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Road to Ventoux: Slippery slope [Apr. 17th, 2009|05:20 pm]
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While Young Simon was reacquainting himself with Ditchling Beacon, I was in the Alps - not cycling but on a skiing holiday with my family.

It was here - in the village of Vallandry, close to Les Arcs - that I became possibly the first person to walk into a ski-hire shop on day one and ask if there was anywhere to hire a bike.

The expression on the face of the assistant told its own story. It said, "Are you mad or something?"

OK - so I should have taken my bike with me. But I did say it was a family holiday, didn't I. And I figured that, so long as I managed to avoid injury, I wouldn't regress too far if I was continuing to exercise my legs. But I cast many a wistful glance in the direction of the beautiful 13km climb up to Vallandry from the valley below.

Over the course of the week I did manage an hour on the exercise bike in the gym - the pain alleviated by the view through the window in front of me of amazing snow-capped peaks. Definitely one up on the grim chamber in which my local gym holds its spinning classes.

As soon as I got back I tested my bike fitness against one of my well established routes north from my home in London NW6 and got round in not bad shape.

So - a week when maybe I didn't lose too much. And the skiing was fabulous.