The Blokes made me do it.

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January 25, 2016 by shortbloke

I’ve got to be honest, the last couple of months of 2015 were not filled with a great deal of wheel based activity. The last few Sunday mornings of the year were mostly about newsprint, hot tea and toast smothered in honey and there were not many Strava segment times recorded.

There were lots of very good excuses. Chores around the house, driving the small people back to the University, family celebrations. The weather was generally uninviting of course. This is England after all.

With all that, the wheels on the bike did not do a lot of round and round. As a result the legs got softer, the waistline larger.

It appears that has to change. Just a little.

Having discounted the Stelvio because it falls right in the middle of the small people’s exams, the Blokes procrastinated about this year’s European ride adventure. As things got booked up, options reduced, costs increased.

After an emergency committee meeting, a decision was made. A fairly big decision.

This year’s Blokes Big Adventure is to be….

….drum roll….

The Marmotte.


This is a serious ride. This is not messing about. These are not slight inclines. These are more than lumps on the horizon. These are some of the most iconic climbs in, well, the world. Glandon. Telegraph. Galabier. And for good measure the 21 hairpins up to Alp D’Huez. All names that anyone who cycles seriously will know very well.

Let’s look at some of the numbers.


Kilometers. That’s a long way at the best of times.


Metres of climb. That’s a lot of up.


Kilometres of descents, at least. That’s more like it.

So what of the more important numbers ?

Last year did not go so well for me. I have to remember how that felt and use it to motivate. The targets are easy to decide on. But like any good target, not so easy to meet.


miles per week. A long time ago a man who knows told us that was the basic requirement for establishing the level of fitness required to complete a decent mountain ride in a relatively decent time.  150 miles is a lot of miles. I really don’t think I can fit that in. The only way this is going to work for me is if I re-join the gym or buy a stationary exercise bike. More on that in a later post.


Stone. By the time we leave my body weight has to start with an 11. Basically that means Eat Less, Move More. Hard as it is, experience has taught me that the Eat Less is way more important than the Move More. No biscuits. No peanut butter toast snacks in the middle of the day. Less chocolate. And as the nice people from Trust Me I’m a Doctor  suggest, not eating late in the evening. Sounds like a good plan.


% body Fat. I have a new scale that tells me what my body fat ratio is. I am reliably informed there’s no point in comparing with other scales. They are all slightly different. The only valid comparison is trend on the same scale. I’m already down from 33% to 28%. That took 2 weeks. However, the first 5% is, apparently, the easiest. After that initial success, I’ve been stuck at 28% for the last two weeks.

So, much to do. Much to think about. Much restraint to apply.

Am I excited ? Yes. Yes I am.

Am I nervous? Yes. Yes I am.

Am I completely insane? Yes. I probably am that too.

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