I’m back and training is underway

I’ve had a whirlwind couple of weeks in Adelaide, South Australia where I got 700km of sunny training in but now I’m back to grey, drizzly Manchester where the character building rides continue and my newly acquired suntan fades.

If you’ve never been to Adelaide, I dare you to go. It’s got the best riding in Australia and the Mount Lofty Ranges are about 5km from the city. There’s seriously nothing like it and you’ll easily work up over 1000m of climbing in little over 50km before you know it. You’ll get used to early morning rides to beat the heat and your balmy afternoons will roll into beautiful beach-side sunsets. It’s the place I call home and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Enough dreaming, I’m now back in Manchester and I’m beginning to plan the next 20 weeks of my life. That’s right, dear reader, just 20 weeks lie between me and the start of The Transcontinental Race. It seems like yesterday I spewed my thoughts about it being 200 days away but that was in fact about two months ago.

Training proper

I’ve just signed up to my first Audax which will be Scouting Mam Tor on 12 March. I’ve actually never done an Audax before so this will be my first taste of events to come. As I’ve mentioned, I’m already on the start list for London-Wales-London and Bryan Chapman Memorial but they’re not until April and May respectively. It’s likely this event will extend to 300km by the time I’ve ridden to the start and from the finish – typical!

The Adventure Syndicate is running a training camp in Yorkshire in April which will no doubt set my body and mind alight. Emily is partially responsible for my signing up to the TCR so I dare say she will ignite more ideas when she talks me up hills in the Dales.

Today I paid for my entry to Ride the Trafalgar Way and yes, I’m doing the Colossus edition which is 500km with just shy of 6000m of climbing. Seriously, I would never have considered anything like this even 12 months ago so the fact I long for rides that are crazier than the last is testament to my mental state right now I think. I’m officially losing the plot.

Some other events that are on my radar but not yet confirmed/paid for:

  • Yr Elenydd – 300km from Shrewsbury
  • Rapha Celtic Crossing – my cycling club is organising a ride from Manchester to Liverpool where we will get the ferry to Belfast, ride down to Dublin, ferry back to Holyhead and ride back to Manchester
  • Asparagus & Strawberries – 400km from Colchester
  • 3 Coasts – 600km from Halifax which looks brutal and there’s also a similar distance East and West Coasts event with the same event organisers which cuts one loop out but the distance is the same
  • National 400km – as the name states from Shrewsbury
  • Amesbury Amble – 300km from London

That pretty much takes me up to the week before TCR. In addition to this, I’ll be doing my normal club rides and big back-to-back days with any luck with my bike as I intend to use it for the race. I need to get used to my setup and trial lots of options before I make a final decision on what to take.

My adventure rig

Keep Pedalling are being absolute gems of humans sorting out my bits and bobs for my bike. I should have everything setup by the end of next week so keep your eyes peeled for some pics and perhaps a follow up post to this explaining everything. It involves a new wheelset, USB charger and lights. It’s all very exciting and my Propel will look like a new woman by the time Rich and Shona have finished with her.

And the rest

I’ve sewn the seed with Laura for some warm-weather riding soon. As I’m sure most of you are aware, England doesn’t do warm weather very often and certainly not in April/May when it’ll make a difference to my training. With Laura currently in Canada, she’s all but going crazy with their snowy weather at the moment so I think it would be a good morale boost for us both if we rode together somewhere that requires sunglasses, shorts and unzipped jerseys. If anyone has any thoughts on Girona, do get in touch. I’ve found some flights at an absolute steal so just need to fill in a few blanks before booking.

Other races

A quick sidenote to say you should all tune into the Indian Pacific Wheel Race which begins on 18 March. It starts in Fremantle and Ends in Sydney and the route is probably the most challenging out there because it involves crossing the Nullabor! Ones to watch: Kristof Allegaert, Mike Hall, Sarah Hammond, Jesse Carlsson and also my friend Sam Jeffries (absolute hitter!).


Photo credit: Maximillian Hardy

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