Martijn Maaskant of Garmin-Cérvelo on the Muur. Photo by Jered Gruber
Riding through winter is very much like riding through summer. Only it tends to be colder. But, as you’ve no doubt read in countless magazine articles and forums and on websites, there’s a whole host of pitfalls to side step, heart rate zones to ride in, perfect rain jackets to purchase, and actual Phd theses on winter tyres to digest. So as if you didn’t need any more advice on how to ride your bike, here are my - characteristically verbose – tips on arriving in spring ready to attack the racing season with gusto…
Lizzie Armistead gets in the winter miles through the stunning forests of Leuven, Belgium. Photo by Jered Gruber
The tan line on the back of my wrist is gradually fading, early morning rides have been replaced by late morning lie ins. Recently sausages and mash has formed the back bone of my diet, and I’ve indulged my slothful impulses. Unfortunately the winter hiatus is coming to end – today is marked as Base 1, Week 1, Day 1 on my Excel spreadsheet.
Getting off the sofa and back into training isn’t going to be as easy as I might have thought; over the past few months, as the season drew to a close and the winter loomed, it feels as though my attitudes towards competitive riding had been shifting. Taking the time out had been an opportunity to rediscover that hankering for racing, the need for competition. Absence making the heart grow fonder, and all of that.
By now I should be salivating at the prospect of a chaingang, chomping at the bit for a competitive training ride through the hills. But I’m not sure it’s worked.