Physical Condition

The bikes are both at the garage being serviced and having new tyres fitted. We left instructions with the garage that they both need to be good for five thousand maintenance free kilometres, on some of the lowest quality roads in Europe west of the Caucasus.

Our own physical state is pretty critical too. Spending several hours per day for two or three weeks sat on the bike on often challenging roads, can be exhausting. Maybe less so for people who already spend a couple of hours everyday on their bike commuting, but I am a mere recreational user these days.

For this reason I consider health and fitness to be an important part of preparation. Without either of these, you might as well just sit on a beach for your holiday.

The usual regime is a 5km run three times a week, and a 1km swim twice a week (when other things don’t get in the way of the schedule, that is).

I would also like to do some weights to build up the upper body, but that would have far too great a risk of aggravating old injuries.

The Results

I have been keeping to this exercise plan for almost 18 months. I have also completely removed caffeine from my diet.

The result is a 20% drop in my resting heart rate (monitored by a Basis band) and much improved sleep. Combined with my acquired ability to easily run 5km in under 25 minutes, this represents a significant improvement.

Like many people, I spend my working life sat at a desk. You cannot simply go from idle to intensive riding without either preparing yourself or suffering the consequences.