Sunday, 10 July 2011

Learning : heat & hills

I've learnt : How to manage heat.

I live in England where summer is a notional period in the diary rather than an actual indicator of hot weather, so learning to manage the proper heat of summer that you get elsewhere is kinda tricky. Some friends suggest doing all your training rides whilst wearing far too many layers. Another turbo trains in front of his fan oven. I, however, am a fan of less masochistic methods: wicking clothes and cunning hair solutions.

I have a huge amount of thick hair and find that a pony tail just sits in a hot clump on the neck, making you feel hotter by the minute. Instead, the Heidi look solves this problem. Wind goes down the back of your helmet and creates a wonderful draught of chilly breeze down your neck and back. If additional cooling is required, a quick dip of the head in the nearest horse trough and you've got a moving coolbox on your head. Genius.

I need to learn : How to descend.

I have always been crap at descending, but with my recent fall still fresh in my memory, I am now at whatever the polar opposite of warp speed is. I descend like a Granny with a cup of tea in her hand. And whilst in theory this doesn't really matter, (cycling not being my day job and all) I was pretty hacked off in the Marmotte to get overtaken by at least 50 people on each descent that I'd laboured past on the ascent. So cruel to lose those places just by being a scaredy cat. The boyf tells me that girls are often crap at it. So does anyone know of a course with hints & tips to teach us girls how to do this going fast down hill thing? Chalk lines on road showing lines to take and stuff?

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