It's Warming Up

In my last post you might have got the impression that the French weather had been rather inhospitable, and that was the case, until now.  After 21 consecutive days of rain since my arrival, on 1st May we were given a reprieve.  We’ve now had 4 days on the trot of glorious sunshine and I’ve been reminded of why I came to France in the first place.  The cycling here is simply lovely in the sun.  I promised a few pictures once the sun came out, so here you go:

Roads like this are everywhere

Ignore the goofy look - there's the sun!

It's very rural around here

Over the last 10 days another group has been and gone, all of whom seemed to have a really enjoyable time.  Unfortunately they were also subjected to the rain, but at least they had a day of sun before departing.  One of the last bike sessions we did were hill repeats, and I took the opportunity to incorporate some vo2 intervals that Coach Brian has asked me to do.  After 4x 6 minute efforts at 107% FTP (for those who don’t speak ‘power talk’, an uncomfortably hard session), I was ready to soft pedal my way back home.  Thanks to Extreme Endurance I was able to get right back at training the next day without too much residual muscle soreness.

This week’s new guests - many of whom are returning for the second or third time - arrived on Wednesday.  Yesterday we went out for the standard Thursday bike route, which is approximately 75km through the quiet roads in the local countryside.   We stopped off for coffee 10km from home and relaxed for a little longer than usual, sitting in the sun.  After a few went to the boulangerie, we headed back slowly with our baguettes in tow.  There were a few different methods of carrying the baguettes, and while many stuffed it in their jersey pockets, I went for the balancing on the handlebars approach. 

Since the weather has improved the temperature of the pool is slowly starting to rise.  At the start of the week it was still 14 degrees, but as of yesterday it was simply bubbling in comparison at 18 degrees!  That extra 4 degrees makes the world of difference and it’s so much more comfortable, although still darn cold!  It’s almost warm enough to forgo the wetsuit… not quite, but almost!