‘Allo ‘Allo

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Got an invitation from my ‘Rider Friend’ Monsieur Girard to join a singles club in France. I am planning to attempt the three assents of Le “Geant de Provance” on July 2nd 2013 five days before le etape.

It will be difficult but I am already considering trying to become the first Irish Galeriens by doing a fourth assent by MTB. If I succeed I will actually be the second Irish Galeriens as my friend Hugh is doing the Galeriens the same day and will undoubtedly finish some time ahead of me.

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Tour de Conemara

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Wet, wet, wet …

This was a tough day on the bike. Rain started just as I pulled my car in at Clifden. The rain continued all day. Making the cycling difficult.

The road was wet and greasy as we snaked our way out of Clifden. I intended to go off fast but met an old friend and spent the first two hours sitting in and chatting. I reckoned I need my energy later and I was right.

I went well but was never able to get my heart rate up.. I reckon this is because of the intensity of training recently. I finished strongly, particularly on the climbs. I pushed to the limited but was restricted by pain in my legs rather than my cardiovascular capacity maxing out. I was faster than most but there were a few groups I just could not stay with.

Looking at my schedule I reckon I’m going to have to plan carefully to make sure I taper my training down as Dartmoor arrives

Tour de Conemara

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Staying in Galway tonight. Travelling out to Clifden in the morning for the Tour de Conemara.

Many years ago my Grandfather made the same journey to the Mart in Clifden. After a Six hour drive in a van with cattle they arrived at the edge of Clifden.  They came upon a red headed woman walking the side of the road . Reading this as a bad omen he immediately turned the van around and drove the six hours back to Galway.

Lucky Number

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My favorite time of the year. My entry for the Wicklow 200 arrived and the summer season of Sportives is upon us.

This weekend is my last ‘free’weekend before the Etape in July. Hoping to get the balance between intensity and distance correct. First dilemma is this weekend.  Hilly 150km at tempo pace or intensive hill repeats. Will think about it tonight ….

Hail to the King

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19:30 on aTuesday,  sitting in my car in Ardpatprick hiding from a hailstorm. I about to do my Hill repeats on the Lacka.

I was proud of myself for hauling my ass out here after a hard day at work. I got out of my warm car into the rain and began to put my bike together and get change when suddenly the rain turned to hail. Hall in May! ?

Ah well, here we go …

Up Hill and down Dale

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Two days cycling on the Yorkshire Dales,  in beautiful sunshine, have left me tired but with a sense of satisfaction.

On Saturday I was brought for a 80km spin around the Trough of Boland by Paul,  Jaclyn and Tom. The sky was overcast but the scenery beautiful. On Monday we travelled to Hawes for an overnight stay.

The last time I was in Hawes the motorway South was closed due to flooding and we struggled across the Dales and Moors for a week even having to abandon our mountain bikes and spend one day in the pub hiding from the rain.

This time we arrived at our beautiful B&B. The clouds parted and we headed up towards Buttertubs Pass in Sunshine. Breath taking.  As our road cycle  continued I began to recognise gaps in the hedge from which we had emerged on our mountain bikes on the previous trip. I recognised the pub in Reeth where I tasted Old Peculiar for the first time and the Pub in Bainbridge where we had lunch.

The highlight of today’s spin was the steep climb from Buckden back to Hawes.

I am already planning my next trip to Yorkshire.

The Plan

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The final run in to Dartmoor has begun. Every weekend from now until June 23rd is accounted for and most of the midweek training plans itself.

My buzz phrase is Slower and Faster

My interval and threshold training will be harder,  much harder and my endurance work will be easier, much easier. I will try to stop myself clocking up mile after mile just below my threshold.

My main concern is the 3 day Kerry Sportive. I reckon it might be the hardest thing I do this year and I hope I recover in time for Dartmoor. Last year I don’t think I recovered from my ‘bonk’ on the Wicklow 200

Off to Lancashire and Yorkshire this weekend. Will manage two easy spins. Then back to Hill repeats next Wednesday.

Mayday Mayday

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The first of May. Seven weeks to go. Today was to be the day I reached my target weight leaving me free to eat a little be more as my training intensity increased. 3kg above target. 

Ah well another month without desert.