2009/02/27

Training camp in the Pyrénées?



I've always been not bad of a climber, not sure why. Back in my light v-braked, hardtailed, F1000 days, I was known to some as 'la chèvre', the goat as in mountain goat. Some attributed my gravity defying skills to a good climbing bike while others suspected I had an extra set of lungs in my oversized calves. My secret is not to be divulged but whatever the reason, I'm one of those cyclists who actually enjoy climbing (that's one part of the secret right there) and last year, I got to see first hand how climbing is a very important strength to have when racing. Most race courses in Québec feature steep and long climbs that stretch almost half a lap, quick downhills and not much flat sections.

Since I'd like to be a bit faster this year, climbing is one area I'd like to be good at... I didn't train much last year, and almost none of the little training I did featured climbing. Once I'll be in my build phase, I intend to pedal toward the sky as much as the local geography permits it, which in Montreal is, sadly, not much. Some long, big gear intervals should help a bit and I'll also head to the mountainous Eastern Townships every now and then to tackle longer climbs... but... when my friend asked me to join him for a vacation/training camp in the French Pyrénées, my calves got really excited. One week on the slopes where le Tour de France can be won or lost, not too far from Spain's Basque region...

I miss flying too so hopefully, that project can work out, I'll keep you posted.

Zoom back to now, I picked up my Scalpel yesterday evening at Primeau Vélo, it was in for a Lefty service. The guys working there are real nice, helpful and don't assume everyone is clueless about bikes so it's always cool to go there for your bike needs. And as is not the case for too many shops that sell Cannondale bikes, they will still open Lefties and work on them for maintenance, tuning or repairs. Just being in a bike shop got me all primed to ride. Sure I ride almost everyday but I'm getting itchy to do some real quality riding, if all the snow could just melt already, the Scalpel needs to be let loose until I can board on a plane with my other Cannondale.

1 comment:

Olivier said...

Finally, a rider who loves to climb I thought I was the only guy in that situation.
Anyway, Les Pyrénées (as well the Alps) are really really fun to ride. Mountains are just amazing.