To the racing or club cyclist training camps are as key as the moment when the legs are shaved ahead of the first competitive outing or the sipping of a double espresso before every club run.
A traditional inclusion in pre-season training, such camps have always been popular for providing a much needed escape from the harsh reality of a northern hemisphere winter, during which even the most Belgian of cyclists find their mental stamina tested to breaking point.
Yes, the chance to spend a week in sunnier climes is one rarely passed up. Smooth, pothole-free roads, less heavy with traffic and higher temperatures surely a guarantee, plus the chance to begin work on those cyclist’s tan lines, training camps are ideal for kick starting any serious cyclist’s season.
Perhaps rather oddly then, and I’m not the only one thinking this but probably along in admitting to, I’ve been training reasonably hard in preparation for the trip to Majorca next weekend with RCUK editor Richard Hallett. Yup, training for a training camp. But surely that’s the idea of the camp, to get fit?
Well, yes and no. There is, I think, a sound reason for my plan. You see, as much as it’s a chance to work on my fitness and put in a big chunk of quality miles on sublime roads under the warm glow of the Spanish sun, it’s also the simplicity of an entire week devoted to pedalling. No other worries than just enjoying my cycling. And that’s the reason behind my push for extra miles before, during and after work these past few weeks, and my careful attention to my diet, I want to go there with a reasonably level of fitness and speed in my legs, purely so that I can enjoy the cycling on offer to the maximum.
And maybe driven just a tinsey bit by not wanting to be dropped by RH. But then I would never admit that to him personally…