The countdown begins… 38 sleeps to go until the rubber is going to meet the road! That was what I reminded myself when the now familiar sound of my alarm went off again this morning at 5.15am, off to the gym once more for my weekly spin classes.
As the instructor screams at us to go “harder/faster, make it hurt”, I hope that all this effort will have paid off when I’m pedaling effortlessly up the French Alps with my fully laden Merida Crossway touring bike.
A few months ago I decided it was time for an overseas holiday and being a devoted Active staffer and since my favorite pastime is riding my bike, I thought it would be a good idea to do a cycling vacation.So my flights are booked and I’m clocking up the miles on my bike. As it happens, I’m part of the operations team at Active Adventures so sorting out trip logistics – working out the best places for our trips to visit – is what I do for a living. It’s not a hard job in New Zealand, where I’m based, because it’s an amazing country and every corner you turn there is more amazing scenery to knock your socks off. But there’s still a lot to factor in, as I found out first hand when we created our first South Island cycling tour – gradients, distances, accommodation, climate, places to eat, etc – to make each trip run smoothly. Admittedly there was a bit of trial (or rather quite a bit of “trail”) and error before we could consistently ensure lots of happy clients on that cycling tour, and that’s with an experienced bunch of guides and me in the office working hard behind the scenes.
Well, aside from not having the luxury of that kind of support on my first big overseas biking holiday, I have just one small dilemma. It turns out my boyfriend, who will be joining me, doesn’t believe in an itinerary! The thought of jumping off a plane in Paris with no idea of which way to go is a little daunting, not to mention the following 6 weeks, so let’s just say we are still negotiating on this one!
Saying that, he has told me that we are going to climb the famous mountains that the riders on the Tour de France climb, such as Col Du Tourmalet & L’Alpe d’Huez. That’s a start, but I am a little worried. While fixated on the Tour de France this year, did I hear the cycling commentators mention that these climbs are so hard they are ungradeable!? Best I crank up that dial on my spin bike a bit more tomorrow morning.
And by the way, what an amazing ride by Cadel Evans! Who would have thought an Aussie would take out the toughest bike race in the world!
So the countdown continues… we still have a lot of work to do and first on (my) list is deciding which way to start pedaling! Hopefully in a couple of weeks we’ll have nailed down the itinerary so stay tuned – I might need some help!