Thoughts and tales from the saddle - on my own in Europe.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Getting Ready

Things are moving on steadily now, in terms of 'training' and France-trip preparation.

I am getting out riding about 3/4 times a week (that's not including cycling to work or other small journeys) and I think my fitness is improving. I'm certainly getting more used to it - the hills, the roads, potholes, cars, rabbits and, most importantly, the bike. It feels like 'my bike' now, which may sound like a strange thing to say, especially as I paid for it a good few weeks ago, but that's how it feels. It's a bit like we're not just a bike and a person anymore, as two separate entities, we are becoming one. Like a ...umm...Bison. No - a Percycle.

I think the heat is getting to me.

Anyway - as I've mentioned before, all of this training is for a reason - the France trip. I'm currently in the process of getting the final bits and pieces of equipment I need to make my luggage as light and minimal as possible, and also sorting out other things - like an E111, and insurance, and stuff.

The main thing that concerns me, to be honest, is being able to do the miles I have planned - especially if it is going to be really hot (and as it's end July/beginning August when I'm going, I expect it will be). Somewhat foolishly, I have been reading other peoples opinions and thoughts on 'how much training is required' and 'how far you can feasibly cycle in one day with a loaded bike'. I say foolishly because it's all so relative. It is nice to see what other people think and have experienced, but I really must get myself into thinking away from that and discovering for myself.

It's like with the big trip. I've stopped reading other peoples accounts of touring Europe, or seeking advice on anything. It's nice that people offer their words of wisdom, but a lot of the time I would honestly rather not know. For example - "Spend as little time in Italy as possible - the drivers are mental and seem to hate cyclists", "Hungary? I wouldn't bother. You're better off spending more time in Slovenia". All well and good, but I'd rather find out for myself and form my own opinions, thank you very much.

And there endeth a rant that I didn't plan on having.

Where was I? Oh yeah - France and distance and things. Well, I'll continue training, then just set off and see what happens. Seems as good a plan as any.


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