Two years ago I took part in Haute Route Alps with a great bunch of guys, collectively known as ‘Team Vicious Cycle’ (then I stole the name for this blog). One of those guys was Brad, from Calgary. He, along with most of the riders who came over from North America, had a bit of a shock to the system when they saw how big, long and fast each stage of HRA was. Brad was ill prepared for the undertaking, at least in terms of his high expectations, I imagine, and was a ghost of a man for the first few days of the event. Here he is, looking like he’s minutes from ‘ghost’ already on Stage Two.
Brad finished around 250th place and he vowed to come back and do it right. Well, I guess you know where this is going now – he’s back!
Brad has only one stage left of Haute Route Pyrenees and he currently sits 69th out of over 300 starters AND he’s just getting stronger each day. He finished today’s Queen Stage in 58th place!
His secret, if you’d like to know, is commuting to work (really fast) right through the Calgary winter, buying a new bike that saved him 5 lbs, and losing another 10 off himself. Chocolate milk seems to have its place in the ranking there, too. If you’d like to ‘watch’ Brad, check out the ‘live’ page of HRP: http://www.hauteroute.org/live
And since Brad is nearly done his great week of sufferance, that means I’m about to begin my own. I’ve trained reasonably well and even had the weight down to 65 kg this morning, before I hit the pizza and peanut butter sandwiches later in the day. I’ve got no real idea how I’m going to do, so my expectations are simple – finish upright each day and stay consistent throughout the week. In 2013 I had 3 good days then the power seemed to leak out of me for the following 4. I’ll definitely do the massages this time around and track down some chocolate milk as well, just in case.
On Saturday I take a train to Nice and meet my new team on the Promenade des Anglais. I’ve got my little netbook with me, too, so if I have time to get those 2 liters of chocolate milk into me each evening, you’ll be hearing from me every day, just like last time.