Goal Setting

Since signing up for quite a few roads events this summer. In-between skiing we have decided to set some monthly goals.

  1. Complete a minimum of 30 hours cycling in a month with this being upped by 5 hours per month so…
  • JAN 30
  • FEB 35
  • MARCH 40
  • APRIL 45
  • MAY 50
  • JUNE 55
  • JULY 60
  • AUGUST TRANSCON !
  1. Complete a minimum of two 130km plus rides per month.
  2. Get a weekly new KOM or QOM.

This month we have done 2 big rides both being Tours of local mountain ranges. Le Tour de Bauges (149km) Which our friend Graeme joined us for.

& Le Tour de Chartreause (136km).

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World’s weirdest ski resorts

World’s weirdest ski resorts

10 places you never knew you could ski

From Iran to Israel, we take a look at the most exotic ski resorts in the world.

Everyone knows you can ski in the French Alps or the Canadian Rockies, but you’ll also find ski resorts in places better known for sun and sand than they are for snow.

Kashmir Delhi + Gulmarg 051003.jpg

1. Kashmir

The Himalayan ski resort of Gulmarg, in Indian-administered Kashmir, is fast becoming the coolest kid on the block for the adventurous ski set.

If the idea of skiing amongst monkeys and machine guns doesn’t appeal, then Kashmir is best avoided; but if it’s adventure you’re after, Gulmarg offers perhaps the finest lift-accessed powder slopes in the world. The Kashmiri curries aren’t bad either.

2. Lebanon

Of the six ski resorts in Lebanon, it’s Mzaar which is the most developed. With 18 lifts and a maximum altitude of 2465m, it’s popular with the cool Beirut crowd who come to ski, party and ‘be seen’ at weekends. 

3. Sicily

This Italian island in the Mediterranean normally brings to mind sun and sand but you can also ski atop volcanic Mount Etna at one of two ski centres. However, skiers better be careful here; when Mount Etna blows her top you don’t want to be anywhere nearby. In previous eruptions the lift infrastructure has been damaged by lava flows so check the volcano forecast before donning your ski boots!

4. Israel

On top of sacred Mount Hermon you’ll find Israel’s only ski area. With nearly 28 miles of ski runs, the terrain is ample for intermediates, though apparently lower runs can get clogged with beginner Israelis skiing in jeans. 

5. Cyprus

Another Mediterranean Island where you can ski on the mountain and swim in the sea on the same day, Cyprus has a ski resort as well as its famous beaches. Mount Olympus provides the beautiful setting for skiing here in the Troodos Mountains and though the season is shorter than on the European mainland, the views from the top are well worth the trip.

6. Tasmania

There are several resorts on the Australian mainland, but little Tassy also offers all the facilities needed for a great ski trip. Ben Lomond is the best resort on the island and boasts a handful of drag lifts as well as accommodation and eateries. Being in the southern hemisphere, the ski season runs from July to September. 

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7. Iran

Iran may bring to mind hot weather and accusations of being an Axis of Evil, but the country has huge mountains rising to over 5000m and offers some excellent skiing.

There are two main resorts, Dizin and Shemshak, both of which are just two hours from Tehran. Due to strict Islamic laws, some resorts have separate ski lifts for men and women.

8. South Korea

The Asian ski boom that began in Japan in the ‘80s spread to neighbouring South Korea soon after. South Korea has 12 resorts but although winters in the country are very cold, snow is not particularly heavy, so you’re unlikely to get many powder days on a ski trip here. There have even been rumours that Kim Jong-il has his own private ski resort in North Korea.

9. Kosovo

This tiny but proud country is said to have one of the best ski areas in the Balkans: Brezovica.  They even have a facebook with over 20,000 fans (in comparison, Val D’isere in France, one of the most popular ski resorts in Europe, only has 5800 fans) so they must be doing something right! 

10. South Africa

Skiing? In South Africa? Yup. Tiffindell is the country’s only ski resort and plays host to the South African ski and snowboarding championships each year. Established in 1993, the resort is built on Ben Macdhui and has a relatively high elevation of 2810m. Compared to skiing in Europe, things here are basic, but if you’re heading to the area in winter (our summer), the chance to say “I’ve skied South Africa” is just too good to miss. 

Kashmir picture © SnowSphere.com
Iran picture © Fabien Khan

Author: Sam Bauldwin 

Le Tour de Mont Blanc

ben mb

This summer on top of all the one day races and events that we are competing in and some heavy training getting ready for the Trans Continental 2014 race, I have signed up to compete in the Tour de Mont Blanc.

I have never ridden anywhere near as far as this, or done anywhere close to the amount of climbing that is needed to complete this event, but I thought it would be a fantastic chance to see how much I could achieve on a bike. After all, if I was going to try it any summer, then it would be this one after hopefully having come off the back of a good winter season of cycling, xc skiing and running and loads of events to aim for.

The race it’s self will take in 7 Hor Category Climbs and over 8000m verticle of climbing over 330km. This is going to be one hell of a ride and one that I will be looking to complete rather than compete in.

Gaby and I will be completing this course as a recky some time before the event in 2 days to practise camping and touring with as lightweight kit as possible and to gauge where the toughest climbs of the course will be. Also to experience a great ride through 3 countries and climb some cols that we haven’t experienced yet.

If I can compete this event and feel relatively ‘comfortable’ at the end of it, then I feel I will be in a good position to attack the TCR.

“If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it, It’s the hard that makes it great”

The Transcontinental

Europelatemaedited

This summer we have taken on the challenge of the 2014 Transcontinental Race from London to Istanbul (3200km in 14 days just to finish). It’s going to be very physically but also with a huge mental aspect; pushing on through fatigue, steep climbs, navigation and battling through what the weather decides to bring our way. Not to mention where to bivy for the night, what to eat and where to wash?

One thing we have on our side is being lucky enough to be bases in the French alps with iconic climbs on our doorstep and accessible on our lunch breaks. We have been slightly limited recently due to the snow that comes with living in a valley surrounded by some of the largest ski resorts in the world, but we have been using the time to get in some flatter longer rides out towards Annecy and Chambery.

To keep up momentum and to give us achievable goals to work towards we have also entered the following events throughout the spring and summer:

Le Bisou
6/4/14             (141km and flat ish around Bourg en Bresse)

Gran Fondo Ventoux
31/5/14           (170km with 3500m of climbing)

Time Megeve
8/6/13             (145km with 3850m of climbing)

Morzine – Haute Chablais
22/6/14          (160km with 3600m of climbing)

Here is a video from last years Transcon from the guys over at AWOL which gives a small taster of whats to come….