Tuesday, 5 October 2010

New roadie explorations

It was chilly this morning, just 10 degrees, but the sky was of that clear blue that promised warmth to come. We took heed. After all, who knows how many such days are yet to come this autumn (Update! Full on sun and 25 degrees now forecast for the coming 3 days! Hurrah!).

So we headed down to Saint Girons where I dropped off my mountain bike for the new forks and headset to be fitted. And then we jumped on the roadies to do a circuit that has been on my mind for a while. We dabbled with the first part of it at the end of June, but this time I wanted to take it further. By midday, the sun's warmth was starting to make itself known but in the shade it was still mighty chilly. We rode from Saint Girons up to Audressein and then up to the Col du Portet d'Aspet which was something of an effort, as indeed it was last time. You know when you go to change down, hunting that extra gear but it just isn't there, that's it, you've got the lot mate?! You are convinced, but convinced I tell you, that your brakes are sticking! It was one of those. So you dig deeper and somehow your legs turn just enough to keep the forwards and upwards motion and then, there it is, yes, you are at the Col. Yes!

After that it was new territory and, more importantly, it was all downhill. Or so I thought. Nope. Wrong! After the initial fast and, in parts, steep descent from the Col to the town of Aspet, this circuit dared to throw in a series of cheeky little 'ups' which I hadn't foreseen and which continued to test the legs when they just wanted to spin away in a punter gear whilst I just admired the views;
But we eventually dropped back down to the River Salat that runs down from Saint Girons from where we still had 23kms to ride, so I shoved some more fuel down and kept pedalling away although my legs were starting to argue about the demands that I was making of them. We eventually made it back to Saint Girons after 87kms/1200m+/3 hrs 43 of riding. It had been a cracking ride, sustained in effort but very rewarding and in beautiful weather with stunning scenery. My legs are tired, which is perfectly normal, but I MUST do some stretching if I am to continue to demand sustained levels of effort from my body. I have an appointment with an osteopath next week and am hoping to come away with a constructive stretching and exercise regime that will loosen up my tight bits and strengthen the not so strong bits and basically enable me to start running again and to progress even more with my cycling. It will be interesting to see what he has to say, that's for sure.

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