Plan for 2018 – cycle to the alps


Perhaps I’d better find a way around some of these on the journey out to the alps

Forgive me for wittering on about challenges for 2018. It’s a long way away but if I hadn’t committed publicly to my everesting attempt I know for certain that I would not have left the apartment to do it last month.

Thinking about it, I am still very happy with the idea of cycling out to the alps next July for my annual week’s climbing with friends.

The Transcontinental Race has a lot to answer for – I don’t think I’d be contemplating this without the inspiration of a race that started on 28 July and which has seen only 146 of the 285 starters finish, with one competitor still racing as I type. Come on David Coulon, only 13.7km to go after nearly 4000km of racing – and RIP Frank Simons who died in a collision with a car on the first night.

Without researching the route in any detail, it looks like nearly 1000km of cycling which I would like to do in 4 days, unsupported – and probably alone. I’m lucky that I can take a credit card and book into a hotel when I like but I’d prefer to see if I could sleep rough for at least some of the time. To be honest, I’m don’t think 62 year old retired solicitors do that sort of thing. I’m not sure if I have the guts for it – perhaps next year is the year I find out.

So, loads of logistics to think about: tent?, basha?, tarpaulin?, bivvy bag?, sleeping bag? (pretty well all unknown to me but I’ve started reading up on them). Bags to put on the bike: handlebar?, seat post?, under or over the top tube?. What about route design and navigation, food plan?

I was planning to take my old Giant TCR2 out to the apartment and leave it there so perhaps I could cycle out there on that – but it’s been 2 years since I last rode it and that means sorting the old and slightly unreliable shifters and perhaps making it a compact rather than a triple.

Part of the problem is that it’s all too far away – I will need interim checkpoints. Skiing in January hardly fits the bill but the White Horse Challenge in April is an obvious one: c.150km with 1400m of climbing and still my elusive sub 5 hour target. What else though – obviously some long rides building up distance and then putting them together, back to back. Perhaps 2018 is the year for a spring training camp out in a Spanish island? Perhaps I need to get out on the bike again – post-everesting time off officially over!

I need a plan.

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