I’ve signed up for Cape Epic once again, this time going in knowing what I’m getting into! 750km over 8 days with 16,000m of climbing (March 15-22). I entered Cape Epic for the first time in March of 2013 after getting a call up from my friend, Tom Ritchey. It was completely unscripted and Tom simply stated that it was going to be a hard event and that I should prepare like I was racing as a pro again. Trouble is that I live in the northern Canadian city of Edmonton where there is snow on the ground all Winter. I developed some training tricks around what to wear and how to kit out my bike.
I learned that Winter that training on the bike that you are going to race on is the best and most sure way of maximizing your efforts. So, for this next journey, my Scott Spark full suspension XC 29’r was going to be the weapon of choice, both for training and the race itself. I’ve loaded it with 29×2.25 fully studded Schwalbe tires that are completely amazing on packed snow, ice and everything in between. The 45Nrth Cobrafist bar covers are an amazing addition, keeping the wind chill at bay without causing sweat. Add battery heated glove liners for -15C days. For my feet, I’m using a battery heated insole and heavy insulated booties. MTB fenders added to keep the slush from splashing on melting days and all is set. Magic.
So, onto the training. I began in earnest on Oct 1 by not letting my Summer road fitness slide away. I ‘teach’ an indoor cycling class Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings for 1 hour on Mon and Wed and 1.5 hours on Fri from the start of Oct to Dec 19. Then start again Jan 5 to the end of April when it’s finally nice enough to ride consistently outside here. So, this fits perfectly into my training program. I add 1/2 hour on for Mon and Wed so I get a total of 4 1/2 hours of indoor riding each week. On each weekend, I’ve been riding my Scott MTB for successively longer outdoor rides. As an example, last weekend, I posted 2, 3 hours rides for a total of 90km, most of which on packed snow trails.
The first week of Dec is a rest period, luckily it’s also one of the coldest weeks on record with temps down to -30C. Things should be back to ‘normal’ -5C to -10C by Dec 4/5 so I can get my next 3 week training period under way. Next update on Dec 14 with 3 months to go!
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We are riding Cape Epic in support of: