Sunday, July 20, 2008

AQR Office in Luchon

AQR Office in Luchon
Originally uploaded by Kate Potter
It has been just over three weeks since my last race, and I just realised it has been a while since my last blog too....sorry. It has been a very busy few weeks in the AQR office as I return to full time guiding duties. On top of the guiding which is a typical 9am-6pm day, I have been training early every morning, in fact I have had the pleasure of watching the sun rise over the mountains on some mornings which has been amazing. I have always loved waking up early and feeling like I'm the only one on my bike in this beautiful valley. By the end of my training session more and more bikers are out enjoying the fresh mountain air and choosing from several long climbs, including four Tour de France climbs that start in Luchon or at least very close to Luchon. However there are harder climbs here too which are more challenging and wind there way up to small sleepy villages where there is no traffic....except for the odd herd of mountain goats and the occasional red squirrel that crosses my path.
Once I return from my training ride I eat breakfast on the bike and quickly make my way to AQR's base at Hotel Le Lutin with Ian to start work at 9am. It can hardly be called work though as I love my life and don't look at it as being a chore or job for that matter. Ian and I have an hour to ensure the bikes are ready to roll, guiding packs are ready and all pre ride faff is finished by 10am when the guided ride begins. One of my favourite parts of guiding is meeting people from all walks of life and showing them our back yard maze of trails. By the end of a week I always feel like I have made more friends and biking buddies who I know I will cross paths with again in the future. It's amazing how many people we have met over the years who keep in touch. I have so many fond memories from the past 5 years of guiding that I will always treasure.
On a typical AQR day the ride finished around 4pm in the afternoon. For the next 2hrs Ian and I have our specific AQR duties....I take on my role as AQR secretary. Ian focuses on the bikes to ensure they are all ready for the next day. Then we return to our little mountain home where Ian relaxes for an hour and I work on the boring side of the business....the paper work and accounts for the tax man. I also spend 30 minutes on specific pilates based exercises my physio Jenny has given me...I had to throw that in because I know she reads my blog and I don't want her to think I'm slacking. Ian then returns to the hotel to entertain guests, wash pots and help Russ in the hotel kitchen.....and I sleep in preparation for my 6am alarm that signals another great day on the bike.
It can sometimes be very tiring physically trying to combine training and guiding, but when I look out the window and realise I'm not surrounded by a concrete jungle it makes the long days on the bike well worth every ache and pain that crops up now and then.
I will post more photos of our guiding adventures soon as we have had some great photographers out here lately who have kindly sent me some of their favourites. Thanks to AQR Team racer James Dymond for taking this photo, showing the Potter's best side.


cy@cotic said...

Nice to see you're getting yourselves sorted for when I come out in a couple of weeks!

Mel said...

Your job beats any office job! Might have to go onto one of those holidays with AQR!