The team of cyclists making up Lonely Planet’s relay team are currently training hard towards their common goal wherever they are in the world.
As well as Scott and Sharif speeding through the Nile Valley riding stage one, we have sixteen riders from six countries (Australia, China, Italy, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States) currently taking on very different conditions and challenges to be shape for when they take up the baton. Here are a few of their stories:
“As luck would have it, I’m always in ‘hill’ training at this time of the year, preparing for my annual Audax Alpine Classic, which I’ve already done 8 or 9 times. It’s a 200km day ride through the Victorian Alps including four climbs with four thousand metres of ascent. So I figure that if I’m ready for that it must augur well for Ethiopia, but this year, that 200km one-day epic has mutated into a training ride; I depart for Sudan three days after it.
Final prep before the Alpine Classic was the traditional annual ‘Double Donna’, successive ascents of Mt Donna Buang, Melbourne’s closest ‘serious’ climb (unintrrupted 17km for 1050m). My main concern has been developing the ‘repetition endurance’, being able to get on the bike every day for two weeks and cover some very long hours in the saddle on some very tough terrain (dirt and bitumen). I’ll soon know if it was enough! I hope the buns hold up …”
Quentin Frayne, Australia (riding The Gorge from Khartoum to Addis Ababa)
“This winter has been one of the coldest and snowiest of the last 30 years, expecially in southern Piemonte (Piedmont), where I live. During the Christmas holidays I went for 5 days in Sicily to train outdoors for 4 to 5 hours every day, but since then I have been enjoying the magic of cross-training (being a triathlete I know it works well) so I swim for 4 km, then run (on melting snow/ice) for at least 45 minutes. Then I go back home for 90 minutes on the bike trainer. Cycling indoor on the trainer is one of the most boring activities I know. I try to keep the right pedaling pace using dance/pop/trance/techno music (Depeche Mode remixes work quite well), but after about an hour I start talking to myself…”
Carlo Chierotti, Italy (riding Meltdown Madness from Addis Ababa to Nairobi)