Haute Route is bearing down upon us like the freight train it’ll surely feel like being hit by more than a few times next week (if that sentence made any sense to you, I congratulate you). My Facebook timeline is awash with my teammates’ grand farewells to their friends and family, their apologies to those same people for ignoring them all this season (not to mention the neglected lawns), and their stats. Of course, their stats. All this activity, apart from making me shake uncontrollably with fear, makes me think I should say something, too.
You’ve been around this blog long enough to know that this whole last year has been devoted to getting myself ready for this week. You know that the Haute Route is billed as the Highest and Toughest Cyclosportive in the World. You probably are aware that we’ll be riding over 800 km in 7 days, crossing a whole lot of really big cols that will total 21,400 meters of climbing by the time we hit Nice. And how, you may reasonably ask, do I suppose I can do this? It’s a good question and one I can only answer with stats. Of course, stats.
This year so far I’ve:
- Ridden 9600 km
- Spent 378 hours on the bike
These numbers will be larger than some of my fellow Haute Route riders, and far less than many others (Rob is a good example, but I have yet to confirm that he is actually human). Within those numbers, hide the subtle change in training this year. Coach has had me focus more on endurance (cue the 4-hour indoor trainer session nightmares!) and I have taken it upon myself to find as many climbs as I have been able to. I don’t even know how many times I’ve climbed Mont Ventoux this season, but it must be over 10. I’m hoping that means something.
I have my own thank yous and apologies to make (e.g. to my wife, who had every weekend this year occupied by my sometimes-day-long-rides) and you are high on the list, readers – both visible and invisible. This blog keeps me honest, but more importantly, gives me more motivation through your many great, engaging and encouraging comments. You can take some credit, if I arrive alive in Nice!
Although I don’t see it anywhere on the site, I know that you will be able to watch me (or anyone, or everyone) ‘live’ each stage of the race. They’ll put something up soon, I’m sure, so just check the site and search for my bib number: 570 and scream at the page to tell me not to be such a slacker, if you like.