The bike is back from maintenance. Last long training ride took place last weekend. Resting now, just spinning on the indoor trainer, getting my legs ready for some heavy gradient. All my cycling gear is packed. Enough energy drinks and snacks to feed the peloton of Grand Tour. Ready to go. Mont Ventoux is the destination.
This will be the first of this year’s challenges and I suspect the easiest. Easy being relative, the route I have chosen to climb Ventoux will be long and it is going up but the gradients are kind.
I said that before, though.
The motivation is also to enjoy this climb. Of course it will hurt at some point but I intend to take more on on this climb. Taking pictures, this time! Not just of the barren top of Ventoux but the green slopes, probably too early to see any lavender blossom but one can always hope.
Still, no matter how leisurely, its good to be prepared. A lot of long distance rides, more recently using the indoor trainer to get my legs a little used to tougher gradients. A lot of other exercise this time, get my back in good shape and also strengthen the shoulders. Alongside this, I have been making use of my cross-country bike to improve agility. Well, that’s the theory. Fact is I am still wretchedly slow at cross-country cycling (hipper to call it gravel-grinding, I hear) but that doesn’t matter. Just different disciplines, working to be a little more agile. Enjoying it as well, isn’t that the point? I will never be a racer!
Even had some massage this time to help me be a little looser. Worked for Liege-Bastogne-Liege last year! Makes me feel like a real athlete, that does!
Italy later in June there will be the tougher test. This side of Ventoux is still mentally important to me and physically it will be a good warm-up for the insanity that is coming in at the end of June. Stelvio and Mortirolo. Weather allowing, stiff tests. More on those another time.
Time to enjoy it. This is challenge but it is also the start Phase one of my training schedule. A good start. Loosening up, ready for the real work later in June.
Italy will be on the horizon.