Thursday, 24 September 2009

April on my mind

Like many riders out there I love the Spring Classics and they are normally at the fore front of my mind when out riding. While out recently on a ride to prepare a route for a sportive all I could think about was 'damn this climb is going to be great training for Flanders'. I still can't work out if my obsession is good or just not healthly, but it is my cross to bare and I still enjoy it, but I am sure some friends are bored to the back teeth.

The ironic thing is, as a month goes, I am not a great fan of April. May is a little nicer but maybe the unpredictable weather of April is half of the appeal. One season the sun can bake down, the next it may be rain and sometimes even snow can be thrown into the mix. It feels like the Earth itself is just waking up and doesn't know what to do with its self.

As I write this the weather is turning, leaves are falling from the trees and the mornings have that crisp bite that requires arm and knee warmers. To be frank, I love it. When it gets to hot I suffer and I seem to go a lot better in the colder and sometimes slightly damper rides. Being a fair skinned and ginger of beard those baking hot days are a nightmare for me. The kindred joy for riding in crap conditions no doubt helps the draw to the Classics riders.

Physically I am more suited to those rides, short steep climbs can still be a bitch at times but they are less hard work than those long Alpine monsters (which have some appeal). I think more about the set up of my bike for that kind of riding with good padded tape, Open Pave tyres and always having a nice set of handbuilts tucked away.

I wish in many ways that the end of the season could mirror the Spring Classics. It was a shame that rides like the Eroica got moved to the Spring and was not left in October. It'd be great if there was three Pro Tour level races that had the same focus on toughness and the elments as the races in April. Giro de Lombrdia fits the bill on one level, but having another two might starve off the pain of not watching some real tough racing. Sorry if you are reading this from Belgium, I know the cobbles are a daily diet for the Flahutes of Flanders.

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