Gravity Never Lies
The story of my 2013 Euro trip begins... Today’s interesting, yet startling revelation: consuming a plethora of Italian wine and cuisine doesn’t help you train to ride faster up mountains. First ride today in Munster (Alsace region) had a bit of an unplanned start. After descending from the hotel I got stung by a bee, then, my iPod battery died. At this point, I could either a) have my throat swell up and have no music to pull me through the day’s upcoming torture OR b) return to the hotel... So, the decision was made – back to the hotel I went, ascending some 700 meters up a 5km climb so I could deal with a bee sting and a dead battery.
Once the swelling had subsided and the battery charged, I was back out the door, descending to the D417 so I could start the 18km ascent of Col de la Schulcht. I have to say, after not really training much since my last Euro trip in 2011, I have sorely slipped out of form which was most certainly evident during my ascent. Finally reaching the second summit, I decided to further the sufferfest by heading south on the Routes des Cretes to summit Le Grand Ballon. Once there, I turned around and started my descent to Markstein where I stopped at a cafe and asked for une banane – which they found comical, probably wondering why I didn’t want a pastry or a Red Bull...
Continuing onward, I climbed up to Col du Platzerwasel where I once again descended, reaching speeds of 81 km/h finding my way back to Munster before making my final ascent up to Hotel Panorama in Hohrodberg. Last climb of the day was a doozey. Yes, I had ridden over a 100km in 28 Celsius heat and climbed some 2000 metres, averaging just under 30km/h but this last 5km climb to the hotel reminded me that I had somehow winged the last 95km. One thing about gravity; it never lies. I struggled up every turn as I slowly but surely passed the 1, 2, 3 and 4 km markers at the side of the road, my average speed diving considerably as I slowed to nearly 12km/h in sections. When I hit the hotel I was completely spent; ghost white, exhausted and ready to collapse. Today’s lesson – you need to train in the mountains or be genetically gifted (or have a syringe) with an abundance of haematocrit to ride like Marco Pantani.
Between panting and feeling my heart beat in my ear, I did take notice of some of the spectacular green scenery afforded in the Alsace region of Les Vosges. Tomorrow’s a new day, which brings promise of a new back, new legs and some huge physiological gain from today’s ride. Enter physiological adaptation...
Gravity doesn’t lie, neither does a demi-bouteille of 2005 Bordeaux consumed at dinner. We’ll see who gets the better of me tomorrow. Fingers Crossed this Vega Recovery Accelerator and Electrolyte Hydrator deliver as promised.
Stay tuned. The best is yet to come.