Saturday, February 25, 2012

First bike ride of the year

It was a nice sunny day - starting out below 0°C but warming up in the sun. The desire had returned to get out on the bike and feel the freedom of a long ride. 

Preparing the bike was the hardest part because I left home three times having to return for things that I'd forgotten - like "water bottle", "heart rate monitor" etc.

In the end I had a bad headache and started the ride feeling under par. The headache transferred itself to the stomach and for a while both were hurting - but after about an hour the pains had all cleared up. This is why I prefer to be relatively active - skiing or cycling when ill. It's either the fresh air or the exercise that does the trick - not sure which. Regardless - it was a close call that it didn't all turn bad because there was obviously something wrong. For a few hours after finishing the workout I actually felt great - but then the problem progressively exposed itself. Some sort of stomach flu again! This virus seems to do a rapid closed loop specifically between the UK and Val d'Isère - and I seem to get it every time it passes through.

Leg Alignment
I continued working on the leg alignment and use of the twist in the spine. Ironically I'd first ever felt the mechanics of this when on the bike and then it transferred to skiing and only after that did it become really clear in running - where it all originates from in the first place (ChiRunning). It takes a real mindful presence to stay on top of the whole process and it easily degenerates when not attentive.

Going over the Col de Tamié it was a bit chilly on the northern side and after passing the Abbey de Tamié there were lots of cross country skiers out in the fields. Further down I passed the short road up to the ski station at Seythenex and remembered how nice it was up there when visiting it for the first time last summer. It appeared to have excellent off-piste and was an attraction for local freeriders. There must be many unknown gems like this around.

Down in the valley on the other side of the mountain pass there is a long cycle path going most of the way around to Albertville - but it was practically unusable after the first few kilometres due to snow and ice that still hadn't melted. I persisted for a while and had a few frights because those skinny, slick tyres really don't want to keep you upright on wet, uneven ice - very dodgy! Eventually I had to walk on a section of ice and then get off the path and onto the road. The Speedplay cleats on the shoes had managed to fill with packed and hardened ice and getting back on the bike was very tricky especially with all the main road traffic blasting by inches away. Guess it's still a bit early in the year for this - but it felt great anyway.

Oh well - it turned out to be a proper flu. The fever built up steadily and then broke on during Saturday night. I didn't take any painkillers because they can lower the fever and it's the fever/temperature that kills the virus. Probably better to feel really bad for a short time and get it over with than to have it linger on. It was interesting that on the bike the symptoms disappeared - I'm curious if that is to do with increased CO2 levels in the blood from increased metabolism. 

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