Another installment from Elite XCO racer and Rio hopeful, David Fletcher, as the light at the end of the long tunnel of recovery is in sight. As the new season approaches, David looks not just to recovery but also to the kit he'll be thrashing around the XCO National events in 2015.
"Its been just over 6 months since I came off my bike at the national champs in July. It really does seem like a mammoth amount of time since I was last on my mountain bike. Any keen cyclist knows how hard it is to stay away from riding, even a few days is bad when the weather is like it has been recently, but the end is looking closer and closer as tomorrow (2nd February) I get to go for a light mountain bike ride! I really can't describe how much I'm looking forward to it. 2 laps of the red route in sherwood pines and I'll finish like a kid with the keys to a sweetshop. And thats not all... I'll also be aboard my new 2015 bike in all her carbon glory too!
My bike is 2nd to none; a full carbon Felt Nine Frd frame which feels like it weighs less than my little finger. Enve bars, stem, seat post and m60 carbon rims laced to chris king hubs really all are pieces of art. Things of beauty like these you look up in magazines thinking 'Wow, I wish I could use them on my bike'. Dreams do come true I guess [especially when combined with masses of hard graft and a splash of talent - Ed]! A Shimano XTR groupset takes care of the drivetrain and brakes. Pieces of equipment that everyone knows are almost bombproof, and it works and shifts smoother than anything else in its class. Vredestein tyres will keep me glued to the ground, a tyre I've never used before and only ever seen back in the day when the Cannondale Vredestein boys were racing. I'm looking forward to using these as I've heard only positive words and people raving about them so I have full confidence they'll keep me planted to the ground. Elsewhere, the fizik aliante saddle will keep me comfy; I used these saddles back in the day when I was a wee junior and really wanted to get back to using them.
Bike wise thats about it. My suspension is still being sorted but I'm looking forward to working with these guys this year - One of the classic suspension makers that I'm sure wont disappoint!
Training is coming along nicely. Riding on the roads feels so good after a 2 month stretch. Breaking in the 4hr rides now is keeping my monkey happy, the turbo is taking care of efforts so I can do some nice controlled efforts but still keeping a check on my shoulder. Next week I'll begin my progression to off road riding, starting with smoother trails and building up to rougher, more technically challenging routes. Taking it steady and building up gradually is key to gaining full strength in my shoulder again.
From here its a steady process of gaining fitness and getting more time on my 2015 race bike. Racing wont start until mid-march so theres plenty of time left yet to get up to race fitness heading into round 1 of the national points series at sherwood pines - All of 1-2 miles away so perfect placing.
Thanks to all for following my blog here at UKXCNews.com and I hope you've enjoy seeing how my life and recovery has been progressing over the past 5 months.
Check back next month for more news and hopefully lots of mountain biking, here's to thrashing the trails left, right and centre!"