Thursday, 8 December 2011

Weather Concedes Defeat

"I threw everything at him today and he took it. The guy is just too tough. I give up."

That's what the weather said after today's ride. It was grim to say the least. It wasn't as cold as recently but it was raining as I left the house and a bit blustery. I suppose we are quite sheltered where we live and it wasn't until I was out there in the fields that I felt the force of the wind which was mainly from the side because the route is roughly North - South. There are a couple of Eastward stretches though and I almost came to a halt when I turned into the wind just before Chorley. The hills on these stretches were that much worse again and it was hard to keep going. But I did. I don't think I will encounter conditions like that on "The Ride" so it's good to have the experience now. If it does turn nasty there is always the option of finding a room and resting for a few days.

After I posted on Wednesday I found a decent looking second-hand bike on Ebay. After a bit of research I decided to have a go and the bottom line is that it will arrive tomorrow. It may need a few tweaks here and a visit to the LBS but there is every chance I will be out there on the new bike at the weekend. Looking forward to it. I just hope the wind drops a bit.

There is a meeting tonight of my "committee" where the drinking requirements for the early stages will be discussed over a few pints of the pale golden hoppy stuff. This will take place in the complete absence of the famed pork scratchings because the wimps who work in the town centre could not manage the walk to the butcher's in the Market Hall. "It was a bit wet and windy" was the excuse. You can imagine my response. They will receive the shortest of shrift.    

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Tom 2 Weather 1

Yesterday (Monday) was a bit disappointing at first. I was determined to "do a bit" despite the weather but it was cold, wet and blustery. I checked the weather forecast for today and saw it promised to be a bit better so I chickened out. Live to fight another day as they say. So it was the equaliser for the weather, making it 1 - 1 in the series, and I managed to finish off a couple of jobs and clear the decks for today. I also continued my research for equipment and I actually found what looks like a decent bike, second hand, on Ebay. The auction finishes tomorrow (Wednesday). Lets see how that goes.

The paddy fields of SW Lancashire. 
This morning I had an early meeting and left home (by car) with a dark sky and a bitter wind. Amazingly, Brian, the chap I was dealing with has a place in Calis so we had to compare experiences and locations after the work was complete. Small world, or what? This meant that by the time I had finished on site the sky had cleared a bit and on the way home I thought I could squeeze a decent ride in if I got a move on. The sky cleared further and I left home (by bike) with patches of blue sky above. I felt good and actually ended up on a different route. It's good doing the same route because you can compare times etc, but I was in the mood for a change. I deviated from my normal route, turning right at Frederick's near Chorley and set off towards Horwich. Chorley Old Road, North of Horwich included a climb of 110m over 2km which is an average of 1 in 18. Don't laugh but that's about the longest steepish hill I have attempted this year and I managed it OK. I ended up doing a total of about 24 miles which was a pleasant result. I was very cold at the end though and thinking about maybe pushing the start date back to July! Not for long though. Anyway, I am now 2-1 up in the series. Yet another different training philosophy occurred to me on today's ride. With the weather not being so good, it is impossible realistically to plan ahead so it's best for me to just get out there and do it while I can.

Oops, rain has stopped. Got to go.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

You've Got to Live Before You Learn

What a great feeling it is to wake up on a Sunday morning and hear the wind gusting outside and to hear the rain pattering on the window and then slowly realise you can just turn over in the soft warmth of your bed and go back to sleep or even just - lie there. That's exactly what I did this morning. Sod the stupid bike ride! Ha!

But not for long. The spirit in me eventually lifted me out of the bed and dragged me downstairs to sort the dog out while others slept, some deservedly, having been on a night shift, I might add. I then slowly made myself some tea and a super-carb breakfast and, despite taking ages over every item, found it was still raining and blowing as hard as ever. I was scheduled for a 20 miler today and determined to stick to it so it had to be done - and it was - almost. I set off with the best of intentions but was so cold I veered off to the shorter 11 mile route. The main thing is I got out there and did something and that's important to me. The other thing is, despite prolonged stiffness from Fridays effort I felt more than OK at the end and will be right for tomorrow's effort. In fact I felt I deserved a proper drink so I concocted a meeting at St Pats rugby club in order to plan for next year's under18s team. Between us we sorted a few things out and here I am now. I think I will now have a cup of tea followed by an early night in anticipation of Round 2 of Tom v Weather.

The good thing about adverse conditions like today is that it is the only way to learn about how bad it can be. I mean I doubt it will be 3 degrees in March when I set off and also a few memos - windscreen wipers for my specs, waterproof gloves - in fact waterproof everything would not go amiss. A solemn thought is that today I could look forward to a warm bath on my return. What will I have to look forward to as I plough through the rain and wind of Europe and beyond?

I think I will probably not bother if it's raining. I'll just roll over in my sleeping bag and promise to do more the next day. Don't worry about me. I'll be OK.