The journey began again today in a suitably extreme fashion. An epic 5 hour jaunt around the Chilterns followed by a race against the clock to get online to make the 3pm transalps registration opening . The start line was Whiteleaf Cross car park at 9.30 am; the finish line was High Wycombe Starbucks at 4pm, attracting some odd looks as mud-plastered, lycra-clad and borderline delirious we collapsed into our big squishy chairs, job done.
This time we promise ourselves it’s going to be a different story. In a bid to avoid some of the nightmare scenarios we encountered last time, there are a few things we’re going to do differently. For starters, no ‘spawn of the devil Avid brakes’ will be involved. We will not be staying in camp – there’s enough hard man tactics involved in the transalps without having to grab snatches of sleep on the one tiny patch of floor not occupied by snoring sweaty Germans. We will eat, drink and be merry, and end up with finishers jerseys and medals rather than a hefty bill for the E111.
But most importantly we will be a whole lot fitter – physically and mentally than we were last time. For that we have to thank David and Andy (and new found whippet Adam!) for inviting us to join them on their Chiltern off-road adventures. Watching the boys charge off into the distance, Diesel Engine Anderson grits her teeth, repeating the mantra “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Today was one of those classic episodes that reminds you that 40 miles on muddy, rooty undulating (or should that be roller-coaster) trails is a whole different ball game to 40 miles spinning on the tarmac. Not even the fabulous cake at the café stop to end all café stops could fill the gaping holes in our reserves as we chugged onwards and upwards over the Ridgeway. Managing to narrowly avoid muddy slides into the canal, the convoy charged onwards with alternate highs and lows of energy levels as the cake, flapjacks, gels and toffees did their work and duly expired. Tired but happy faces all round in the car park though and I’m sure we’ll be back for more next weekend.
But that’s not all. When I’m not beasting it on the trails, I have Bryony and Colin as fellow ‘super-commuters’ to keep it fresh on the roads. Or more accurately, to drag my sorry arse along on their back wheels because once again I’ve overdone it on the weekend 😉
With such a wealth of fine training partners, we’ve no excuse but to hit those Alpine trailsnwith renewed gusto come July. Bring it on 🙂