I’m off on an adventure. I’m packing my bags, my bike and my DHBC jersey and skinsuit and going to Europe.
The first week of September will see me leaving Barcelona on my bike and heading off to Biarritz – over and through the Pyrenees. It’s a 7-day stage cyclo-sportif. Not a race but a “timed event”. We’ll ride 800km and climb 20,000m and it’s called the Haute Route Pyrenees.
TdF riders get paid to do this stuff! I, on the other hand, am paying the organisers a handsome amount to take me.
I haven’t been to continental Europe since the mid 1980s. And then I was mostly on a motorbike and a naive young thing.
This time, I’m having a bicycle extravaganza. Thought I’d do it before I get too old and while still confident enough to believe I can still do it.
A few days after finishing the Haute Route, I’m off to meet my friends Camilla and Ted in France who will have separately left Barcelona towards Avignon on the Hannibal Tour. Trust them to find a bicycle tour that includes cycling and archaeology and follows the route that Hannibal took! I’ll ride with them for 3 days on that tour before a bit of rest and recreation in Avignon. And we are planning to climb Ventoux ... We’re only a little alarmed about the thought. It looked kind of hard and bleak in the TdF this year.
Then it’s off to Trento in Italy to ride in the UWCT Grand Final. For some unknown reason I entered the time trial, up a mountain. TTs are not exactly my forte. Then, a couple of days later, it's the road race a up a couple of mountains. Hmm. I’ll either be really good at mountains by then or completely stuffed. There’s about 90 Australians going which is excellent.
I qualified for this final at last year’s Amy’s Gran Fondo in Lorne, Victoria (got a UCI medal – did I ever mention that? ☺ ). That was an awesome ride in lots of ways including that was the first time I rode the Baum.
I’m going to miss the 2013 Amy’s Gran Fondo as it’s while I’m away but I’m delighted there’s a much bigger DHBC contingent this year. It’s a ride well worth doing.
But that’s not all in my epic trip.
Seeing as I'm in the neighbourhood, thought I'd pop off to England to stay with my cousin for a few days in East Dulwich. She very conveniently lives just around the corner from Herne Hill Velodrome. And I’ll be meeting up with Dulwich Paragon, a London cycling club and will ride with them and am hoping to race at Herne Hill.