Closing in on Launch Day - Springtime Spin in Sicily 2018 - CycleBlaze

May 13, 2018

Closing in on Launch Day

Our adventure in Sicily begins tomorrow. Our training is well behind us and it’s show time! 

We are satisfied with our fitness for this year’s tour but our training this spring did not go quite as planned. We started the new year with prolonged bouts of the flu to remind us we are not the young svelte athletes we once saw ourselves as. It knocked the wind out of me and left me with a new respect for that little speck of airborne genetic material that rages havoc through the population every winter. When we were well enough to ride, the weather became unseasonably wet, windy and cold. That brought out my inner wimp and put a serious delay on our preparation. Then this happened in late February...

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So, what sort of training do we normally do? Well, let’s be clear: we are not purists and we are not crazed about tracking our physiological data or our performance stats. However, we do like to arrive at our destination ready to ride and not hindered by our lack of preparation. Many years of cycle touring has taught us what we need to do to prepare for a tour. It goes something like this:

  • Training begins gently in the first week of January with a committment to our goal, namely, to be physically strong and aerobically fit enough to comfortably ride our loaded touring bikes in our chosen destination from 50-75 km per day for 4 weeks.
  • We attend a circuit class (or do our own timed circuit) aiming for 2 times per week. We work hard so we get an aerobic workout, with our heat rates in the ‘performance’ range for atleast half the workout. We include cycling specific exercises that focus on strengthening the core muscles and we always end with a nice relaxing stretch routine.
  • I attend a yoga/strength class once a week that focuses on balance, flexibility and strength.
  • We put a loose riding schedule in place and aim to meet it each week. This consists of 3 rides per week, beginning with short rides of 30k and building up slowly to rides of 90k-100k by the end of April.

We felt the training window closing down on us in late April but we did manage to fit in some great circuit training, awesome yoga classes, and some great rides up to 70k on our Bike Fridays. At this point, I have to put a plug in for cycling in the Greater Victoria area. It is world class and we never tire of the riding opportunties right outside our door. 

We live in Victoria, the City of Gardens. Tulip season is spectacular and coincides with flowering cherry trees, then all hell breaks loose and we are one huge bouquet!
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This is my Bike Friday NWT, gleaming in the sun at the King George Terrace outlook.
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Inaugurating the new Johnson St Bridge on one of our training rides. The 94 year old blue bridge is definitely past its best before date.
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Regular rhythms of daily life got squeezed as we revved up with all the preparations for the trip and we worked through our to-do lists.

  • Veggie garden all planted, irrigation systems working and  timers set, a grass cutter in place? Check!
  • Reservations made at the doggie hotel? Check!
  • Travel insurance purchased? Check!
  • Bikes re-conditioned with new tires, new chains, new rear gear clusters, renovated brakes and new rims (having worn out the original set)  Check!
  • Headlamps and tail lights charged? Check!
  • Route somewhat planned, electrinic maps loaded and synching all set up between the various apps on our devices, paper map as backup? Check!
Sicily route planning....maps and more maps!
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The bike technician at work under the watchful eye of the 4-legged supervisor.
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Installing the new cluster, shift lever and cables.
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Raised beds are planted and new irrigation system is installed.
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“yes Mum, I can tell you’re excited about something but will you please focus on me and throw the ball one more time?”
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Try as we may to explain our departure to our little furry white Jack Russell terrorist, she is non-plussed by all the preparations. She is on her way to her own doggie retreat centre tomorrow. 

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Scott AndersonHooray! Back to Sicily! I can’t wait to see where you take us.
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