Fall and early winter riding is starting to become one of my favorite times for cycling during the year. The pace is relaxed, the roads less crowded, and the stress of racing and competition, though fun and motivating, is in the distant future. We bike through the change of seasons, slowly putting on more and more layers of clothing as the temperature drops. We are lucky enough to live in Provence, where it only snows a few times during the year. It is cold, but we like riding bikes too much to be able to bear hanging them up in the garage in neglected winter hibernation.
|Long Shadows of the Provence Winter Sun
Both the winter cyclocross and mountain biking [called (VTT) Vélo Tout Terrain here in France] are greatly enhancing Liam’s ability and evolution as a cyclist. These, along with the long easy rides on the road, form a training base from which to transition into late winter speed work and eventually into spring racing.
For the last two years in a row we have used a Strava challenge called the Festive 500 as the apex of our winter base training. The challenge is to ride 500 kilometers in the 8 days between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. We literally ride in the New Year and it is a blast. This year we completed the challenge in 6 days by riding 506 kilometers. We included Liam’s brothers Aidan and Roan on a few of the rides. And for the “queen stage” of the challenge we headed to Nice the day after Christmas with our friend Sofiane for 106k with 6000 feet of climbing. We rode over the Col d’Eze, through Monaco, to the Italian Border, and then up over the Col de La Madone and back to Nice through the mountains. It was epic!
|Sofiane and Liam at the top of the Col de La Madone
After a six month hiatus from blogging, we are back with a very exciting 2014 planned. Liam and I are fresh off a road trip to Northern France and Belgium which was for the new Trek Factory Racing professional cycling team launch. It was awesome! We will have a video and report from the weekend up soon.
Happy New Year to all. May it be filled with love, joy and lots of cycling.
And watch out for those crazy Marseille drivers!
Live Strong, Train Safe, and Live Well!!!
This is Bill and Liam signing out.