(This post a reproduction of a blog originally published at: http://www.cyclefit.co.uk/metropolitom)
Following my year abroad in France (see A Briton in Brittany blogs) I am now very happy to be back in the UK. A brief few months in Exeter to sort out my post-Uni plans and recover from the horrors of French Coffee saw me take up freelance marketing on a full-time basis for a number of clients. Initially we (my partner Alice and I) were happy to remain in the rural idyll of Exeter, but following the thrilling rollercoaster that was the 2013 International Cyclefit Symposium we crumbled as Uncle Phil and J-bird worked their seductive magic and somehow managed to make a move to The Big Smoke a frighteningly reasonable proposition. (The streets are paved with gold, doncha know?)
And here we are.
I am extremely content to be handling some of the Marketing & PR for Cyclefit on a freelance basis. Alice has taken to Robyn’s old position at front of house with all the zeal and exhilarated breathlessness of one of our customers riding Di2 for the first time. See the current Staff Rosta for how the Cyclefit HR situation stands!
On the racing front I am pleased to say that I am back with a vengeance. I’d be obliged if we could politely gloss over the washout that was last year’s racing schedule. A combination of final year nerves, European exile and a spectacular underestimation of how many hours I would need to do in the library put paid to any hopes of consistent riding, never mind training. However all that has changed. With a solid winter under my belt, a job with the required flexibility, and the support of many I think we’re on track for a good year where I will justify the trust placed in me.
At this juncture I should be explicit and would like to thank, Chris G, Nigel R, Jez L and the crew at Trek UK, Daniel, Amy and Uli at SRM , Alberto at Fi’zi:k and of course Phil, Jules, Morgan, Barna and Chrystal at Cyclefit for all their support.
So what have I been up to? In pursuit of physical perfection I recently pushed myself headlong into a series of lab tests at my alma mater, University of Exeter. Rich O, Daryl W and Sam B were extremely generous with their time and seemingly had no issue with regularly cracking the whip and subjecting me to some of the most depraved testing protocols yet invited by man. But don’t let that put you off lab testing!
So why several tests? And why in partnership with my Doctors, Rich O and Prof Hattersley? Basically a need to precise exactly what my body is doing. After several years of trial and error manipulation, anecdotal evidence and DIY testing it’s become quite clear that my metabolism and energy production isn’t typical of most human beings. We (I) would like to learn more, so we can maximise my fuelling and refuelling strategies.
On the bike front I have been very lucky (read: insanely fortunate) to have started working with Trek UK who are handling all of my two-wheeled needs. With measurements provided by Phil and Jules at Cyclefit, my race, TT and training bikes were dispatched to CFHQ in Covent Garden in order to make final minor adjustments. The results are quite spectacular and I will be revealing details in due course.
For now, I’ve included some pics of the Project One Madone 6 which I’ll be racing on. It’s been hanging on the wall in CFHQ for the last few days and has drawn many an admiring glance and even several requests for the colour/design options so customers can order their own copy. Don’t hesitate. It’s well worth the investment and the pictures, completely genuinely, do not do it justice. Cyclefit have championed the Trek Project One scheme for a long time,and with good reason. More details HERE
How does it ride? Predictably awesomely; stiff but comfortable with that trademark Trek sure-footed confidence and balance which means you just want to (and can) thrash it continually. The only downside is that I will need to go back and try and find the spleen I misplaced when I accelerated properly on it for the first time. Plus ca change, Trek, plus ca change.
Other than that, training is consistent and suitably painful. I am rediscovering aches I had repressed and muscles I had temporarily retired from active service. I’m working closely with my coach, JJ at Koolstof, Jonathan Lewis and all the team at Balance Performance Physio and Anna Maria at the Massage Clinic Exmouth and everything is going as it should for this time in the season. Huge thanks must also go out to our friends Charlie Easton and Sam Humpheson (the latter of Look Mum No Hands! for their help with moving to London.
My first 2013 race, Rudy Project TT Series #1, is on Sunday 24th March. I will be riding my Trek Speed Concept 9 Series which will form the basis of my next blog.
As always, you can follow me more closely on Twitter and even contact me now using my snazzy new Cyclefit email address, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thankyou for reading.
Some good improvements over the last month.
My sponsor list has swollen due to some very generous and supportive people.
Saddleback Ltd, distributors of Bont Cycling shoes in the UK, have offered to let me get involved in the trial running of a full-custom shoe scheme. Bont Shoes are already extremely customisable by placing in the oven and then moulding the flexible soles around the feet to ensure a good fit, before they set hard again. The ‘full-custom’ route, however, offers colours, sizes and cleat mounting options which (up until now) were not available. Really excited about this development as my feet are the main weak link in my biomechanical chain. Whilst my current Lakes with Balance Physio custom insoles have been fantastic, I’m always looking to make every improvement I can, and I think these custom Bonts offer increases in stiffness and comfort. We shall see!
Exposure Lights have loaned me some powerful lights to make the dark winter evenings and mornings out training a bit safer (certainly more visible, anyway!). Really powerful lights, and very dependable. I will be writing up a review on them soon, so watch this space.
The final exciting development is that for 2013 I will be a TrainingPeaks ambassador. TP offer a software and online service to facilitate the analysis and planning of training plans. I’ve been using them for some time with JJ at Koolstof, but the ambassadorship means I can get actively involved in the ongoing development and testing of this fantastic tool- which is brilliant as I can suggest improvements which may benefit a great many people in their training analysis.
Training continues to go very well. Really getting stuck into things now, so sliding headlong back into that familiar and reassuring feeling of mild discomfort and fatigue most mornings and evenings. My head hits the pillow and I’m out like a light, which is a welcome side-effect of the sessions I’m doing.
Currently spending increasing amounts of time in the saddle and in the gym, hoping to build muscle and a strong base before the speedwork sessions, intervals, and power work start creeping in over the New Year. For now, though, I’m very happy with how things are going.
Thanks for reading,