Friday, March 27, 2009

Wrap up of week in Christchurch

After the Benchmark race I stayed on in Christchurch for the week leading into Le Race. Spent most of Monday cleaning and re-cleaning my Avanti Quantum race bike. It was in a shocking state after the gravel race – dust and grit had worked it's way in everywhere, sticking like concrete to the components and frame. My cleaning job will have to do until I get back up to Welly, where i intend to take it all apart, install new cables and give it some much needed TLC.

Tuesday dawned, what a day – blazing sun, no wind, perfect training weather. I decided to check out the local morning bunch ride, which heads around Long Bays (the course they use at the Armstrong Festival of Cycling races during the month of December). Meeting point is in Cashmere, follow the bottom of the hills towards Gebbies Pass, up Gebbies, down into the seaward side of Christchurch, around to Lyttelton, up over Evans Pass and down into Sumner. Brief rest for a coffee stop and then a further 20km back to Cashmere. Round trip is about 90km all up.

There was a good turn out of riders (20-30) considering it was a mid-week ride at 8.30 in the morning and everyone seemed amped up to hit the two hills nice and hard. This suited me, as it was a good hit out leading into Le Race on Saturday. After the bunch ride the weather was too nice to head home so I stayed out for a few more hours, cruising around.

Wednesday was another stunning day. Milled around for most of the morning, enjoying making a lot of long blacks on the coffee machine. Headed out on the bike after lunch to meet up with my team mate Pat for a ride around Short Bays. This heads out of town, up Dyers Pass (where Le Race goes), then we went down in to Lyttelton and back up over Evans Pass to Sumner. 

As you can see from some of the photo's it's a beautiful part of the country and I've really enjoyed training on different roads. I'll head back home to Welly with a fresh mind to hit the old training routes for another couple of months before getting tired of them!

Thursday was either going to be a real easy one hour recovery ride, or just sit around all day chilling and relaxing to help speed the recovery process before Le Race on Saturday. Quickly decided to choose the option of sitting around for the whole day. Well, not quite sitting all day, but close to it! Used the thermo massage pad, which sends vibrations up the legs and loosens everything up – 15 minutes each on feet, quads and calves. This has the same effect as a massage, but without shelling out the bucks. To finish off I followed up with some stretching, feeling super loose and relaxed afterwards. A good feeling heading into Le Race. 

In the afternoon I sat down to watch the NZ vs India Test Match. Damn, they get payed a lot to be very average at times. Good thing Ross Tayor and Jesse Ryder came through to score 100's and bring the match back into New Zealand's favour.

Friday morning has rolled around, mmm... coffee time, nothing beats reading the paper and drinking a freshly made coffee. The plan for today is pretty simple, head out for 1-2 hours, easy spin, nothing too heavy. Back to the pad and into the zone of pre-race relaxing, which is one of my favorite hobbies. Involves sitting or lying still for hours, trying to save as much energy as possible. My mantra is don't stand if you can sit and don't sit if you can lie down, a little bit of walking, but nothing excessive. TV and Playstation are the ticket for this.

Le Race is tomorrow and the weather looks mint at this stage. Sunny and warm, light winds, team line up looks strong – lots of climbers being brought down to make sure the hills are ridden at a solid pace and keep everyone honest. Can't wait to line up at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning!

Before I finish this post, I have to say, this has been one of the best weeks away – Jeanne and Barry Godfrey have been looking after me. They have been outstanding, letting me do what I need to do, making me feel right at home. I have been lying on their new couch for the past week and hardly moving! Every night a big tasty meal on the table, a big thank you as it made for a super enjoyable week. Hopefully I can do it again soon.


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