Having started the year well, with my highest ever mileage of 692 miles, I got my come uppance, being laid low with some virus or other, necessitating a week in bed followed by a few weeks with a cough.
Thus, a ruined February and a substantial set back to my training schedule.
However, I struggled through valiantly and managed to do the penultimate Reliability Ride of the series of five towards the end of February, riding out the 12 miles to the start at Pool, cycling the 50 miles from Pool to Kirkby Malzeard and back to Boroughbridge, then the eight miles home for a total of around 70 miles.
Another few rides the following week, got me to 332 miles, the lowest February total for many a year.
Most of the end of February was lost, in any event, to our (Wetherby Musical Theatre Group) production of The Full Monty - one of the best shows we have ever presented and being a sell out virtually every day and, as promised, you got to see me without my Lycra (and without very much else, at one point!).
Desperate times call for desperate measures, as they say, so (at my wife’s suggestion, I would stress) it was off at short notice to the South of France for two weeks’ training. What a timely decision.
With only one day of rain, the rest of the fortnight was warm (up to 20c at one point), wall to wall sunshine, albeit slightly breezy.
Lots of lengthy hills to help prepare me for the coming summer’s trials and tribulations and a wondrous lack of traffic.
On two occasions, I counted stretches of 23 miles with only one car passing me and 26 miles with four cars.
When I wasn’t counting cars, I was admiring the views over the mountains to one side and the azure blue sea to the other - really cannot see why anyone loves the St Tropez area!
Cycling shorts and short sleeved top, with high factor sun screen were the order of the day.
Deciding to have a leisurely drive back, I missed an extra day or two and settled for 450 miles - very pleased with that.
Due to prior commitments immediately upon returning home, I have had an enforced week of recovery, although I managed to get to the gym/boot camp at Wetherby pool, a few times, early in the morning.
Looking ahead to April, I’ve got a Time Trial up Cragg Vale, near Halifax, the longest single hill road in England.
This will be followed by the annual GHS ride from Lotherton Hall to Beverley and back, via Pocklington and Fridaythorpe on the way out and Holme-on-Spalding-Moor and Riccal on the way back.
That’s a total of 100 miles to be completed in eight hours, which seems simple, except that the time includes a stop at Burnby Hall in Pocklington and lunch in Beverley.
We usually end up with an average of some 17/18 mph (the faster guys are usually well ahead of that), with, almost invariably, a headwind all the way back.
Alternative, and shorter, distances of 65 and 80 miles can be undertaken if anyone prefers (and many do) - in, of course, a shorter time.
So, it’s back to the grind and, with the days getting longer, the weather milder and, hopefully staying dry, longer rides will be the order of the day.
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