May 16, 2010

Clicky - no clicky

Going out to the mountains for cycle training before the 'Swifty and Triini in Scandinavia' expedition serves many purposes besides it being one of these things that makes life worth living. One would think that the first few hundred (or thousand) kilometers of a 4222km biking trip would count as training anyway. So what's the point in sweating beforehand?

First of all - we want to get stronger as we advance towards the Arctic sea, not weaker. Biking every day with only few days off for almost two months will require our bodies to learn to recover in the speed of light. Training, eating and resting well while still at home with all the resources at hand (good food from the fridge and enough time to stay still while doing the daytime job) will significantly shorten recovery time.

Secondly, it is generally a good idea to learn to repair the bikes before hitting the roads of Norway. Help will not always be readily available around the corner, and mostly not within our budget. I wouldn't want to be stuck in a valley between two mountains near the Arctic sea, 100km away from the nearest village, having no idea why my bike is not moving. That's what happened to me yesterday. Except that in South of France you come across a village every few hours of walking and at this time of year cars or motorcycles are passing by quite often. I was only 40-50km away from home, even though it would mean heavy climbing in strong wind in either direction and we were out of cell phone range at that moment.

Swifty had swiftly glided off ahead and I kept on cycling up the horrendously long curvy road after St-Guilhem-Le-Désert, using mainly my willpower. Suddenly, the pedals of my white stallion stopped turning the back wheel around. With no idea of the cause of the problem or how to fix it, I finally started running, saying to myself that this is what Ironwoman would do. I needed to catch my fellow cyclista who was carrying the repair kit, or at least get some moral support before hitch-biking home. Magically, after a kilometer or so, the system clicked back in and I could continue cycling. However, just before home it clicked back out and stayed this way most of the time. Later that evening we learned that I must change my cassette or else... Without this training trip we would have had no clue about the nasty possibility that even when the pedals are turning and making the cogwheels go round, it doesn't necessarily mean that the bike will move forward.

Also, we learned that Triin must hang her (next pair of) sunglasses around her neck with a piece of string. Otherwise she will drop them and brake them, or keep hitting them on car ceilings while they're on her head (the story of last year's pair), or just loose them by letting the wind blow them into the abyss (what probably happened yesterday). A lost pair of shades means too many lost points on my coolness rating, watering eyes on downhills and sore eyes in the sun.

And, last but not least, we are learning how to work together as expedition partners-to-be. It might well be the most important aspect of a succesful trip. As they say: it is not so much about where you are but who you are with.


vana naine said...

Ma olen kohutavalt kohutavalt kohutavalt kade.
Isegi mitte nii kade reisi peale (kuigi selle peale ka), kui tervise peale, mis lubab ehitada "kiiremat taastumissüsteemi".

Kujuteldamatult kade.

Triin said...

ma olen jätkuvalt seda usku, et enamvähem iga tervis (kui kriitilised äärmused välja jätta) lubab kiiremat taastumissüsteemi ja tugevamat põhja ehitada. ma küll su juba olemasolevaid harjumusi ei tea, aga juba näiteks väga tasa-tasa pihta hakkamine aitab edusamme teha. kasvõi sundida end iga päev natuke joogat või muud rahulikku füüsilist tegema...