Friday, 30 April 2010

Etape preparation 3 months to go

Despite the vast improvement in the weather and the welcome switch to British Summer Time, I find I have done about the same number of miles as in March with 592 miles in 36h52m.  I have done more racing though with 5 evening races at Hillingdon and 1 at Eelmore.  I entered two Road Races, the Peter Rigby Memorial in Hampshire and the Thames Velo in Oxfordshire but was dropped both times.  Add one 10 mile TT (substantially slower than this time last year) and only about 5 commutes into work.  The only moderately long and moderately hilly ride has been one 82 mile club run.  It is going to be necessary to crank the mileage up significantly in May.
Rather more positively I have booked the trains:  Eurostar to Paris and then the overnight sleeper down to Pau booked precisely 3 months ahead to get the best 'Prem' fares.  I have not tried a French sleeper before and look forward to the experience.  Accomodation is also sorted with 3 nights in a modest hotel in Pau.
Booking the French trains was rather easier (and cheaper) than booking myself and bike onto a Virgin West Coast train up to the Lake District for the Fred Whitton Challenge in May.  It has been incredibly hard to get them to confirm a bike reservation with frustrating hours spent on the telephone to a foreign call centre most of the time on hold.   Integrated transport still has a long way to go here in the UK.
My start number is as yet not available which leads me to suspect that I shall yet again be one of the last off.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Martin, I need to sort my hotels and trains too. Whereabouts in Pau are you staying? I was contemplating the sleeper as well but I never sleep well on trains.

    I'm thinking of hiring a car when I get there then driving it up to Bagneres de Bigorre on the saturday and leaving it overnight for getting back to Pau on Sunday evening.