Monday 4th July
Less celebration (for our American bretheren) and more survival (for me) after a tough weekend of training, running around and eating/drinking too much. Need to knock that on the head over the next few months for sure... the eating and drinking I mean.
Cue a recovery ride with the CycleSport Pendle kids, including my 10 year old - a new regular Monday night club run for the kids based around the picturesque Leeds-Liverpool canal marina at Foulridge. Quiet lanes, and a coffee after makes for a lovely easy ride. With hills. And a mad 400m long ford....
Tuesday 5th July
I've resolved to get more off road riding in this summer in the run up to the Peaks. The reasons for this are twofold - one to hone and develop my technical skills off road and secondly, to toughen myself up and condition my upper body.
Gym work feels like a bit of an anaethema, especially in summer, and in any case is not overly specific to the battering your body takes in the Peaks. So, plenty of bumpy off road battling is the key to get the strength and endurance required on race day.
I commuted to work on the cross bike with a cheeky off road section thrown in, but the main plan was a big ride home incorporating some good long road efforts at threshold and some technical riding in between. Cragg Quarrry and Lee Quarry in the Rossendale valley are premier mountain bike trail centres and not too rough for cross bikes too. Mostly.
My ride was cut short by user error - an untimely puncture in Cragg Quarry conspired with a valve of insufficient length compared to rim height to force me into a long jog/walk carry down to the Valley and a rescue call to Mark who kindly stuffed tea down to come and get me.
I shall be better prepared next time with the correct tubes and some CO2 canisters too.