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Blog - Lyon - Winter Training

Lyon - Winter Training
By James Dec 5, 2017 1:05:22 AM Comments

James Wilkinson is a Dave Rayner funded athlete and has spent the last two seasons racing and competing at elite level in Belgium. After some well deserved time off, James is slowly getting back into training and in this exclusive blog he talks us through getting back on the bike and gearing up for 2018…

First the off-season, then the winter training starts. Not much to say about what happened in the off-season in terms of riding my bike as there wasn’t any! I spent the time with family & friends and caught up on other areas of life that often get overlooked during a busy racing season. Having said this however, I did manage to do some cross fitness training such as running and swimming, but not much else.

Around mid-November, I started to slowly get back out on the bike again, not much but just a mix of shorter and longer rides to get myself back into the swing of things again. I recently headed out to France to stay with a friend of mine and his family for a couple weeks in Rhodes-Alps, Crappone, near Lyon. The mix of different roads and terrain helped motivate me back into training, plus with the weather set to be mild when I first arrived, I was keen to get out on the road as quickly as possible and start riding.

For me personally, there’s always something that goes wrong when unpacking my bike from a bike bag and this time it was the seat post clamp. This particular seat post has a special integrated clamp. It isn’t just any normal collar style clamp either and this time the grub screw had seized into it so it wouldn’t move at all. The frustration at not getting out was beginning to kick in but I kept pretty calm about it even though I had wanted to unpack and get out on the bike straight away.  This being said, if I wanted to ride for the rest of my time here I was going to need to get this fixed – and quickly!

Pierre and I set about searching for a local bike shop that sold my brand of bike, which, in theory should be relatively easy given that my bike is a French brand (Lapierre). Every bike shop we spoke to said they couldn’t get the specific part until the week after, as the Lapierre factory was closing and moving to new premises. This was great news (not) and was now beginning to test my patience, so we tried to come up with a solution to the problem, but couldn’t think of much given that mechanics and engineering are not my strongest points! Out of no where, Pierre’s neighbor turned up on the front door (he lives in a small motor home across the road and is always helping everyone out) and news came of it that he was an old car body restorer, so he must have some experience getting some stubborn parts out….

Fast-forward 3 hours and he turns up with the part and had fixed it, even though it had a big bolt sticking out of it, it was back and functional and I was now calmed and ready to get out and ride. This beautiful French countryside needed exploring.

James Climbs Near Lyon, France

Banana at the ready and fueled for my ride

Moving swiftly on, after that small hiccup here is what last weeks training looked like for me:

Monday is a day off – I’d already done training leading into this week and 4hrs the day before so a rest day was incorporated along with a nice strength & conditioning session.

The next 3 days - Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, included doing just long endurance riding, with each of these days all being around 110km or more on pretty hilly terrain. This equated to approximately 4 hours riding time each day.

Friday was spent lounging around, recovering and getting ready for the weekend with a nice easy recovery spin of about an hour and a half.

Snow had fallen late Thursday and Friday in the hills so it almost forced us out on the mountain bikes over the weekend. This was OK for me as it kept things fresh and added a little bit of fun! That being said, I always ensured I was dressed well in Cycling Clothing and had a number of thinner layers on to ensure protection from elements.

Mountain biking is pretty fun over here as you can imagine and its’ not something Pierre and I normally do. I was using an old 90’s retro hard tail, and over the weekend we’d managed to rack up 8hrs ride time total on the mountain bikes which was similar to what we’d have done on the road - as expected this was great training and left me sore in new places I didn’t think could get sore….

As the winter goes on, I’ll be increasing the volume of miles and increasing the efforts as I head towards the new season. I’m back in the UK over Christmas but will be heading out to Spain in January with a few other riders to continue my preparation for 2018.

A quick personal thank you for the support I’ve received this year from my local bike shop Global Bikes, The Dave Rayner Fund and Arrivée Performance Clothing (plus anyone else who has helped me who I may have missed here).

Until next time,

à la prochaine,

James – aka Wilkibarkid 

A special thanks to James for taking the time to write this blog -  we hope you have enjoyed it and as always of you have thoughts, questions or suggestions then please do reach out and speak to us on our social media pages,

Arrivée Performance Clothing – Winning Style

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