It is very nice that the pack ice in the driveway has finally melted as the sun hit down with power last weekend. Spring should be just around the corner. However, the good old Canadian winter has been the harshest in years and while I post this blog, in perfect timing, another winter storm has just blown in changing the landscape. I know there are a few amazingly motivated cyclists taking to the streets to sneak in a few kilometers even when the temperature does not rise above -5 C. I have seen your tweets. That’s not me, at least not any more. There was a time when I would train in those conditions, get dressed with layer upon layer while ensuring no body part was exposed except your eyes to see the direction your heading into the drifting snow. It seems like inevitably one of two things would freeze up first; feet or hands. Technology and development of cycling products designed to deal with this problem have given us some pretty good options. Honestly, I have not jumped in yet. Bring on the warm weather please! For those who are off to Arizona, the Carolinas, California or for those who live in one of these warmer climates; I am envious.
It is the first time in years that I have taken to the gym, pumping a few kilos on the squat rack, hamstring curls, leg raises and all the rest of the routine. Thirty years has passed since I was at my peak strength, however, it feels good to make some gains after all this time. (believe me they are small) What I am hoping is that instead of doing the km’s in -10 to -5 weather, the extra effort I have made in the gym will seamlessly transition into a big jump ahead once I hit the road. I am not kidding myself that the gym work will replace the hours you can do on the road, although, I can’t wait to get rolling outside under sane weather conditions. The indoor trainer is good for a while but personally I loose inspiration quickly. Through all the maintenance madness of trying to stay fit, it really helps to have a goal whether it is sanctioned races, fondo style events, triathlons, or charity fundraisers.
I am really looking forward to our Signature Tours to the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France this year. Last year while riding the big cols, I was re-inspired to get back in the groove of a regular program of road cycling. A lot of years passed by and now I was the beginning to really enjoy spending time on the bike once more and nothing beats the feeling of being healthy and fit. The road ahead is so much more enjoyable when you can set pace and roll the kilometers out hour after hour. If you want a great goal to train for; how about the Stelvio pass in the Dolomites or Port de Bales in the Pyrenees? We have some spectacular trips planned so consider joining me on Tour this summer. We will have a great time!