Michael Musto is a regular contributor to this blog via the “comments” buttons after each post. He has just commented upon my previous post about all things Alpine and I think his words deserve a promotion from the Championship that is the comments section to the Premiership of the blog itself. He writes;I have read plenty of accounts of climbing while touring on a loaded bike. My heroes will climb 1800 metres in a day. Last summer I left camp and tackled a small 352 m pass on one of the hottest day of the year. I think the steepest grade was 5% but for a short distance. That 18 kilometres took me four hours and led me to re-examine the day. Here are a few tips that I need to remember and follow since I retired from being Superman: 1. Avoid the heat of the day. Drink plenty of water. Siestas were invented for a reason. 2. Train more. “A busy life” is no excuse. 3. Lose weight. The extra fat I carry is the same as putting extra weight on the bike. 4. Eat foods that quickly convert to energy. 5. Be armed with good information so you know the profile of the climb. I climbed with no end in sight, this was demoralizing. After all was said and done, I was glad for the experience. Next time I do a real mountain pass I will be better prepared. I know Italia will provide the mountains and hills. I have to do the rest.
Michael lives in Vancouver, Canada, the place with all the snow problems for the Olympics (call me euro-centric but I never consider Winter Olympic Games to be real if they are not in the European Alps; they just don’t look right anywhere else!). He contributes to Crazy Guy on a Bike, a website that has the tag line “A place for bicycle tourists and their journals” and I have just been reading about – no, stop; I didn’t read much of it – let’s be honest – I just looked at the pictures – so I have just been looking at some of his pictures from the trip that he refers to above in southern British Columbia. He was actually cycling there while I was making my way down the Pennine Cycleway last summer.
I can’t argue with his advice, all of which is relevant to me… I have also added his “tentative pile of crap” picture to the equipment section of the blog. Keep reading Michael and keep commenting; I promise to read more of the text when I next visit your own site.