Today is a recovery day…good timing too, based off the morning moans and groans as the battered and bruised emerged from a restless night of sleep. It would seem, despite yesterday’s scare, the team is intact and as ambitious as ever. In fact, unwelcome wrecks, lost skin, broken helmets and beyond, are just part of a bike racer’s life.
So what exactly does an elite cyclist do on a recovery day to pass the time and recharge for the following days of training? Go for a ride of course.
Today’s ride-start was pushed back to 10 a.m. affording a late breakfast and some extra sleep; that is if your body did not find it fitting to rise at 4 a.m. as mine did. A leisure breakfast got the day back on the right foot though.
Breakfast is my favorite meal but history would suggest that in Europe, breakfast is not their finest hour. Thus I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality and variety we have been presented for breakfast here in Newport, Wales. I will however continue to pass on the Blood Sausage.
Post breakfast we rolled out on a slow spin through the country side. The light rain midway through did nothing to dampen the general mood of the group and overall views. The greenery of the surroundings has hints of the Pacific Northwest but the immediate rural feel and rolling hills seem more a kin to the western prairie.
Rides through the country consist of narrow roads winding their way through minor village to minor village. Mix in small farms, 15 foot tall hedgerows, and fields of endless sheep, and you have Wales. Alas, it would not be Europe without a quick diversion for a picture in front of the neighborhood castle.
With the recovery ride in the bag, the rest of the day has been spent taking advantage of the exceptional services provided by our staff. First a massage, followed by a quick once over by the Chiro. Then off to the mechanics to make sure the bikes are in prime shape for the next block of training. With heavy lifting out of the way for the day it was afternoon nap time.
Recovery comes to an end tomorrow at 6:30 a.m.