avoid embarrassing myself, before joining a class. I want to regain some of my former suppleness which has been slip, slipping away this past year or so. Sadly, I can no longer do the splits!
My beloved, who’s still to recover all his former hip flexibility following his broken leg, is keener to try Pilates rather than Yoga. However, I can’t but feel that a mixture of the two might be more beneficial, particularly during the winter months when we’re occasionally constrained from riding quite as much. Of course, some of this reduced flexibility may well be due to my advancing years but I’m not about to give in without a struggle.
To mix up my training regimen, I occasionally go for a run (aka jog) along the sea front. Yesterday, loads of people jogged past me while I was sprinting between the lamp-posts. I was feeling a tad discouraged until I remembered that the Nice to Cannes marathon is this week-end and people would’ve been out training in earnest, wouldn’t they? I keep meaning to take part in another marathon, my one and only was London 1994. The passage of time has dimmed the pain and maybe, if I start training now, I’ll be in good enough shape in 2018 to tackle the one from Nice to Cannes? I briefly ponder this question most years but still haven’t gotten around to doing anything about it. The issue is how will I find time to ride, run and do Yoga? Answers in the comments section below, please!