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Cycling is more fun when you’re fit. And thin. Anyone who’s been on a ride lately with our boss will know that despite being an ex-pro, right now, he is neither fit nor thin. And he hates this. It makes him grumpy and, dare we say, not much fun to ride with.

This isn’t the first time he has found himself slightly out of shape, of course. His battle of the bulge to go from overweight desk jockey to professional rider for the Cervelo Test Team is well documented and while he won’t quite be going so extreme this time around – but if there’s a DS out there who wants a grumpy middle-aged rider for his team, please get in touch – he does want to get back to being fit and fast.

So, what does one do when they find themselves out-of-shape and unable to string together any kind of proper training schedule? Well, if you can count amongst your friends some of the biggest names in the bicycle industry, then call in some favours and you make a very special plan.

A plan to be fit-by-spring. A #fitbyspring plan. You take one, long hard look in the mirror and you send Chris Carmichael, one of the most successful coaches in cycling, an email telling him that you want to get fit again and that you need his help.

Once that world-class coach is on board, you need some gear. It’s winter, after all. The nights are long, the clouds heavy with rain and the mercury is low. So you send a note to your buddies at Elite, letting them know that you’re going to need one of their new Turbo trainers. While you are at it you sign up for Zwift, including the “GoInGamba” code so you can fly your colors while clocking up the miles in cyberspace.

You also need to talk to the experts at Clif Bar about nutrition, because, well, it was food that got you in this trouble in the first place. And you get in touch with Giordana to send you some of their fantastic winter weather kit, including the excellent FRC jacket for those especially cold, dark days of January.

And then, because you’re the boss, you look around the inGamba office, poke a few doughy employees in the gut and tell them they’re all signing on too, so that we can have more fun and less grump come 2016.

But this isn’t a private party. We want you to join us. Seasoned cyclists will know that the winter is a perilous time filled with parties, comfort food and plenty of excuses to stay indoors and off the bike. And if you’re not careful, come the new season, the joy of spring is spoiled by extra weight and a lack of form.

So: Join us on our quest to be Fit by Spring. We’ll be scheduling some regular group rides out of our office in Sausalito and online with Zwift. On top of that, we’ll be doing regular blogs with advice from our panel of experts, including the fabulous coaches at CTS.

And if you want to contribute a blog post with your fitness experiences we would love to hear from you, too.

If you’ve ridden with us before, are going to ride with us in 2016 or are just looking for a little community as you push through the long cold winter days, come on and join us on this ride. And keep an eye on #fitbyspring and @ingambatours because we’ll be visually tracking our shenanigans on Instagram. It won’t always be easy, but we’re gonna do our very best to make it fun.

Colin O'Brien

Colin is an author and journalist from Ireland. He first met inGamba's founder João Correia back in 2013. João handed him a bidon full of Chianti Classico and took him to a three-course lunch. They've been friends ever since.