Stirring start with “How Great Thou Art” at church followed by a sermon all about Jonah, described as the man on the run. And that, he certainly was. This in turn was followed by catching up with a few of my Coast to Coast pals and it seems there are a few “wish lists” developing. Tackling the 150 miles and 4,500 feet of climbing is a bit daunting for each of us.
Robin will be using his carbon fibre Trek with its rather nice Ultegra kit but he’s in the market for some lower gears. He’s got his compact chainset with 50 & 34t chainrings and the cassette at the back goes to 25 or 26t. So it looks like 28 or 30t could be the solution in handling some of the Coast to Coast hills. We touched on Hardknott Pass and how blooming’ tricky it will be for anyone walking in Look-type cleats. This would not be cool.
And then there’s Andrew who surprised me through having his eye on a new Bianchi. Andrew, who has entered sometime after the rest of us, has quickly stepped up his weekly mileage and impressively gets out before breakfast for some training miles. The problem is with his bike, an existing Bianchi, as it seems too highly geared for the event. Fine and fast for quick blasts here in Bedfordshire but questionnable for the C2C. He’s already weighed up the options of upgrading the current groupset and it’s probably not cost-effective. While a Bianchi isn’t an obvious choice in my view, he’s a level-headed thinker about this kind of thing and so I’m eager to see how this develops.
Mind you, Josh has already got himself sorted with his top flight aluminium Cannondale and its Ultegra kit. He’s pleased with it, to put it mildly. I might be lucky and get a glimpse of his back tyre in mile one and little more. Paul and Jeremy are pretty much sorted.
Finally, there’s me. I had been kicking around the idea of updating my shoes. My Specialized Sonoma are okay but the wrong size and horrible in the wet (they become like lead boots when wet). Now my attention is towards a Garmin. I’m nervous about missing a signpost, taking the wrong route and losing my way. I’m not a gifted map-reader at the best of times and when I’m tired I seem to lose my ability completely. I’m disappointed by my iPhone map app is so limited (can’t enter a customised route) unless anyone can recommend an app for me?
We now have two months to go. Almost everyone else seems to be further ahead than me. I have, mind you, booked some weekly leave from work to make sure I get a long ride in each week through May. This will be very helpful and I clocked up 82 miles earlier this week without any difficulty, knowing I had scope for quite a bit more. I am “feeling my age” and need a few days to fully recover from these longer rides so becoming more accustomed to them will be helpful. I’ll be hitting 90-100 miles for my long ride this week, then a little more etc etc. From marathon running I guess I need to be peaking in two weeks (followed by two or three weeks of tapering) so the Coast to Coast looks feasible. Those 150 miles won’t be fast; the strategy is to complete, never mind the time.