The Arm Coolers …

In 2013 I was very fortunate to be on the slopes of Mont Ventoux on Bastille Day during the Tour de France … it was an epic stage in searing heat up one of the most ferocious mountains out there … Chris Froome won the stage and I walked around 9km up the mountain that day and perched myself on one of the hairpin bends, camera in hand waiting for the race to explode.

Amongst the hundreds of images I captured that day was one of Jens Voight, riding up on his TREK and subsequently I tweeted Jens, who is very social and he replied to confirm that the strange black arm bands in the image were in fact special team issue arm coolers, produced specifically for that stage. Very interesting.

Fast forward now three years and through a friend I had the opportunity to get a print of the image signed by the man himself.

This week that print arrived in my office.

Jens Voight

A really personal message from Jens …. “To Martin, all the best and we both know that I am rocking the arm coolers” – that is something really special.

I plan to get the image framed and start to add to the collection !

In other news, it was stage 3 of the cycling themed tattoo this week and the outline and shading of the back piece is complete …. more to come on this one, but side by side with the chest piece it is starting to look amazing !

Chest and Back

Hopefully I will be getting out tomorrow for another good training ride around the Lancashire hills, building well towards the Tourmalet !

An Order Placed

Since the last blog post quite a bit has happened.

The original plan was to upgrade/change the set up on the FELT and ride that on my quest to defeat Stage 8 of this years Tour and the Tourmalet. But a couple of days to think on it and I decided that I really rather fancied a new bike instead.

After all there are three very good reasons for that:

  1. You can NEVER have enough bikes.
  2. I got my FELT about 4 years ago now and it’s time for a change.
  3. You can NEVER have enough bikes.

I have been a massive TREK fan for ages, and my current 29er/MTB is a TREK and I have been hugely impressed with it since day 1, so my search had to start with the TREK brand.

The Emonda looks a great bike, but perhaps a bit too racy for me, and therefore I naturally then turned to the Domane (doh-mah-nee) range, and wow, what a range of bikes they are.

In the end I settled for the 4.3 below:

trek domane 4.3

The bike is currently being built up and will be ready next week for me, and I am extremely excited by it – it really does seem to be the perfect bike for me.

I am also going to running tubeless tires, quite an innovation in the road bike world but after a fair amount of research and some good first hand experience evidence I am happy to go with this set up.

The bike comes with a compact set up and 11-32 cassette, so pretty much perfect for the stage that I am riding.

The training is coming along well now too, with a mix of indoor trainer work, and commutes with added lunchtime rides – I had my first physio visit last week as well to keep on top of the bodywork, so all is going perfectly to plan so far.

In the next blog, I will go into more detail on diet and nutrition, which opens up a whole different can of worms (that’s not the nutrition by the way).