Saturday, 15 January 2011

Happy New Year!

Christmas and New Year flew by and it’s already the middle of January. Blimey! I had a really relaxing Christmas and took a week off the bike. I finally found out what was wrong with my ‘new’ bad knee: a bursitis, which I think was caused by thick winter cycling tights rubbing the pre-patella bursa. Bad luck! Fortunately both knees are fine now, touch wood :)

A couple of weeks ago I headed off to Puddletown Forest near Dorchester in Dorset for a skills session with Rob Rowe from FTR (Finely Tuned Ride) which was really good fun. Rob will travel to your local spot and give you help and advice on trails that you are familiar with but want to learn to ride faster. I found it really helpful to have someone watch the way I ride and give me feedback and to spend some time working on basic skills such as manuals and bunny hops. It was also great to spend the day playing in the forest, which is something that I could quite happily do all day everyday :)

After spending a lot of time training indoors on the rollers during December, I’m now enjoying the sun in Gran Canaria. Wahoo! I’ve never been here to ride before and I’m now wondering why, it really is a cyclist’s paradise. Every evening I study the map of the island and plan a new ride. We’ve been here a week and already clocked up over 400 miles without doing the same loop more than once. The best ride so far has to be one incorporating ‘The Valley of a Thousand Tears’, which in my opinion should be re-named ‘The Valley of a Thousand Smiles’ – as you turn every hairpin the view is truly spectacular. I really am in heaven here.

The view of Roque Nublo taken from Pico de las Nieves which is the highest point on the Island at 1951 metres

Photos taken from Artenara - the highest village on the Island at 1270 metres

Two favourite spots are the restaurant/cafe in Ayacata and Café de Paris in Maspalomas/Meloneras. Ayacata is perfectly located in the centre of the Island at approx 1500 metres and after re-fuelling with Canarian potatoes and mojo sauce a blast down the GC60 takes us directly back to Maspalomas where we are staying. A quick trip to Cafe de Paris on the sea front means that a perfect day is then finished off with coffee and cake. Lovely.

Unfortunately I’ve had to have a rest day today, but it’s almost over and week 2 training commences tomorrow……. Yay!

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