Happy new year everybody!
Things have been busy the past month or so. I've not been getting in as many long rides as I would like. The cold I picked up before the last round of the Brass Monkeys lasted a couple of weeks which meant I had to play things by ear regarding training. I've been fairly consistent though just lacking rides over 4hours.
I went on a road trip up north over the Christmas period. Before you say it know everywhere is up north from Brighton, but I did actually go to the proper up north where they all speak funny and the weather is crap! I visited fellow endurance racer Rich Rothwell for a few days riding. The plan was for Rich to show me a nice long techy ride out in the Northumberland fells.
Unfortunately as usual my visit coincided with horrific weather. Rich assures me that it is nice up north but I am yet to be convinced! The wind was so strong that we struggled to stay on our bikes, let alone ride the technical descents. As we ventured out from the woods and onto the fells the weather turned and pelted up with horizontal rain and hail. We decided to turn back rather than risk riding in such dangerous conditions. I was a shame but it also meant that we could get a curry sooner!
The following day the wind was a little more pleasant, but still damn strong! We headed out on the road bikes for a tough 50mile loop similar to last years national road race championships. As expected the weather was crap for the first 45mins and both Rich and I cursed rain and wind and each other for being stupid enough to ride in it. Eventually the sun did make and appearance... just in time for the big climbs!
Rich is skinny even by my standards and took great pleasure in telling me how much I would 'enjoy' the steep climbs. I wasn't convinced but was up for it anyway. We rode up the climbs pretty hard and I managed not to get dropped, an achievement I was quite happy with (even of it did take riding at 400watts!). It shows that my focus on riding steep climbs is paying off and I am getting stronger which is pleasing.
Since the new year has begun I have fitted in a few long rides but my efforts have been thwarted by yet another cold. Luckily it only lasted a few days so hopefully the big rides will come more often. I have also booked 10 days training in Gran Caneria at the beginning of February which will allow me to get in a nice big block of training and more importantly a good sun tan before the big races begin!
2012 will also see me move on from the Torq Performance team. It was a great year on the team and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the team. However I decided to do my own thing for this season to allow me to focus on my endurance racing/riding goals.
I will make a full announcement later in the month but for now here is a clue to some of my new sponsors...