Monday, March 7, 2011

First proper bike ride of the year!

Moutiers to Circuit de Tamie (Col de Tamie above Albertville) 84km, 1700m climbing, 4hrs.

Today was the first day of the Paris - Nice Pro race so it was a good excuse to get out in the fresh air and get the legs and lungs working properly.

The air was incredibly murky as can be seen in the photos and there was an air pollution warning with road traffic speed limit reductions enforced.

The air was still chilly with a strong headwind from Moutiers to Albertville. I'd forgotten to bring a hat to wear under my helmet, but in the event I had enough clothing and didn't get cold. The Col de Tamie goes up to almost 1000m and the sun disappeared near the top, but I didn't become too uncomfortable on the descent even without adding an extra windbreaker layer.

The scenery is stunning and inspiring, especially when the sun is out and there is shelter from the wind - such as during the climb up the Col. I was in much better shape than expected and managed a strong pace over the final 5km of the climb. Returning to Moutiers though my legs started to hurt and that's exactly how I wanted it. Despite having to use LED lights as darkness started to fall I just made it back to Moutiers before the daylight finally went. Immediately on stopping cycling I felt cold and tired and was glad to get into the car. Strange that I felt none of that on the bike - the clothing must have been working well during physical effort. Great to be back on the bike again.

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