This time in seven weeks the big ride will be complete…well hopefully! As I plan the next 48 days of training, I’ve been reflecting on how far I’ve come since saying ‘yes’ to becoming part of the Marmotte-Gorilla crew and also far is still to go, and I don’t only mean the 21 zigzagging hairpins of Alpe D’Huez.
I’ve always been aware of the need to keep energy levels up during a ride however my emphasis on keeping my body fuelled has increased as the number of long training rides has upped in my preparation for The Marmotte. My training rides have significantly increased over the last few months so I’ve been testing out different food/energy supply strategies.
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Over the last couple of years, my winter training has included a fair few sessions on the turbo trainer. Many of my cycling pals find the idea of sitting on your bike in the ‘turbo cave’ totally unappealing and would much rather switch to a mountain bike, brave the weather or reduce the amount of time in the saddle over the winter months.
As we move into March, supposedly springtime, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my winter training.
My winter training officially started in October. When the clocks changed the long bib tights came out and the winter wheels were donned. Although there were some lovely fresh autumnal days, on the whole it was time to hit the garage and forget about average speeds and start focusing on form, fitness and strength.
Every cyclist needs goals, something to aim for, a purpose for getting on the bike. Goals can come in a variety of forms and my Gorilla Bike Girl goals are likely to be very different from the rest of my cycling pals.
Up until the spring of 2016 I was a lone ranger through and through. That’s probably not entirely true as I’d ride regularly with my husband and on the odd occasion with one or two others. But on the whole, I tended to cycle the country roads by myself.
It’s not that there aren’t any cycle clubs near me, there’s plenty. I’m also not a ‘billy no mates’, honestly I have friends and plenty of them would invite me out. Due to slight laziness of not wanting to get up on a Sunday morning combined with the insecurity question of ‘will I be able to keep up?’, I’ve tended to go it alone.
A few months ago my sister tagged me in a competition to become a Pearl Izumi Champion. What’s this you ask, I asked myself the same too!
The cycling brand and tour series hosts, were on the lookout for cycling enthusiasts from all rides of life to become their brand advocates and represent them. They weren’t after the next Chris Froome to join the team but cyclists of all levels, across different disciplines but all devoted to two wheels and up for inspiring others about it.
What do most people do with a week’s annual leave in October? Jump on the first long-haul flight from Heathrow? Get a week in the sun to try and prevent the onset of winter? Not the Gorilla Bike Girl and her hubby. We head to Wales to start the winter base miles and get in a spot of hill climbing!
For lots of cyclists, Sunday’s are about mapping out a route, clocking up the miles, having a coffee and generally hanging out with a bunch of mates on two wheels. What’s not to love? But this particular Sunday ride in mid-September was going to be something us Gorilla riders were never going to forget. A Sunday morning ride with Team Wiggins. Yes Team Wiggins! Bring it on!