Listening to the Boo Radleys this evening and recovering from today’s ride. Was out for about four hours although I ended up spending some time in a cycle shop, De Ver Cycles in Streatham, where I put down the deposit on my new bike and weapon of choice for the Etape.
I’ve gone for the 2005 Giant T-mobile Hybrid on the grounds that, at the price it’s at, it represents incredible value and pretty much everything I need: a triple, a light part-carbon frame, Shimano 105 throughout. With the money I’ve saved on the list price I’ll be able to afford a Specialized Alias saddle, some decent Look or Shimano SPD-SL pedals and some Specialized BG shoes to complete my kit. Here’s a picture of the creature which I’ll be picking up next weekend probably.
Yes there’s those who will say that the colour scheme is a bit “strong” but I’m not going to be looking at it when I’m riding. It will probably go quite well with my black Rapha top which has a similar-coloured trim.
Back to my ride, I overslept and didn’t get out until late due to a broken shower which needs fixing. The plan was to head out to Box Hill but plans went awry so I put in four laps of Richmond Park at about a 25 minute lap average. Not particularly quick but consistent. I’m still struggling with getting the miles in at the moment, at least in my head. I just don’t feel like I am improving in terms of fitness, even if I possibly am.
Certainly I don’t feel like I am getting any quicker up the hills. I’m still stuck on a fairly sedate 16kph or so up most things that are more than a bump. Nor have I mastered “honking” (riding out of the saddle) without finding that my heart rate races right up. As I’ve said before, sitting back and digging in are going to be crucial to my attempt at the mountains. On the flat I’m going a bit quicker so at least I can work on putting plenty of kilometres between me and the broom wagon before I hit the Izoard.
On the plus side a chat with my friend Olly, who is far more knowledgeable on cycling than me and whose father was a pro, revealed that Mario Cipollini was a smoker throughout his career. This would probably explain the annual ritual of him abandoning the Tour De France at the first sign of serious mountains.
Olly also told me that his dad used to train with lead weights on his wheels so that come the start of the season he would feel he was flying. I’m carrying enough extra weight as it is so have no need of the weights at present.