Over the last few winters a pattern has occurred, I can’t ride my bike as it’s too cold/wet/dark/icy… I feel miserable as spring seems so far away and I start reminiscing about warm summer days on the bike and how I miss it. So to motivate myself to keep riding I say to myself “mmm if I have a cycling adventure to look forward to it will keep me training over the next few dreary months”.
On a bleak Sunday in January this year I decided that cycling across France would be a pretty awesome cycling trip. I like an adventure but unlike a lot of intrepid explorers who’re willing to camp and carry their own gear I like a comfortable adventure, which means a warm bed and luggage transfers. I decided to use a company called Peak tours and luckily for me one of my cycling buddies Jo decided she’d join me on my trip.
We trained as much as we could, which for me, working Mon-Fri was usually restricted to weekends! But I go to the gym during the week and over the months we increased our distances, would ride Saturday and Sunday and find as many hills as we could on our routes. September came around all too quickly and I felt I’d over eaten and undertrained as we arrived in Portsmouth for the ferry to Caen.
14 days, 874 miles and 65,533ft climbing later…We had an awesome trip there were mountains that I was dreading, as I’m built for descending not ascending, but to my surprise I loved them!! Sometimes we’d be climbing up for miles but they were long gradual climbs with switchbacks and just the odd short steep section. The descents were breathtaking! I even managed to do Mount Ventoux, which believe me were words I never thought would pass my lips.
I embraced every minute of my trip, even the dark moments when tiredness and my sense of humor was left on the last hill. I’m not super fit, or the fastest cyclist, I’m just an ordinary middle aged women who loves cycling and I feel so lucky every time I swing my leg over “ Doris” ( my bike ) and ride off for 5 or 500 miles, every pedal stroke to me is the start of an adventure.
In my next blog entry I’ll give you my top tips for doing a supported cycling adventure.