Yesterday was one of rest and relaxation ie no cycling. However, I managed to clear a lot of administrative stuff and ready myself for the onslaught involved in the renewal of cycling licences. This year, thank goodness, I will be flying solo, and using my own (foolproof) system.
On a regular basis my coach programmes an hour-long ride in a fasted state. Allegedly, a tried and tested method for increasing fat burning. This may work for finely tuned athletes but I’m more of a dromedary (two-humped camel) and it takes more than an hour’s exercise to stir my adipose. However, I’m always willing to give it a go.
Bearing in mind my rather sluggish riding over the week end, I elected to ride one of my regular circuits. When I first managed to ride up this, 2 1/2 years ago, it took me 75 minutes. I gradually chipped away at the time until, at the beginning of this year, I went under the hour with 59 minutes and 32 seconds. Thanks to my training programme, I have over the last 6 months reduced this further by, give or take, 4 minutes.
Mind you, I nearly didn’t make it at all. First off one of my elderly neighbours shot out from in front of the bus, right into my path, as I was descending the Domaine. Luckily for her I had slowed on account of said bus, which was picking up rather than dropping off passengers. Generally, I find the elderly to be a little hard of hearing so, given that racing bikes don’t have bells, I shouted “Attention” (Watch out!). She looked taken aback and I imagined that my ears would be burning at that afternoon’s bridge session when she recounted how she had nearly been mown down by the speeding, mad, English woman.
Next hurdle was at the first set of traffic lights where I took the left hand filter to turn left however, the Parisian registered Audi TT, on my inside, in the same lane, decided to go straight on. While I was signalling my intentions, he was not. Another close shave and I’d only gone 2km!
I headed on up the hill past La Colle sur Loup and towards St Paul de Vence where I encountered hazard number three. I had slowed just past the roundabout to enable a coach party of tourists to cross the road. As they headed towards St Paul an oncoming group unaccountably stepped off the curb and into my bit of the road. Figuring that English might be a wiser option, I opted for ” Watch where you’re going” and they hopped smartly back onto the pavement.
Maybe it was the three brushes with mortal injury, or more probably plenty of bumps and bruises, that got my adrenaline racing. Despite the setbacks, I realized I could be on for a new, best time ever. And so it was. I reached the end of my circuit in a time of 51 minutes and 4 seconds. I should have more off days!