As last year, my team-mate for the ABSA Cape Epic, Mike Blewitt, lives in Sydney and I live in London. This results in a couple of challenges: we won’t have seen each other for eight months by the time we arrive in Cape Town three days before the race, let alone ridden together. We seemed to get round that OK last year. But whereas Mike has been training and racing through an Antipodean summer (albeit not a great one by the sounds of it – still probably better than most UK ones), I have had the added challenge of training through a British winter
Training in a UK January and February, in order to be race fit and ready for possible 40 degree temperatures in the Western Cape at the end of March is a bit tricky. This year hasn’t actually been too bad – pretty dry by our standards, and not that cold for the most part. There have however been some exceptions to this last point. Notably a two week period in February in which we had proper snow. It has to be pretty cold for snow actually to settle in London, where we’re pretty close to sea level and the temperature is a good two or three degrees warmer than the surrounding areas. But we’re now onto I think the third year with white London streets at least at some point in the winter. Snowy roads also mean snowy trails. Which until it starts to melt and turn to muddy slush, also means lots of fun as grip characteristics totally change, and slippery roots disappear under a deceptive white blanket.
I had two weekends in a row of snowy riding on my home trails south of London, and one of those rides was blessed with glorious sunshine – hopefully the video gives a bit of an impression. http://vimeo.com/37913182 So here’s to the impending 30 degree temperature jump when I fly to SA for the Absa Cape Epic – less than three weeks to go now!