I've been pretty useless at blogging the past few weeks. Real life is catching up, work, bills, family and all that stuff! Cycling has taken a little bit of a back foot as I've managed to run my self down a bit and catch a virus of some sort. Its been one of those annoying ones, no proper illness, puking up, flem or any of the good stuff, just head aches and tiredness. The most boring sort of illness it has to be said!
So for that reason I decided not to race at 24/12 this past weekend. 24hour racing is pretty savage at the best of times so racing at under 100% is just asking for trouble. I also wanted to avoid the massive fatigue hole you get after a 24. Don't worry I'm not going all soft and avoiding the pain... I just want to save it for another massive effort later in the season.
I've been living in Brighton for just about 4 months now and am enjoying the amazing trails which criss cross the area. However the best days out are the long days out on the South Downs. You can't beat it, the feeling of being on top of the world as you look down on the English Channel to the south, the white chalk cliffs reflecting the sun and the flat plains to the north as far as the eye can see. For some reason I always feel very patriotic riding the downs. I can just imagine Hurricanes attacking the German air raids back in world war 2, and the iconic British imagery of the cliffs and the seafronts of the seaside towns just emphasises it. I also love the fact that you are going somewhere. One of my favourite rides of the year was to Eastbourne and Back. Normally training rides involve a set time. Riding the downs doesn't, you just pick a location, ride there then turn around and ride back.
Its for these reasons that I'm going to expand my horizons as an endurance rider. 24hour races are all well and good. I enjoy them, I love the competition and trying to win (even if I'm not quite there yet!) Deep down though I crave some adventure. One of the best parts of training in the mountains of Spain over winter was the isolation and exposure of the rides. I guess knowing that you are on your own in the middle of know where, with limited option for help if something goes wrong is thrilling. Its for these reasons that I've decided to take on the South Downs Double . I'm going to attempt it Alpine style, carrying all my food and equipment for the 200mile ride. The attempt is still a few months away but already I'm planning and excited.
I have the rest of the summer to learn the route, the tap locations and work out my pacing and feeding strategy and if there happens to be a record to be broken then I guess that'll just fuel the competitive side of my personality!
Right, time to put some tunes on the I pod and go riding, here's a good smashing along the south downs tune...