5.30am on a FREEZING February morning and I struggle to layer up under the confines of a duvet as my shield to the ice cold wind whipping through my (non-double glazed!) windows. A bowl of warm porridge, hot cross buns and ever compulsory tea later and I roll the bikes out to the car. A small fight with the boot of my car later - the lock had seized shut - and off to the motorway for the 3 hour drive to the Champion Systems / Maxgear / Kyklos team launch at Maften Hall!
On arrival I was led to table of tea and bacon sandwiches and I thought...Im going to like these people. We met the sponsors and listened to the junior and senior team's aims for the year. These, along with the shiny Kyklos bikes, instilled a buzz of inspiration! Nicola proceeded to lay out our own aims for the coming season and the reality of racing with these ladies set in :)
We then donned the new team kit for various photo shoots, which I'm not going to lie, were incredibly cold with various lean cyclists darting back into Maften Hall between shots! The process of further layering up for the ride began as the snow descended from an ever bleak sky, but I was itching to set off having been cooped up in the car! Despite the icy temperatures the ride was really enjoyable, it was great to get to know a few of the other riders...but my bike didn't appreciate the snowy conditions!
I'm very excited for racing this year. The first big race I'm currently aiming for is the Cheshire Classic on 22nd April. Although Nicola, Mel and myself have the Mersey Tunnel TT (6.4km) on 19th February and local crits throughout march to get some race practice in before then! The cold is unfortunate at the moment but I keep dragging various Manchester cyclists out!