Friday, 8 May 2009

gears are over-rated for hills!

we come to the end of the training week in Cyprus and my legs are suitably thrashed and in much need of a massage. The weather has been variable to say the least with thunder storms and galeforce winds earlier and calm and sunny now we are leaving.
The week started well with a few 60 mile rides in the troodos foothills including one of my old favourites to Pachna(a 13km climb) followed by a further 6km of climbing to Loufou.
swimming was hit and miss with the wind and waves and the pool use limited to 2 sessions. I stopped running after about 3 days as my calf was tight still from the London marathon. It seems better now but I'm sure Hannah will find some lumps with her delicate massaging techniques!
Yesterday was one of my most enjoyable rides so far this year. Having spent nearly 6 years in Cyprus previously I had never ridden to Troodos or Olympus. Yesterday I did. westy had pointed out earlier in the week that my small ring looked larger than normal and so it was. A 42 tooth instead of a 39...gulp! It just means i'll have to be light on the cranks to avoid blowing.
As we set off with a slight tailwind Westy was spinning on the front of the peleton. It was strangely quiet as we contemplated the near 2000 metres of vertical ascent.
After about 8miles we start climbing out of Kantou towards Pano Kivides and aware of the next 30 miles to the gods I was on the granny ring 42/23. After the initial steepness it settles to a gradual gradient and I was able to drop onto the 21 sprocket. I used this most of the way up the mountain and proably only spent about 3km total on the 23. After lunch at Troodos we climeb the final few km to Olympus after Phil the Double set off on his own. It would be daft to get so close and not do it all climbing to the highest point in Cyprus. A total ride time of 3hrs 8min to Olympus (2hr 53min to Troodos).
I decided on top that I would big ring (53) he way to Akrotiri. Only once going back up to Kivides did it hurt a little. Top speed was 45.9 mph. Total ride time on the way back was 1hr 44min. total mileage 80miles.

So on the last day the bike is packed and read to face the UK weather again. Myself, Mike Doug, Westy went for a swim in the calmest I've ever seen the Med. Bliss. If only race days were like this.

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