My cycling summer began in the foothills of the Dolomites, where I joined my brother and my parents (and most importantly, my bike!) for a week of delicious food (a 3 ice-cream a day maximum kind of holiday) and a spot of cycling. Having been reunited with my bike after almost a month apart, I was dragging the rest of the family out on rides pretty much from the moment I arrived. As well as flatter rides around the area as a family, we also climbed 27km up to Monte Grappa over the course of a couple of hours, only to descend in a matter of minutes – I’m not sure which part I preferred more, but the scenery was stunning. We also met a cycling club drinking beer at 10am on a Sunday morning – they were sponsored by a local Birreria to be fair, and looked like a lot of fun. Oh, and we visited almost every Decathlon store in the local area – my family are obsessed, too!
Then it was on to family-organised ‘Burgundy Bike Week’ in France, where we arrived just in time for the end of the Tour de France…you’d have thought we’d timed it or something?! We amassed 50 people during the week (a mix of English, French and Dutch families), with a variety of rides each day (hilly, Canal rides or culture…take your pick) and an apéro each evening. Plus croissants and bread aplenty; oh I miss France!
Strava Queen reigned in the wilds of Burgundy…and the family Strava wasn’t looking too shabby either on the climb to the village – QoM and KoM going to the Jackson siblings and 3 other family members in the top 10, we’ll take that! We were also joined by the Dutch Under 17 Time Trial champ and his friend on a few rides, who set a blistering pace on the front, but it’s all good training 🙂
And finally on to cycling around the hills of Girona…what a summer of cycling I have had! Six days of tapas, sunshine and cycling, what more could you ask for?! We cycled along some incredible roads swooping for miles (or should I say kilometres seeing as we’re being all European) along the coastline, with beautiful views of clear, blue water; sandy beaches and tiny coves (or calas) with yachts sailing around in the bay – take me back, please.
I particularly liked the friendly locals, who were very receptive to my slightly rusty Spanish, and the lack of traffic on the roads – a very welcome contrast to the bustling streets of London. I was also blessed with fantastic route-mapping courtesy of my brother, choosing quiet roads to beautiful climbs – route planning really can be make-or-break, so I was very lucky. However, in the training grounds of professional teams, my Strava dreams were very much out of reach this time.
It made me very happy, however, to see an almost 50:50 split of male to female cyclists out on the Sunday, including possibly the current World Time Trial champ…we’re not sure, she whizzed past in the opposite direction so fast! Apart from that, I was often the only woman…it gets lonely sometimes! But I’m showing them that this girl can 🙂
My Ultra 700 AF has taken me here, there and everywhere this summer and is for sure my most treasured possession – oh dear, I’ve become a real cycling enthusiast.