Thursday, 3 March 2011

Ronde Three...

After committing myself to the prospect of riding Flanders, both in promises made and credit card unsheathed, I've had to reconcile myself to actually doing a little riding in preparation. I've managed a few Saturday rides in typical Manchester weather (rain, wind, wind & rain) with a bit of distance (around 120km) to give me the peace of mind that my chosen distance (the 150km) is going to be a journey that will be an experience rather than one to be survived.

I'm fortunate that I have a scattering of cobble climbs of varying gradients as well as a landscape that I can crisscross to give me a route peppered with smallish climbs as well as flat sections where wind can play it's dark hand. In combination to this I left the bike with a front 44/53 setup, part though laziness as much as anything as I was using it as a single speed before fitting new shifters at Christmas. It may only be a mind game but I'm pressing pretty well over the lumpy stuff with this gearing and will down gear for the real thing, hopefully gifting the legs a happier time.

I had no intention of spending on road kit either (as I had no intention of riding RVV, but hey) and that plans out the window too. Box fresh oversocks...white..check. Box fresh nano armwarmers...check. Box fresh team jersey...check. New tyres to be picked up this weekend - Conti GP4 season 28mm (Grazie P!)...check and Castelli Free Aero bibs to be put to the test this weekend - apparently the pad loves your bum. Check, check and what else can I buy, check.

Next step, more riding (up, down, more up, brickworks anyone) and bike fettling.

And, as if by magic, Phillippe Gilbert provides all the inspiration and anticipation I need.