Have you ever been on a training camp? Drink!

I’d never done a training camp before this weekend. I’ve done training and I’ve been called camp many many times but put the two together and my drink would remain firmly on the table in a game of “have you ever…” Until last weekend…

A group of 7 One Day Aheaders winded our way west to the Cotswolds on Friday evening. I’d booked a charming cottage in the old town of Broadway. The pictures had at least made it look charming. The peculiar mix of human pig sculptures, Victorian portraits, Chinese figures and rather old wallpaper made it more of that creepy kind of charming. Nice. Still, at least we wouldn’t find it too hard to leave for our planned rides.

With the aim of covering between 80-100miles on day 1 we got ourselves out the door at a respectable 10.30am after a hearty breakfast of crumpets and kit-kats (not together…although…hmm…) Not 2 miles had passed before we were all huffing and puffing up the first climb which got steeper the longer it went on and definitely wasn’t as pleasant as it’s name would suggest (Snowhill). This certainly woke the legs up and was pretty close to putting mine back to sleep again! We rode for a steady 3 hours until pulling over in Burford for a coffee and some munch.  My iced cinnamon roll was a treat. Another couple of hours on the way home brought us to the top of Snowhill and we all agreed that racing down at 70km/h was favourable to crawling up at, well, somewhat slower speeds.

Riding along small lanes in rolling countryside, discovering tiny villages with a handful of dimly lit stone houses and a fleeting whiff of burning log fires helped the miles flow by. Only having shaved legs (Cancellaras if I got to choose…) and getting a sweet tan would have made the riding better! With 200 miles in my legs in our two days there I’m happy with where I am in my training.  It was also great to meet Adnan. Top man and he can ride a bike really well so I’m confident with the team we have. A special mention must go to Brittney and Sadie who rode 50 miles on the first day, which is about twice as far as I thought they would go and about twice as far as I think either of them have been before.  Tres-bon!

Besides this weekend I’ve been riding just the same as the past month or two. Couple of long steady rides mixed with some shorter faster ones. Britt and I had a lovely potter around Richmond park the other week followed by a little picnic. I love riding as the sun is lowering itself for the day rather than rising but rarely get to do it. It was truly beautiful. Cycling definitely helps me appreciate the great outdoors and feel part of it.

I need to start reading again, it’s been a while. I think that  last Murakami book I read was a bit heavy. Any recommendations? Feel like a biography could be in order…

Song of the week and my flavour of the month has to be We Are Augustines – Book of James (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsw4Xp8Fl3A). Great sound and a pretty unique voice.

“And here lies, my green eyes, rolled back in my head, but they’re alive”

Peace be with you.

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