I’ve never really had to this before. Still, nothing ventured nothing gained, as the saying goes. Training for a specific reason is something many roadies do every week, be that the next crit, hill climb, TT, or for the very few, Paris-Roubaix, TdF etc. I’ve always just preferred to ride my bike for no reason other than it’s fun. Things have changed this year though.As I mentioned in the previous post I’m riding in Vélo South in September, which will have a fair bit of rolling climbs across our beautiful counties, so I need to make sure I’m ready for that. I’m not overly concerned about that, it’s more a cardio thing so that I get the most enjoyment out of it. There is now however, something more pressing.
Next month I’m going on a family holiday to Majorca. I swear I there was no cajoling my wife or pathetic begging scenes from me re the destination. I save those for “pizza days”. Mmmm, pizza. As I said, it is a family holiday, so most of it is us doing family shizz and lounging around by the pool, drinking sangrias, nibbling on watermelons, you know, the usual family holiday stuff. But for one day I am hiring a bike and riding the famous mountains of the Balearic island.
After searching many bike hire places, most of which would involve a short flight to reach, I found one fairly close-ish to where we’re staying. What’s more the bike isn’t just any run of the mill whip, it’s a Basso. I’ve always loved Bassos, especially the Diamante, that thing is stunning. My bike comes with full Ultegra 6800 and looks just the thing for those mountain roads. I’m dead chuffed.
So, know you know why I’ve started a bit of “training”. On my Majorca route I’ve got three notable climbs; they are Puig Major (5km at 5.2% avg), Coll de sa Batalla (8k at 5% avg) and Coll de Soller (7.4km at 6% avg). The eagle eyed amongst you will notice that Sa Colabra is missing. Sadly it’s just too far out for me to include…this time. Nevertheless, these are long ascents and will still be challenging as I’m not really a climber, so ensuring my lungs and legs can handle the constant pedalling upwards (there’s about 2,400m/8000ft of climbing) is vital. I don’t really want to bonk at the top of a mountain on my tod, granted the view will be amazing but my blurred vision will prevent me from enjoying said amazement.
Looking at the climbs, their length and gradient my “training” is hill reps up slightly longer, more relaxed climbs; so no Steyning Bostal or the like, mercifully. Instead I’ve chosen High Salvington/Bost Hill, Titch Hill in Sompting/Steyning and good old Mill Hill in Shoreham. I’m also going to include Whiteways in Arundel and possibly Exceat/Beachy Head/Upper Dukes Drive in Eastbourne. I think they should give me a similar experience as Majorca promises, or as similar to Majorca as Sussex can get.
I’ve been out both days this past Easter weekend and have made a good start. Obviously it’s tipping it down…again, so it looks like Zwift during the week and then more suffering next weekend. Excellent.
If you have any suggestions of suitable climbs, get in touch.