Following on from our impressive ride to Brighton, via Box Hill, the Ouka Monster continued to train using his high altitude mask. The press were allowed into his training camp and took this photo.
Meanwhile, his training partner (me) decided to head off for a spot of overseas high altitude training (Eire) All was going according to plan until I realised I had left my bike at home. Undeterred, I borrowed a bike from my brother in law – another keen cyclist.
He is sponsored by Kronenburg, the well known energy fuel. According to him it was the ideal training bike, Ireland’s finest steel with 35mm knobbly tyres. It even had aerodynamic flat bars and a racing side stand. It weighed in at just over 25kg, not including the lock.
My training camp was in the heart of the Donegal mountains and ride number one was a brisk 35k around Lough Melvin. A marvellous cycle ride which encouraged me to seek those fabled mountains.
After numerous pints of Guinness, despite asking many people, no one seemed to know how to get to the top of Dartry and more importantly, to the top of Truskamore where the ESB mast has tempted me for many years. Undeterred I emailed the very knowledgeable Ronan Crawford, a local legend and I was supplied with very detailed instructions, which came with the warning, “the road is often washed away and one slip can result in you plummeting to your peril” – Reassured I set off.
Despite the freezing wind and packs of wild dogs, I did indeed make it to the ESB mast and according to Strava, the average incline was 8.9%. The descent, however, was something that I’d not recommend. Loose gravel / shale etc etc makes for a very interesting descent.
I presume the road to Ouka is one of the best in Marrakech.
HOWEVER, there was something of a major discovery on this journey. After years of cycling with “clip” pedals and years of knee strain, I emerged from this trip with no leg / knee issues at all. What was different I hear you cry – I was using good old fashioned pedals came the reply and what’s more Gola trainers. It would appear that my left leg is somewhat splayed and clipped pedals force the knee into a non natural position thus causing strain. So, next week, hello rubber pedals, goodbye pain.
Today is April 1st, so just over 20 days to go. Anyone got a spare gimp mask
Now for a spot of blatant advertising on behalf of the Drowes fishery – http://www.drowessalmonfishery.com