En-route to the start.

I am currently en-route to Nice from my latest work trip in India and the Middle East. 5G training sessions and customer meetings interspersed with the odd ride in very hot and humid conditions.   Not the most ideal last week of preparation for the mountains but that is how it is.    I have been careful with what I have eaten and not indulging too much in the local cuisine despite wanting too.  I am real fan of both indian and arabic food and so that has been really tough but I cannot afford to add anymore weight.  Unfortunately I have not been able to get down to the same weight as I was for the marmotte in 2015 when I was at my leanest.  Which means those first two days in the mountains are going to be really tough.  By the end of the week I should meet the target weight, sigh…..

Originally I had planned to spend the last 2 weeks pretty much on the bike every morning whilst on holiday in Cornwall and then do a couple of generally easy rides whilst abroad on business.  Unfortunately the weather and lack of road bike (it was stuck in Toronto for a week) put paid to that plan.  I took my winter bike down to Cornwall, along with borrowing a helmet and using my winter shoes whilst the rest of my kit was stuck in Toronto but the weather really hampered the chances of going out each morning.  If it was raining then the roads were really slippery and I didn’t want to have a big crash just weeks before the race.   As it was on one of the days I did manage to get out, I did have a crash when I was knocked off by a close pass on the Lizard peninsula

Taking a bit of a tumble.  

I did manage to get out for a couple of rides whilst traveling which were adventures of their own.   Heading out on Saturday from Guragoan outside of Delhi I picked a route that local cycling websites recommended as a decent distance ride.  70km in 38degree heat with a bit of climbing and managing Indian city traffic was good fun.  It was topped off by meeting the only other cyclist on the road at the time who turned out to be from the same company I work for – Maybe only Ciena employees are mad enough to be out in the heat and traffic.

After reaching Dubai I managed to get out for a couple of city rides on the bike paths by the relatively newly constructed canal path to the beach and along to the Burg a Arab and Palm island.  The heat was intense here in the mid 40s celsius which meant I didn’t push it.

Whilst out on an evening ride trying to avoid the intense heat in Dubai 

So whilst the training hasn’t been ideal in this last few weeks I am still excited and looking forward to the challenge of the Haute Route event which begins on Monday.  I arrive in Nice later today, over the weekend I will post details of how to follow my progress directly via my race number.  Look out for updates on my facebook profile, twitter and instagram.

I am doing this ride to challenge myself and raise money for Team Type 1 Foundation who seek change the way diabetes is thought of and provide life saving medicine to those in the world who cannot obtain it otherwise.  Click on this link for more detail on Team Type 1

To donate to Team Type 1 visit my justgiving page www.justgiving.com/markstt1fundraising 


#MWC17 & keeping up the training


I have been in the mobile industry for over 20 years and in March this year, I finally got the opportunity to go to the annual Mobile World Congress that for the last few years has been held in Barcelona.  It has become the largest mobile industry event of it’s kind and each year, the company I work for, Ciena, regularly has a presence at the show.  I was invited to go along to speak to customers and industry experts about the evolution of mobile networks towards 5G in 2019/2020.


As well as hosting over 25 meetings with operators and partners from all across the globe over the 4 days of the conference, I also looked for opportunities to get out on the bike and cover some training miles. With a bit of investigation ahead of time through the Rapha Cycling Club, I found out that there was a cycling networking group organized by AdobeCycling .  So taking advantage of this I joined up with them for early morning rides around Barcelona, ahead of the conference start days.

Ciena/Bike Centre Training Shirt looking good image credit – @benrabner @adobecycling

My original plan to ride with the group was scuppered when my rear mech cable snapped in the internal routing on my way from the hotel to the meeting point at the On Y Va cycling cafe. Continue reading “#MWC17 & keeping up the training”