Saturday, 24 August 2013

So much for that plan then...

Wow, it's all over now and I didn't get a chance to blog anything!

Huge days on the bike meant there was little chance to think let along type anything. Up at six am for breakfast at seven, then role out at eight to hit the trails. Ride like an absolute beast until six pm, fix your bike, shower, and sort your kit until dinner at seven thirty. After dinner came a de-brief and run through of the next day before hitting your sleeping bag at about 10pm.

Exhausting week but so much fun.  I'll post up some pictures and other stuff over the next few days.


Thursday, 15 August 2013

Trans-Savoie Race Preparation

Two more sleeps to go until I leave for the Trans-Savoie Race in France.

Trans-Savoie : The Evolution of All-Mountain Multi-Day Enduro

A six day Enduro Mountain Bike Race of around 250Km with 20+ timed stages comprising 20,000+meters of descent with 5,000+meters of ascent on 100% Technical Alpine Singletrack.

"All riders will ride the course unprepared and unseen, therefore the skill of riding-on-sight is essential to a successful completion of the event."

This is the inaugural event so there is no first hand experience or reviews to read... but the statistics are almost breathtaking.

"Think "Megavalanche", plus a fair amount of climbing, in one morning's riding. Then repeat for the afternoon, and 6 days in a row."

"Each day of the Trans Savoie is close to the equivalent racing time and descent of nearly 2-3 consecutive rounds of a UK gravity Enduro series... back to back for six days"

I'm one 70 riders lucky enough to be taking part; there are pro athletes like 6 time winner of the MegaAvalanche Rene Wildhaber, and UK Gravity Enduro champion Neil Donoghue, through to folk like me.

I'm rather excited.

The "riding-on-sight" and hugely long alpine descent stages are the aspects of the race which really appeal to me, and having a definite goal "event" for the year has focused my attention and got me motivated to ride in a way that has been missing from my life in the past few years.

Preparation wise I'm in the best bike shape I've been in for 10+ years; mostly from cycling to work at 5am via the local hills... why go the direct route when you can double the distance and hit four big hills on the way? I've been using STRAVA as a tool to ensure I'm working as hard as I can and I've seen my times tumble as my fitness has improved.

This summer has been great for biking in the North East of Scotland and the local forests and trails have recovered from what was the wettest winter I can remember. Due to having the two wee boys (6 & 7) I've fitted my riding in around their needs so most of my riding time has been spent on my own rather than in the groups with which I like to ride. It's nothing personal folks and I miss the company and banter of my friends, but it has allowed me to focus my riding, and hence my training, on going hard at things with few stops.

I've also used my training time to hit some of my favourite Scottish Mountain Epic's... as fast evening rides... with my focus being on few stops and riding the descents top-to-bottom to get used to how the arm pump and fatigue is going to feel. Lochnagar circuit in 3hrs 20mins and the Muick-Mayar route may never be done again... I'm proud of those.

With two days to go I feel I've done as much as I can to ensure I have a great time and am able to ride the Trans-Savoie without regrets that I should have trained more. Performance wise my aim is to ride sensibly(!... like I always do) and get through the event and see how well I've done at the end. I don't have to remind myself that last week was my 43rd birthday and my wife and boys are relying on me to be able to feed them at the end of the week... so "ride smart and don't bin it" will be my motto!

I'm starting this Blog with the plan to post updates over the week of the race.

Did I say I was excited?