To Faff or Not to Faff

I just love my new word ‘faff’, but if I start to overuse it, UK readers, let me know and I’ll tone it down. The word expresses an important part of the world in an innocuous way, unlike the expression we use in Canada for the same thing (it involves doing something very bad to a dog).

Anyway, it’s definitely the Faffing Season right now for me, at least in terms of my riding. I’m on the bike, but without much intent, and I think that’s just fine, but when I spend too much time like this I start wondering ‘what’s next?’. So, I’ve been looking around at my options, and the first one on the block is this little doozy.


I’ve done the Amstel Gold Race and most of the important bits of Paris-Roubaix, so the Tour of Flanders is a legitimate target and definitely on that bucket list I’ve been faffing too much to make. The thing is, I don’t even want to do a sportive in the south of France on April 2, so why would I want to drive to Belgium to do one? Apart from my faffing, I’m also softening, I think.

Another possibility is Haute Route Alps one more time, since Coach Rob has signed himself up. I’m waiting for the motivation to hit me for this one, but it’s still on the list.


Something slightly similar to HR, but infinitely crazier, is the Cents Cols Challenge. These masochistic events entail 10 days of riding with 10 cols climbed each day. They are massively long days on the road and my friends have told me that you basically just ride from breakfast till dinner, if you make it by then.


An oldie but a goody – mainly because I’ve yet to do it successfully – is the qualifying race for the UCI Masters World Championships. The qualifying event in France next year will be in Albi, which is fine, but assuming the unexpected happens and I qualify, the Championships are in Perth, Australia. Perth is a nice city, but it’s half way around the world and, unless my memory is worse than I think, pretty flat. Not my kind of course, I’m sure.


I know something will strike me as a good idea one day soon; it always does. In the meantime I’ll continue my faffing ways and enjoy the off-season.

Anybody out there have any good ideas?

16 thoughts on “To Faff or Not to Faff

  1. I’m also a Faffing expert when it comes to work but not so much when it comes to the bike. It comes as a bit of a surprise that I’m Faffing now since I thought I would take advantage of the extended Summer we are enjoying in Canada. My schedule is already filling up for the short period we are in France. My choices are limited to what is available to me for the time I am there. Unfinished business with Marmotte July 2nd, Etape July 10th and even though I have done a triple of Ventoux, I have officially joined the Ventoux Cingle Club to officially do a triple. As for you, I would look at perhaps something on the Italian side like HR Dolomites or a good Sportive there. You can show off that bike of yours.

    • You’ve got ambitious goals for next year, Pierre. Do you know for sure that the Marmotte is doing the traditional route, btw? I know they have a temporary road on the other side of the lake underway, but just wondering if they’ll be using it.

      Italy would be great, and definitely on that list. Looking into it now. See you in a few months!

  2. aim for the UCI World Masters in 2017 – I think the final is in Pau
    I’m thinking of doing the qualifier in Perth in March (to qualify for Perth in September)
    at least it’s only across the country for me and I can get a flight for $200 each way

    • Peter, 2017 is in Albi, from what I can gather. Pau would be awesome!

      Good luck with Perth. I lived there for a short while way back and can’t imagine where they’ll fine the hills. I hope you’re a ‘rouleur’ 😉

  3. Quebrantahuesos? The other HRs? What distance would be a worthy challenge? Cent Cols have an Ardennes thing next year. LBL? Viking Tour of Norway? The list is sooo long! 🙂

    • Excellent ideas, especially Norway. I didn’t know that CCC will be doing the Ardennes either, so thanks. Off to Google Quebrantahuesos right now…although it seems i should know that one. Cheers.

  4. Hey Gerry, I do not know yet if they will will go back to the classic route but first things first I need to register which is tomorrow btw. My hope is that they will use the new route under construction. We are always looking forward to seeing you Guys. Plans are well under way and ahead of last years schedule.

  5. I wouldn’t bother coming up for the RVV. It’s no doubt a route worth riding, but the event has too many participants. The congestion on the most important climbs can be impossible. If it weren’t a local event and I had to travel to participate, I would be miffed if I had to dismount for no other reason than congestion.

    A bunch of my riding buddies are doing this in April: I considered joining them but eventually concluded that first things first, that I should perhaps do the LBL Full Monty before I trot off to Mallorca and quite possibly embarrass myself… 🙂

    • I’m glad you said that, Chikashi, as it’s how i felt at Amstel Gold whenever I did that. Anyway, it’s all academic now, I found out, because it’s sold out. That was easy!

      I’ll actually be in Mallora the week before the 312, but I doubt I’ll stick around for it. LBL is a worthy goal, and remember that you had intentions of doing the long version one year. I’ve got ‘conflictions’ this year, otherwise I’d definitely consider it.

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