A Three Day Adventure

The mentality:

With the race season only 3 months away and Calpe less then a week, at this time of the year the training is very serious and the numbers become very important. This weekend could be my last opportunity for a while to go on an adventure, chill out and just enjoy the ride. A chance to clear my head before the long race season ahead.

The plan:

Inspired by Thereabouts. 3 days. 3 epic rides. Nothing more than what I can carry.

What I packed:

I’ve managed to borrow a pannier off a friend, so at least I will be able to take a few things. But starting with the essentials. I’ve got all the usual stuff, phone, phone charger, keys, toothbrush and chamois cream (provided by Crotch Guard). Then in the back pockets of my jersey I keep my Castelli rain cape and some gloves in case of emergencies. But I am gonna try and keep the kit to a minimum. It is looking like the British weather is going to be nice to me, so I will be riding Thereabouts style. As to say. Casual.

I will chuck a few tshirts, some trackies and a shirt in the paniers and then I should have covered all bases. But the key here is to not be stuck in normal training routines. Let go and just enjoy the ride!

Day 1:

118km | 4.5hr

The purpose of this adventure was to clear my head from the isolation and stress of the last week. In rΓ©flexion. 4.5hrs solo isn’t the best way to get away from those kind of things. I basically put myself in a boxing ring with my own mind for the whole ride. The last week I haven’t wanted to train. I always seem to respond that way to rest weeks. It takes away all my drive and brings out some bad emotions. My resting hr rose about 10 beats throughout the week, I’m assuming through stress, it certainly wasn’t from training! I’ll be honest and say that.

I had the same feelings this morning. But I got out and did it…and I didn’t enjoy any of it. But at least at the other end I knew some very good friends were waiting. And without that I would have gone back to bed. And hey, it was the start of an adventure!

That’s enough of that though. I made it.

Three Day Adventure Day 1 - 1Three Day Adventure Day 1 - 2Three Day Adventure Day 1 - 3

Check out the ride here

Day 2:

100km | 3.5hrs

Slight change of plan, we stayed up later than expected last night and definitely didn’t fancy a 7am start. So we drove to the Twenty3c for the monthly shop ride instead of riding. This does me I am 50km down on what i was wanting to do, but it was a necessary evil.

It’s nice to catch up with all the shop guys, I haven’t seen them all in a while. We rolled round for 45km, enjoying the crisp morning, taking in the lanes and chatting crap about bike racing. How it should be. We then headed back into the warmth of the shop for coffee and a spot of lunch. Explaining my plans for next year to James, and reminiscing on last years Calpe antics with Queen Hoops.

After a lengthy stop. I headed back into the cold for the 55km back to Letchworth. Much to my disappointment, it was not the tailwind I was hoping for, but once again, a dirty dirty headwind. Another two hour slog.

Apart from a brief encounter with a dual carriageway, so very very busy very very straight road through Milton Keynes and a few attacks up some steep bergs, the ride was quite uneventful. Just me getting my head down and tapping it out. One more big days to go.

But now…beer?


Check out the ride here

Day 3:

25km | 1.5hrs

Like Friday, the second I started this ride I was straight back in the ring. Except this time I got hit with a knock out punch in the first round. My body felt fine, legs were turning just as usual. But my head just didn’t want to ride. REALLY didn’t want to ride. And I didn’t fancy another depressing 4hr slog home, so I cracked and called for a lift. This weekend, this adventure was meant to break the ice, clear my head for what was to come. Instead it has just made everything worse. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t want anything to do with my bike, it’s been a while.

It’s been a tough week, and it turns out riding long days without any numbers isn’t the answer. To be totally honest I miss the numbers and the graphs. I like them.

Option two will start tomorrow. Away from the bike. Hopefully that’ll draw me back in after a day or two and all the negativity will have vanished. That’s all I can hope anyway. I’ve had enough with the stress. I just want to enjoy my training again, care free. I’m sure it will happen. These things just take time…



To Conclude:

This hasn’t been how I wanted this week or weekend adventure to go. I reckon you gathered that. But sometimes things don’t go to plan. I will get over it. My drive and determination will come back. Hopefully before I head off to Calpe on Saturday. I can be free, leave Ipswich behind and live the life for a month. Focus on the training and just enjoying it. That is what will really sort me out. Not some big long ride in the gritty lanes of Suffolk, Essex and Hertfordshire. Thats not the kind of thing I live for. But bigger and better adventures are coming! Just you wait!