Second Rest Day

The second week of the Tour ended up being a bit of a light week, with one rest day, another Stage missed due to being away and two short stages due to a broken spoke and risk of getting sick. So be it, life gets in the way, and the risk of getting sick is I’m sure partly due to starting this Tour at such a low fitness level.

As you can see from my CTL graph for the second week, fitness (blue) has remained fairly constant and tiredness has improved somewhat. Probably just as well, as the final week is going to be really tough.

Week 2 CTL

Totals for the 15 stages so far: 20h 40m, 558.8km, 1149 TSS

Third de France, Stage 15

Pros: Limoux to Foix Prat d’Albis, 185 km - Mountain

Me: 62km, 10m/15m/15m/15m SST

Great stage last night and well worth staying up for. Lots of attacking and all the top guys cracked at various stages, with the exception of Thibaut Pinot. Alaphilippe showed that the strain is getting to him too, so it’s all down to the Alps later this week with five riders in with a realistic chance. If Pinot wins, he’ll be the first French winner since 1985 and France will erupt! Would love to see it.

After all that excitement, my session was a damp squib. J woke up after the weekend feeling sick and I was feeling a bit run down too. However, felt a bit better after lunch and decided to go ahead with the session, but was starting to feel it again after the second interval so opted to cut things short. 55 mins at sub-threshold takes a chunk out of me, so didn’t want to push myself over the edge into full sickness.

The last week has been a bit hit and miss - some I can’t do anything about like breaking a spoke or being away for the weekend - but tomorrow’s a rest day, so hopefully I’ll feel better and be good to go without further interruptions for the final week.

Me: 28.2km, 48m, 554 calories, 50 TSS.

Pro: 26.9km, 4h 47m

Weight: 92.4kg - CTL: 42.0 - TSB: -9.8

Going Down the Pipes

A long read revisiting a 1996 article on the work lives of air traffic controllers working at New York Terminal Radar Approach Control, managing some of the busiest airspace in the world.

Tales of outdated equipment, burnt out controllers and the usual high-jinks that near constant high stakes stress levels lead to make you wonder how slapdash things can be under the hood, while appearing perfectly calm to the outside world, i.e: passengers.

Makes you wonder how much else of daily life is like a duck - calm on the surface with furious paddling beneath!

That’s what distinguishes the Men of Steel from the Papier-Mâchés. A weak controller, spotting two jets six miles apart, won’t agonize over the unused airspace. But Zack sees that gap as a chance to push more traffic, looks for a third jet to slide between the two, and then—by using visual separation—packs the jets even closer in the sky. On the final descent toward Newark, planes travel one mile every 11 seconds; Zack can’t hesitate or miss a turn, or the entire chain of jets will collapse. But he doesn’t. Like a shrewd billiards player, Zack calculates the angles that will transform his ten random jets into a 30-mile chain, then commands the pilots with unassailable authority. “Pilots are like dogs,” he says under his breath. “They can smell fear in your voice. But if you sound confident, they’ll do whatever you tell them to do.” He pauses to appreciate his handiwork—ten blips, each three miles apart, heading like geese toward the Newark runway. “Now that’s crisp vectoring!

Faking the Moon Landing

Given the weekend that’s just gone, this seems apt. How Stanley Kubrick Staged the Moon Landing 😉

At any other time, such theories would have been dismissed as a madman’s raving, but America was willing to doubt in the seventies. That’s when the dream faded, when everything we’d been told began to sound like a fairy tale. American history itself was questioned, rewritten. Were we in fact the good guys at Plymouth Rock? How was the West really won? It was all recast in the afterglow of the Vietnam War, which was escalated with lies, and Watergate, when the president operated in the way of Don Vito Corleone. In other words, the space program, which began in one era, the buzz-cut age of American exceptionalism, culminated in another.

Third de France, Stage 13

Pros: Pau to Pau, 27km - Time Trial

Me: 12min @ 105%

A quick blast on the indoor trainer this morning. Thomas De Gendt managed 105% for 35:36 last night, so I figured 12 minutes was a reasonable target for me. HR monitor opted not to work for some reason, but was a solid effort nonetheless.

Heading away for the weekend shortly, so will miss Stage 14, both watching it live unfortunately, and mimicking it the next day. Back for Stage 15 hopefully, though will need to get the trainer bike ready for the road until I sort out the broken spoke.

Probably easier to do that than having to swap out brake pads to go back to aluminium wheels on my main road bike.

Me: 18.9km, 30m, 356 calories, 39 TSS.

Pro: 26.9km, 35m, 911 calories, 73 TSS

Weight: 92.2kg - CTL: 42.8 - TSB: -16.5