The past few days there has been this rare golden orb in the sky warming up the air and drying out the trails. What it also seems to bring is a smile to everyones faces. The multi-use path linking Innerleithen-Cardrona-Glentress-Peebles is a hive of activity with all generations walking, running or biking. I have been using it to link together the different forests, each of which have great trails hidden within, and provides a great variety which, when training for a specific goal, I have found important to help keep the interest and motivation levels high.
But when the sun comes out, thats enough! It’s a reasonably rare event so when the trails are like riding dusty, alpine singletrack one just has to take advantage. To get home and putting the bike away within five minutes and not having to hose/scrape the usual mud off is a real novelty; it provides an extra 15 minutes on the trails instead 😃
Last week saw me crack the 1000km cycled-so-far-this-year barrier which is good going; it has meant that I feel as if I am in pretty good shape as I head towards starting the #RatRaceCrossing on the 1st July. Between now and then will also see some good distance covered as Tweedlove Bike Festival kicks off this weekend… My long suffering wife as already resigned herself to fleeting hellos for the next two weeks! Proud daddy will also be seen as Luke attaches his first ever number board to his bike for the mini mash-up on the Family Day.
Some things I am learning along the way as I have spent time in the saddle; good quality padded bib shorts are an essential, as is chamois cream and sudocrem. Baselayers are another critical part of the comfort equation, especially this week where I have really noticed the benefits of having a quality wicking layer under a synthetic jersey. I have also tried to reduce the weight on my back so invested in a runners waist belt that carries two 500ml bottles on the hips; combined with a 750ml bottle on the bike this has proved a brilliant combination for rides where you know that there are regular refill points. Real food, electrolyte tablets, a recovery protein milkshake and rest periods are also now regular elements to the training regime.
After some extremely generous donations, including from people I don’t know but “hear that you are doing a lot of good so here’s some cash towards your causes”, I am brilliantly almost half way to my £1500 target for the Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team and Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance. The TVMRT are covering many of the Tweedlove events the next two weeks so, if you are taking part here’s an easy way to donate to them… http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CharityCrossing