Today Fabian Cancellara put 7 seconds into his nearest rival on the Tour de France ‘Prologue’. Tomorrow it will be 10 weeks until ‘Ras na mBan’ Day 1. It may not seem obvious at first, but I am the missing link between these two cycling titbits. Fabian is my Cycling Crush*. He makes me want to ride my bike better. When I want to kick ass on my bike I picture Fabian Cancellara storming to the front of the bunch and taking the sprint finish (<= what do I sound like????!!!). I have dreams where Fab and I go on training spins together…… (mostly we don’t chat, but when we do I give him Jens Voigt’s personality; trust me on this one).
On Friday I went along to a meet-up with cycling coach Scott McDonald which was organised by Cycling Leinster’s Margaret (Mags) Donnelly. Mags, who is planning to tackle ‘Ras na mBan’ for the first time this year, was there, as were Trish, Lucy, Charlotte, Orla and Niamh. For Trish and Lucy this will also be their first ‘Ras na mBan’. Charlotte, Orla and Niamh were all in attendance last year; Charlotte and I cycled on the Orwell Team together.
Scott wisely let us exchange gossip / talk at each other / burn ourselves out, for a while, before he sat in and did his best to talk us through the ‘Training Plan’ he had drawn up. Given that he seemed to be directing a lot of his words in my general postcode, I think I must have had my “vaguely intelligent” face on. In reality,….. I was scanning the pages of spreadsheets he handed us and the only words that kept jumping out at me were REST and DAY. As Aido would say….BOOM!!
Then the questions started. Poor Scott.
He gamely covered every topic we threw at him, including……. how often was too often for Trish to play soccer, whether Orla’s upcoming holiday plans could accommodate 6 extra bodies, and if Charlotte should officially incorporate a siesta into her workday. In fact we were fairly close to that point where it would have seemed acceptable to ask him for relationship advice…. “Scott? Say you wanted to go for a spin with Fabian Cancellara, but he wasn’t returning your calls…….”
I’m reasonably sure he didn’t intend it this way, but if I was going to give a synopsis of Scott’s training advice to us, it would be: lose some weight, ride your bike up hills, lose some weight. Evidently I wasn’t the only one who left with this impression……. as Trish was folding it up to put in her bag, she referred to her Training Plan as her 10-week weight-loss program!
We shall see.
*I reserve the right to have more than one Cycling Crush. You know who you are.