Dead Leg Reps

That hurt.

Wednesday was going to be a hard session day. Either a long and solid ride or short and intense session. I opted for short and intense session seeing as I have done almost no intervals for many weeks and I have been doing a lot of tempo climbing and tempo long rides.

It was a hot day, like they all are here. Minimum temperatures of 30 degrees celsius. From about 6:30 to 12:00 it was a do nothing and watch DVD’s type of day. Until I rustled up some bread, ham and some cheese. The bread you could break granite with. After chipping my way through my sandwiches it was ride time. I just got into the “I might as well do it now rather than later” attitude. So clever me went out and did 1min hill repitions on the hill we are living on, in the heat of the day.

I always do a minimum of 20min warm up and warm down for intervals. So I rolled down to the creak feeling rather flat and not that revved up to do hard efforts.

I swear doing these hill reps almost killed me. The heat baring down on me and the glare of the sun was hurting my eyes and giving me a throbbing head ache. My legs did get up and go when I asked them to but every rep just got harder and the legs just got heavier. It was if my legs were a cup and water was lactic acid, it felt as if the water was just over flowing the cup.

By 5 reps I had dropped a couple of meters of where I reached the previous rep. Which was a bit of a blow mentally. But I kept at it.

Finally finishing off my last rep as my legs exploded into a million bits. (not really) I rolled up the rest of the hill in my easiest gear and went for my warm down.

The warm down I decided to explore some back roads. This was fun. I went into a shaded cobbled path behind a church, down a very steep hill and out along this narrow road which is probably a better than any smooth road in Australia that i have ever ridden on.

When the road started to descend even more I decided it was time to roll back the other way. Finally reaching home again I sat at the door to wait for the others to arrive back from their training. I am so glad it was shady at the door. Also the local cat kept me some company.

Some days can be hard and your legs can feel flat, but doing these sessions on this type of day when you’re not feeling in the mood just closes that gap of how well you will perform when you do feel like this, to how well you would perform when you are feeling at your best. So you will have more constant high level performance.


Electronics Curse

Well Tuesday was a bit of a bummer all round. Not much progress and it was a fairly boring day. Still enough to write a descent post about.

Todays mission was to head into Turin to get my camera fixed after it was caught up in a accident, where it swung into a rock stuffing up the the function to retract the lens.

The shop that I had to visit was about 5km away from the train station, but I didn’t particularly want to stay in Turin for the whole day. So I brought my bike in on the Train to ride back home after.

I reached the shop alive, whilst riding through the dense Italian traffic. I brought a helmet but it was nice to ride with out one but I felt naked. Although when riding on the road I always felt safe. I know it only takes one fall and one unlucky incident to hit your head but I wasn’t riding fast I was cruising and I was well aware of my surroundings.

Cars here (Italy) just pass you, giving you a car space gap. If they can’t pass you they just wait patiently and cruise on by when they can. There is no horn action there is no aggressive nature towards cyclist. Even in the hectic intersections they see you and let you pass. You get the sense the road is shared and not owned by the motorists.

As long as you don’t do anything stupid you’re safe. Even then, I have seen a cyclist do something stupid and the cars just move around it or just let it happen. No yelling or abusing. The only anomaly would be that Italian drive that grabbed my arm on that descent in the country.

Arriving at the camera shop I booked my camera in. The options were, more or less, if I could prove warranty they would send it off to Cannon and it would be a week to ten days before I got it back. If I paid, they would order in the parts and fix it there for about 100 euro. But they said they would ring me and quote me on time and price either later this evening or tomorrow.

So after this I was riding back to Mazze’, which is where I am staying. I was going to follow the river through Turin then take the back roads through little towns to Chivasso and then up to Mazze’.

Since my purchase of an Italian sim I have been able to use the internet more often and use google maps to help me navigate the foreign roads. So I headed off through Turin to go back home. I stopped at this bike shop that I spied while cycling up to it. I had forgotten to bring lube over with me to Europe so I thought this would be the best time to pick up some.

I went into this very nice bike shop, kitted out with top of the line BMC mountain bikes and road bikes. After some confusion of what I wanted with the guy who was helping me. The guy bringing out all sorts of chains when I pointed to my chain and said “oil” or “chain lube” we went into the back of the shop to find some chain lube. No dice. He said he had run out and some more would be in Saturday. I was a bit miffed at the fact that such a nice bike shop that looked well stocked had forgotten to get one of the popular items that a bike shop stocks.

No worries, I was off on my ride back to Mazze’. Frequently stopping and checking my phone to see if I was heading in the correct direction until I approached this odd intersection with a funny round about. I stopped, found out where I had to go and made a B line to my desired road. Popped the phone back in my pocket. Bunny hopped over one of the traffic islands and started to ride off, when I heard something drop on the ground. I looked back and there was my iPhone face down, and some how the flip cover had come up and off the screen and my heart sank. I pick up my phone and turned it over to the screen and it has 2 huge cracks in the bottom third of the screen.

Great! So now my camera is broken and my iPhone is cracked, and at the beginning of this trip I had to get my wheel on my bike fixed. This trip is already starting to be a hassle and become a bit expensive and I am a little more than a week into my 3 month trip.

Eventually I arrived home after a battle all the way back with the head wind in the primed heat of the day. Having a break in Chivasso to have a bite to eat and to Skype my family. Telling them all about my woes and troubles.

I picked up a friend who drafted behind me most of the way back from Chivasso, but since he was on skinny tyres (a road bike) he didn’t like it when I went straight onto a fire road that went behind farms and lead me straight to my town.

I will see what the bike shop says tomorrow.