Saturday, 1 June 2013

London to Barca 2014 Tour

Shit, I've signed up, I've paid my deposit and I'm going. London to Barcelona, June 6th 2014. Well in truth it's actually Staines to Barcelona, Staines being the location of our 'close enough' London office and the point of our 'Grand Depart'.

More to the point 950 miles in 9 days. Ouch.

I'm riding this challenge with my company Attenda as part of the 'Attenda Extreme' series of events being hosted for employee's by the company, all proceeds will go to Attenda's chosen charity partner (this changes yearly), if of course we choose to seek personal sponsorship.

So far there are 16 employee's signed up, from a decent core of good amateur club level rider's to novice's embarking on the challenge.  

It's quite a financial commitment to sign up, which has kept the number's down but at the same time, its going to be the trip of a life time, this is how I'm selling it to myself.

The additional income of becoming a Sky ride leader will come in handy in the coming months as I learn to live with £1600 in leaving my bank account in 12 instalments... trip of a lifetime, trip of a lifetime....

The 'tour' is being run by Velocamps, you can read about a very similar tour they run here. I've been told we may just be Velocamps first big corporate client. For us the tour will be unique, its not the website offered event of 10 days, its 9 so a different challenge for Velocamps and us.

We'll literally want for nothing, all I have to do (haha, all) is ride my Bike from the office to Barcelona, they take care of everything else, from In ride nutrition to all hotels and b&b's, from the overnight ferry to Brittany to the flights home from Barca. It really is, all included.

I really struggled with the financial commitment of signing up, well at least initially until I got my head around the payments and now that I have I cannot wait. I know its almost a year to the day away but there is a real buzz around those in the office that are doing the ride, a real sense of commitment and camaraderie. We've even started the 'ABC' Attenda Bicycle club, members of which as listed on Strava. We've got a commited core group, arranging and leading out weekly rides and this core will only get bigger as riders get fitter and faster.

The obvious question was 'how do I train for riding 100 miles a day for 9 days', The Velocamps instructor that came to present to us said 'if you can ride 2 100 mile rides back too back, you'll ride yourself into fitness' christ, I thought I was fit!

I've only this year started riding 100 mile routes but now I've done the distance 3 times, and will do it more and more frequently, my mate and fellow L2B'er decided to use the recent Bank Holiday weekend to ride 3 100 mile days. I'm not sure I'm quite there yet but it will come.

So this blog will likely become more of a training diary for me as I aim to up both my pace and mileage over the coming months, riding long weekends, the constant commutes, Sky rides and the occasional Sportive.

My first real issue is my saddle, I seem to get numb after about 80 miles, clearly decent shorts and chaomix cream will help, my budget sports direct/Lidl/Aldi shorts will need some serious upgrading as will my perch.....

ps...I can't f'ing wait....

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