The Haute Route: the final stage, Notebook

The Haute Route: the final stage

Seven days ago, after the first stage of the Haute Route Pyrenees, I had doubts that I would be one of the 300 strong peloton riding into the finish point of Toulouse. Just shows what enormous amounts of painkillers, compression tights and chamois cream can do to get you through 800km and up 20 mountain [...]

By | Notebook | Saturday, 22 August 2015 at 5:27 am

The Haute Route: Day 6 and only 1 day left, Notebook

The Haute Route: Day 6 and only 1 day left

For me there’s a  mixture of relief and great sadness that tomorrow is the final day of The Haute Route Pyrenees, 2015. My legs and behind are overjoyed but my heart is heavy and I can’t imagine there’s a single rider who hasn’t had a fantastic week or experienced extremes of emotions who would disagree. [...]

By | Notebook | Thursday, 20 August 2015 at 9:59 pm

The Haute Route: Day 5 ‘The Time Trial’, Notebook

The Haute Route: Day 5 ‘The Time Trial’

I guess riding the Haute Route – seven consecutive days in the Pyrenees, 800km on the road, with some 20,000m of climbing – is like pretending to be in the Tour de France. A great adventure unfolds, day after day. It’s a journey in a way that a one-day sportive can never be.
Today – Day [...]

By | Notebook | Wednesday, 19 August 2015 at 6:38 pm

Haute Route – Day 4 & it’s not all about the bike, Notebook

Haute Route – Day 4 & it’s not all about the bike

Day 4 of the Haute Route is over. With three days left, we’re past the halfway mark. It feels like quite a moment. Since Saturday morning I’ve cycled 512 kilometres and climbed 12,250 metres. There’s ‘only’ 290 kilometres and just over 6,000 metres of climbing left. It’s been the most intensive few days of my [...]

By | Notebook | Tuesday, 18 August 2015 at 7:21 pm

Haute Route – Day 3 “The Descent’, Notebook

Haute Route – Day 3 “The Descent’

I’ve banged on a lot about how gruelling the Haute Route is. I make no excuses for that because it’s a challenge that has taken me so far out of my comfort zone you would not believe. I think that might be true of quite a few of the 400 or so others who embarked [...]

By | Notebook | Monday, 17 August 2015 at 7:20 pm

Haute Route – The Lanterne Rouge, Notebook

Haute Route – The Lanterne Rouge

Back in the 1970s there was an art-house movie called The Goalkeeper’s Fear of the Penalty. Here at the Haute Route, with Day 2 now safely behind me, I’ve been thinking about The Cyclist’s Fear of the Lanterne Rouge.

In the Tour de France, ‘Lanterne Rouge’ – or ‘red lamp’ – is the name given to [...]

By | Notebook | Sunday, 16 August 2015 at 9:02 pm

The Haute Route Cycle – Day 1 in the Pyrenees, Notebook

The Haute Route Cycle – Day 1 in the Pyrenees

Oh. My. God. What have I let myself in for? Or, to put it another way, greetings from the Haute Route.
Day One is over. Only six more days to go. But I am trying not to think about them because today’s opener was unbelievably tough, and I need to get my head sorted before tomorrow.
I [...]

By | Notebook | Saturday, 15 August 2015 at 4:38 pm

Her Outdoors: Currant thinking, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Currant thinking

The redcurrants and blackcurrants at Plot 35a have finished for this year, but the whitecurrants, which are in their first year, glimmer through the leaves of their bush like pearls and are soon ready for picking.
We’ve spent the last couple of weekends up in North Yorkshire, at Him Indoors’ family’s house, where the season is [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 11 August 2015 at 6:34 pm

Henley to Marlow 14k Swim- Tales from the riverbank, Notebook

Henley to Marlow 14k Swim- Tales from the riverbank

I was never a great fan of Little Britain – it was a bit OTT for me – but David Walliams the swimmer is a different matter. It was back in 2011 that he swam the 220km length of the Thames, raising over a million pounds for Sport Relief, putting himself through eight days of [...]

By | Notebook | Monday, 10 August 2015 at 9:04 am

Her Outdoors: August is here, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: August is here

Last weekend I put down my Japanese razor hoe and went to judge other people’s plots in the finals of Britain’s Best Allotment. The results will be revealed during National Allotment Week next week, so I can’t say too much here, apart from thanking the lovely people who invited me and my fellow judges onto [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 1 August 2015 at 7:59 pm

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