Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Countdown continues

I received this in the mail the other day. It's a very nice packet of information sent to me from Custom Getaways (the group that I am using for my Etape trip). There's quite a lot of stuff in there, including pickup logistics, hotel planning, information about each of the major climbs that day, etc. As someone who generally enjoys planning trips, seeing a packet of information like this gets me very excited about the trip. Things are starting to become more concrete.

Of course, this also serves to scare me a little bit. As of today, there are 46 days left until the Etape and I'm still not 100% sure if I can finish the route. I've put in some decent mileage and climbing since the beginning of my training program back in February but I still have some lingering doubts. I think the main problem is that there are no climbs near NYC that come close to approximating some of the Alpine climbs. The longest local climb I know of is at Bear Mountain, which is only 4+% for 4.5 miles. Even doing repeats up Bear Mountain doesn't give me a sense of what Alpe d'Huez will be like. It's essentially a fear of the unknown.

Regardless of what happens though, I think it's going to be an awesome experience to go and ride the route along with thousands of other avid cyclists. I fully plan on drafting off of as many people as possible... I've even entertained the thought of using a bungee cord and tying myself to some of the stronger riders on the climbs. I'm sure they wouldn't mind. And I am excited about refueling with beer after the conclusion of the ride as the sun sets over the Alps.

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