With just five days to go before the big off, the training, weirdly, takes a backwards step as we started to dial down the sheer number of miles and hills we do in training. It’s good to avoid stress and injuries before the ride otherwise, 231 miles in the saddle wouldn’t be comfortable or enjoyable.
Last Sunday saw us take in a familiar route around South West Manchester, cutting across Tatton Park was a nice part to the day, but the main objective was to keep the legs moving so the pace wasn’t exactly going to set records. Well that’s what the plan was! With new tyres and proper cycling shoes with pedals, when I entered Wythenshawe, I started turning into a young Jens Voigt, as the pace started to increase. It was surprising that with all the training done on mountain bike tyres and shoes that don’t clip in, how much these modifications allow you to go faster and become more efficient whilst cycling.
Whilst the Sunday ride allowed us to keep the legs going, it was actually last night’s (Wednesday) ride that had a training element that you couldn’t factor in at some times of the year, but will be vital when it comes to our ride. I am of course talking about when the temperature gets close to freezing! The night’s ride saw us start in temperatures around five degrees and by the time we were getting to the end of the ride it was closer to zero.
With the nights drawing in and the sun getting lower in the sky, we are going to be experiencing these types of temperatures on our ride and it’s something that we are going to have to grin and bear and push through. With cold weather leggings and numerous layers we thought we had tackled the cold well, however, we were mistaken as our toes suddenly felt like that had gone missing.
Despite the cold weather, the three of us who were out; myself, Darren and Richard, found that the ride was good to stretch the legs again, but was even better at building our confidence of riding together. We were also able to have a chat about the ride and how we are going to get through each day.
With the ride being in less than a week and countdown in full swing, it was a good confidence boost that after 26 miles, I felt fresh enough to continue, so thankfully the training seems to be paying off and has got me well and truly ready for the start.
As we close in on doing our bit, we ask if you could be kind enough and do a bit as well, and it does only need to be a bit, but every pound you donate goes towards the great charity that is Mission Motorsport and will help Race, Retrain and Recover our great injured soldiers. All you have to do is follow the link below.
We shall see you at the start point…and at the chequered flag too.
Written By Robert Lee (@RobLee559 – Twitter/Instagram)