Summer 2014, what will we do? Discussions way back in time and we formed a plan.
Cattle grids are great, especially when you are a motorist. You can stay in the comfort of the driving seat and clatter over the grid; you might complain a bit about the dip down on to the grid but that is all. You have not had to get out, open a gate, get back in, drive through, get out again and close the gate before proceeding on your merry way.
What is an ‘Etape’? Well, basically it is an organised mass participation cyclosportive event. The Italian term gran fondo is commonly used for these events. Many cyclists use sportives to challenge themselves in a personal battle against the distance and then ultimately, the clock. The majority of riders will simply be happy to complete the distance within the time allowance.
Autumn 2013 and we started to look at plans for 2014. We had enjoyed cycling in Mallorca at the end of April 2013, even although the weather had not been very good. Jet2 were doing an offer of free bike carriage so we decided that two weeks at the end of April in 2014 would be a pleasant holiday. We booked the flights and aparthotel (same one as we stayed at in 2013 as we knew they were set up well for cyclists) on the last day of the offer!
Skiing up Cairn Gorm one day, a couple of days later getting the bikes out and a visit up the local glen.
The milder weather meant that the ice has gone from the roads; they are almost free of salt and grit after some days of rain and there is a chance that my feet will not become blocks of ice during a cycle ride.
OK, this should have been written about three weeks ago but other things got in the way.
Weather has been a bit mixed in the last week - wet at times, very windy at others. I wanted a long run as my last long run was quite slow (I blame the mud on the single track), 10km or so along a fairly flat route would do, not on roads and away from the wind.