THE BLOG

RideLondon-Surrey 100: Inspiration

19/06/2013 14:31 BST | Updated 19/08/2013 10:12 BST

I am finding myself increasingly obsessed with cycling, which is why I wish I were in Glasgow this weekend...

Long-distance cycling frees up a lot of thinking time.

Sometimes I completely empty my mind and focus on the surroundings - birdsong, the scents of nature, feeling the changes of air temperature as I ride up hills, through dips in the landscape, wooded areas and along open roads.

On other occasions I imagine I'm Chris Froome, powering myself up the inclines, rising from my saddle to avoid a gear change or to drive a bit more power through my pedals. When it comes to sprints, especially in the rain, it's Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead's London 2012 road race finish that comes to mind.

The British sprinter raced her way to second place in the 140km road race, ending in torrential rain on The Mall before a roaring crowd, just a bike length behind The Netherlands' legendary cyclist Marianne Vos. A moment to remember.

Now I'm in serious bike training, I can't get enough of the sport. So I am seriously jealous of the folks in Glasgow who get the chance to watch the British Cycling National Road Race Championships in person on the city's streets this weekend. It's the first time the event has taken place in an urban setting, so large crowds are expected. It also gives British riders the chance to test much of the proposed course to be used in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Spectators will get the chance to see our fastest riders in action, including Lizzie Armitstead and Mark Cavendish, Laura Trott OBE, Ian Stannard, Ed Clancy and David Millar.

The time trial on Thursday June 20, 2013, follows a challenging route on the streets of Stewarton, while the road race race circuit on Saturday 23 June starts and finishes in Glasgow Green. Women racers cover will ride 112km while the men cover 182km.

Well jealous, as there is no chance of being there in person. But there is some good news. Despite the lack of competitive cycling action on mainstream British telly, highlights of this weekend's racing will be shown on ITV4 on Monday 24 June, 2013, at 7pm.

Visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/nationalroadchampionships for more information.

I'm training for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey100 cycle event

Read my previous blog entry at Zest.co.uk: clocking up the miles