Well, what can I say...... this has been my only real warm weather riding since signing up for TdF in October last year. It's been wonderful.
I arrived back in the UK on Thursday afternoon, 15th May. Here's what I have done in the 2.5 weeks at home. (I'm pretty tired, if you're asking!). And I know my cadence is a bit low, but I have discovered that as cadence goes up so does "rear-end pain"!
So in 19 days that's 2,000km and 20,000m .....thats about half the Tour de Force.... GULP!
According to Mr Garmin, since I started this training seriously this year I've completed: 5,000km, 45,000 metres ascent in 240 hrs. Oh, and I've burned 115,000 Calories...... how cool is that ? And...... I reckon I've done about an extra 1,600km on the Static Siberian Suffering Cycle........ oh how I will miss it after this has finished! NOT!!!!!
But...... what have I learnt?
1) I can ride 100km every day without any issues....forever. Really, I can. Hills are no problem, in fact I prefer them cos it gets you out of the seat and out of that **** saddle (see below for "too much detail" .... detail).
2) 150km isn't too bad but the backside feels it. 200km (or near) however is a different matter. The legs really tire the next day, and the bum (I know I mention it a lot, but trust me.... its a key part to long distance riding!) suffers. I have tried 3 different saddles. I have bought new bib shorts, 3 different brands! I have tried 2 pairs of shorts (on top of each other), I have invested heavily in chamois creme, sudocreme and savlon. I have even borrowed and then bought my own gel seat cover (which I intend to use for the first 50km's of every day). 160+ km's per day is serious when its day in day out....... oh yes! Don't believe me? Try it! Things change after 5 or 6 days......!!
3) Eating is definitely not cheating! The days of late rugby nights in the bar and calling out "Eating is cheating" when you snuck off for a crafty packet of crisps to try to absorb the alcohol....they are gone. Loooong gone! EAT EAT EAT..... RepEAT !!! 5-6,000 calories per day we'll be burning. Unfortnately I think late nights in the bar are also coming to an end. 1 or 2 to be polite, but that will have to do! Worrying, very worrying.
4) A days rest doesn't half make a difference! Oh why oh why oh why is the Time Trial this year on the penultimate day?! If only there were a nice short day on say day 6 or day 7.......... ho hum! The first 10 days are going to be tough. That days rest on day 11 is going to be heaven if we make it there. And the next just 5 days later! Glorious. It really is incredible what a day off can do. How these pro type blokes do this RACING day in day out I will never know. Respect is rising. Unfortunately my speed is definitely moving in an inversely proportional manner!!
5) I am not alone . I have read a few other blogs from the TdF group. Seems like we're all getting a bit nervous and wondering what we have committed to. Hmmmmmm. There are ups, there are downs....... both emotionally and physically (more ups than downs in France I hear!) but as I was told right at the start of this Undertaking "Goodness gracious me Greasby, this isn't a sponsored dog walk you're doing, is it?". And by goodness...... "Goodness Gracious" are definitely not the right words used!!
If you're reading this and want to sponsor me...... here's the link.... this is what it's all for. Helping underprivalaged kids find a decent direction in life. http://www.bmycharity.com/iangreasbytourdeforce
Thank you !!!