Been a while. Apart from domestique duties for Alex and Harrison’s record attempt and crewing for Scott ‘Sea Biscuit’ Molina at Celtman I haven’t been near a race number all year. Still got some pretty debilitating back/disc issues I’m trying to work through. So after ticking some pretty (for a knobber like me) lofty boxes last year this year hasn’t seen a great deal to report. I’m now one of the world’s foremost prolapsed disc specialists but I figure that makes even less interesting reading than my usual bilge.
So lying flat on your back in December feeling sorry for yourself is without doubt a time of weakness. Weakness ruthlessly exploited by my Merican cousin Mark ‘the curly freight train’ Pietrofesa. He popped me a mail about this Haute Event and he’s kind of assumed Fegan-like status in that without really checking what it was I clicked on the enter button and gave the credit card a much needed workout just before Christmas.
Didn’t really think much about it for a while. Did the well-drilled make mental note to research it and then don’t routine. This went on up until a few weeks ago when I was sat watching the Tour and Mark emailed me again saying we were going to be climbing 70,000feet in the 7days and the Tour ‘only’ climbed 60,000feet in 3 weeks. Yeah but they only do a few of those badass mountain stages…maybe 3 or 4 in the Alpes and about the same number in the Pyrenees. So about a week really. Holy crap. We don’t get a few flat days in between though. Hang on a minute I’m not a Pro cyclist either and I’m even older than Grandpappy Horner. This is roughly the point where I realised W/kg was gonna be pretty important. So important in fact that since last August my W had been going down and my kg it’s safe to say wasn’t I decided there was only one thing I could do and one thing I couldn’t do. The could involved biking. Plus a bit of biking and when I wasn’t biking then probably some cycling would be a nice change. The couldn’t pretty much involved eating or a lack thereof. Don’t really measure W enough to know how that’s gone but I’m pretty much a my lightest possible weight I can be whilst retaining all four limbs. So operation Lean was a success. This week will show how operation Strong Like Bull went.
Petro’s got me committed to a daily blog (the things I do to humour that boy!) for the duration which is probably going to read got up, had breakfast, rode up and down a shit load of hills, got some food, went to bed somewhere different. (Oh and had my picture taken several hundred times each day by Petro.)
So the crew is yours truly, my main man Petro and a bunch of his Merican buddies. Big E. What a fckn unit. ER doctor. Doogie freakin Howser is 6foot 9inches. Pretty sure of two things :- he’s not gonna nick my bike and he’s got a pretty big kg number. Then there’s Kevin. K-squared who’s done this before and placed well up the field. Dude is…mmm…slightly longer in the tooth than some of us but looks granite and his (searches clumsily for correct word and plumps in the end for comedy) lady friend Lesley who no doubt doesn’t have a big kg number – not sure if she’s a potential bike thief as I’ve only just met her. I’ll keep a close eye out for the first few days – just in case. I’ll let you know. Then there’s my roomie Jeff. Playing it coy. Says he’s a little apprehensive and just looking to finish. He’s sleeping at the moment looking at him I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t wake up and burst into :-
Last night I had the strangest dream
I sailed away to China
In a little row boat to find ya
And you said you had to get your laundry cleaned
Didn’t want no-one to hold you
What does that mean
And you said…
Haven’t seen Matty in a while so you never know. Need to be of a certain vintage to clock that one. Hope Jeff has a sense of humour, doesn’t read this or doesn’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of 80s music like some sad tw@t…otherwise I could have just consigned myself (and him) to the most awkward week’s room-sharing. Gotta live life on the edge a little sometimes. Hey Jeff? Old buddy, old pal.
So it looks tough but as I read in the race pack (on the plane when of course it’s too late to do chuff all about it) there is no such thing as an impossible climb just an impossible pace. The latter half of which I’ll no doubt be more than happy to prove once the red mist descends on the first col tomorrow!