Guilty Pleasure

Photo: The road to Alozaina

Winter sun training camp, Day 5, last day

The last day of winter sun training camp had a sting in the tail. Whilst climbing towards Coín the heavens opened. The good news is that after only 5 minutes or so in the rain a bar appeared. I sprinted for the cover and coffee. When I say rain, I mean rain:


A local came over to me to tell me that it would rain hard for 30 minutes or so then clear. He was right. They were all drinking beer, so it seemed rude not to join them. Sod it, I thought, it’s the last day of training camp, I’ll have a beer chaser to follow the warming coffee. Using my best Spitalian we talked about the weather. They warned me the roads would be very slippery after the rain. They were right. I took it easy, “piano piano” as we say in Italian. I descended without incident. I was ok in shorts but so glad I had my gilet and arm warmers. I needed them. I was fine but I’m thinking a lightweight rain jacket might be a good addition to my ever growing kit collection.

Reflections on training camp

Back in January my wife Jan and I were in our local coffee shop whilst it was bitterly cold and raining in London. Jan, unable to run, me unable to ride, the Winter Sun Training Camp idea was born.

We both had some objectives in mind. Jan wanted to get a few extra kilometres done for her crazy, but laudable, challenge of trying to run 2,018 km in 2018 to raise £2,018 for The Alzheimer’s Society in honour of her father who is in the advanced stages of the disease. Jan managed 45.67km over the five days, the most so far over that length of time. Her total for 2018 is now 257.6km. Her determination to complete this year long challenge is inspiring. I am immensely proud of her. If she remains injury free, I am sure she will make it. You can read all about her exploits at If you like what she’s doing, and writing, you can either sponsor her now to encourage her, or wait until December when she announces her total for the year: jancanrun donation page.

My objective was to discover if I could ride at least 100km for five days in a row, the most number of consecutive days I have ever ridden. It turns out I can. I managed 568km in all and my legs feel fine. All I need to do now is convert that into four days of 300km each for Paris-Brest-Paris in 2019. I have a lot more training to do, but I’m greatly encouraged that I can sustain my riding over multiple days.

What’s the guilty pleasure? I am both delighted that I have ridden so well over the five days, but feel a little guilty that I have already surpassed Jan’s 2018 km target. I know running and cycling are completely different but it brings home to me how hard her challenge is.

As for Winter Training Camp, we think we might do the same next year. We are considering Seville for 2019 – any tips very welcome.

Year to date

2,058km / 21 rides / 98km average per ride

17,869m elevation gain (2.02 Everests)

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