New Year, New Year – so good they named it twice


les c 2016

Not Meribel, not 2017, but sort of appropriate

I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and I wish you a happy, healthy and successful 2018.

The number of blogs that have been talking about rides over the holiday period has been rather chastening as, for me, Christmas was a bit of a rush job with no cycling at all.

Our boys (now in their mid 20’s so perhaps I should try to say ‘sons’) finished work Friday and we had a really good, social, few days before leaving at 6am on Boxing Day to drive to the French alps for a week’s skiing thanks to the kindness of one of my brothers-in-law and his wife who have a very up-market chalet in Meribel.

With one of those really frustrating hold-ups on the autoroute (crawling along and stop/start for over an hour before entering a coned off single lane system where the only thing to see was a van picking up the cones) we arrived a bit after 9pm (French time).

The chalet is on the 4th hairpin of a small private (un-bulldozed) road and after over 750 miles of driving, the car got stuck in the snow at the second hairpin, within sight of the chalet. (Note to self, front engine and rear wheel drive with ordinary road tyres is not good enough for snow covered hills). Putting on snow chains in the dark, in the snow, in the cold, after such a long drive defeated me – so the car stayed at the bottom of the hill for the duration.

meribel 2017

Ready to ski down the road from the chalet

Happily the snow continued and we had a great time with terrific food from an excellent young chalet chef, and very good skiing, although I didn’t get anywhere near last year’s 94kph max speed. Although the sciatica had limited me to two turbo sessions in the last 6 weeks, the legs held up well.

We saw in the New Year twice – once at the resort centre where the ski school instructors put on a torch lit descent and fireworks – and then an hour later back at the chalet with the TV coverage of the London celebrations.

Sadly, we had to leave at 8am on the 1st to get the sons back for work on the following day. Another 750+ miles but this time my back got very sore and now feels a bit like the sciatica has returned (but not as badly as before, and more in the lower back than shooting down the leg).

All of which is a long way of saying it looks like ‘three steps forward and two back’.

I read a newspaper article recently about 62 being the pivotal age in determining whether you are likely to descend into infirmity. At 62, that’s a bit pointed but I’m going to head in the other direction and do increasingly daft things on the bike so this will not turn into an old man health whinge!

Looks like I need to think about lower back flexibility and strengthening … but carefully.




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