I've had the last two months off the bike, the longest break in training ever (since about 1989). Suddenly each day had 3 extra hours, and I was able to do all those 'normal' things, I would never have time for. (Keeping up with correspondences, clearing out the garage and doing a full days work for a change!). To be honest I didn't really miss the training but last Tuesday I started back on the road bike and after only 4 days back I've flown out to Spain. It was a last minute decision to join a www.traininspain.net group and ride with the High Wycombe race team, and if the first two days are anything to go by, it was a good decision, avoiding the current rain/snow back home and chilling out in a warmer climate. Our host John Fegan has an excellent base in Denia on the Costa Blanca coast and I quickly made some new chums in the Wycombe group. We have chosen a mad bonkers time to be in Denia as it's the town's 7 day festival. Denia is rich in history with it's 11th century castle and links to Roman settlements. The trend for this weeks festivities seem to involve all the locals, young or old, letting off fireworks and bangers at any time of day or night and building, judging and then burning large, elaborate, colourful papier mache effigies throughout the town.
Now day 2 may not have been the best time to do a mountain time trial, having only been back training a few days but at least the Coll de Rates would show a level of fitness to begin with. However I had not yet found my riding legs let alone my mountain legs, so a max effort up the 7km climb proved a bit of a struggle. Forcing it as best I could I did have to admit defeat to the super light and speedy Adam Brittain, who looks to be at the start of a great season as a 1st cat rider. Later in the same ride my legs started to feel like their old self up the Montgo, overlooking Denia. There will be many more mountains to climb this year (not metaphorically speaking) and today was, at least.....a start.