7.01.2014

A (Mom) Summer Training Day

It's finally hot like it's supposed to be. You must sweat on the bike, that's how it has to be. I love these summer days when I go training with my son. First of all I love to wake up early and to open the window in the rosy light of the dawn. 
Here in the country - where I stay since June till September - my room is upstairs with a beautiful view on the Pratomagno, a average mountain bordering the Valdarno with the famous Chianti, by the other side of my hill. 
At night you can just see the dark profile of the mountain and its large mass dotted of lights under the darker sky and the brighter lights of the stars. At dawn the valley is often covered on white clouds and mist, the mountain is painted in different greens and the sky warmly pink, the rising sun not in sight.
Closer, the tops of the trees growing high and strong in front of the house, crowded of garrulous birds and the grass of the garden, seldom cut, full of flowers, planted or wild, still wet and light green. It's such a pleasure that I always remain at the window too long, conteplating, my sleepy eyes fighting to stay open in all that light. Some times I sit on the roof just outside the window, warm and confortable like a nest. 
But not when we have to go training: we are in a hurry. We went to the loo directly in our cycling clothes, we put the kettle on and while the tea gets ready we set our bikes on the car. It's a Kangoo so there is no problem: I can load even three bikes without removing the front wheels.
We take our break-fast outside, in front of the kitchen. It's all forest by that side of the house: our wood till the fence, then forest till the top and down till San Polo in Chianti. Tea, bread and jam when it's training day. A moka coffee for me - not yet for my son. And we are off to the village, 3 km of dirty road in the forest. Some times we meet some wild animals, a fawn, a wild boar, a badger, a fox... 
The meeting point is at the parking place of Ponte a Ema: we get on the Team van and we drive to the training trak in San Bartolo a Cintoia, by the other side of Florence.It makes no sense, it's quite a shame but Team Aquila, the first team of Gino Bartali, has got no better place to safely train with his youngest riders. We share the track with Team Itala, whose headquarter is near there.
Sum up is a good place to train. 600 m more or less. All flat, ok. All green too, in spite the highway is very close. High modern buildings in the background and Peretola airport, but also the round bald low mountains of the Calvana, toward Prato. In summer it's hot but there is always a fresh wind and some shadow under the trees for parents and not riding staff. Children train with a DS or - when she isn't there - with volunteers. They start slowly, chattering and joking. "Cm'on! speed up!" and they increase the pace. After some laps they do specific works, because they are different ages and cathegories - 7-12. Finally they are asked to compete in a points race or in an itt or even to simulate a road race. Times and points get written down so they can try to improve the next time.
Son is usually sceptical about Mom training. Even a little embarrassed because I'm the only mom riding a bike and his mates stare at me in amazement. I'm not very good. My sport used to be artistic gymnastic and I stopped at 15 because I was attending a very demanding high school. But I can follow and moreover I love it.
I keep my left hand side, riding the longest route to not disturb the serious riders who lap me on a regular basis. My first goal is to endure all the time they train. Then I try to keep a decent speed and a good pedaling frequency (both ridicolous compared to my son's, to not say of pro riders but who care?). Some times I can stay with a G1, a 6 yo, who can outsprint me but not to drop me on the long distance. It's amusing and I really enjoy it.
Today I'm happy with my training: I didn't stop, I kept on riding till when the little riders skillfully deviated to cross the gate and back to the van, in spite I was quite cooked in the last three laps. It has been fun even if I prefer to ride on the road, to go somewhere, enjoying a bit of - moderate! - climb too. To ride around I need to get in shape, don't I? Ah, and I forgot: my son won the points race. He's improving on the flat.
As far as me... I had a long nap in the afternoon!

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