MTFU and get used to it

Rain, hail, snow – I can cope with all those. In fact when it’s really hammering down I quite enjoy it – it makes me appreciate the warmth when I get home and makes me feel a proper tough nut when I’m out. I can grimace and picture how I must look to the soft gits in their cars. “Look at that hard b***ard”, they’ll all be thinking to themselves.

“Look at that blithering bloody idiot out on this remote unlit road at this time of night in this weather WEARING TIGHTS” is probably more accurate though.

But wind. Gah. I hate it. Last night’s road ride, only a 30 mile route, almost took an eternity. I enjoyed a tailwind for the last couple of miles but apart from that it was either full-on headwind or a sidewind that either tries to throw you into a ditch or under a truck. The flat-blade spokes on the bike definitely don’t help in a sidewind either.

I’m back into the habit of road riding again now. Whilst it would definitely help if I was able to ride after 7am or before 8pm, at the moment I can’t, so that’s that. Thank God I’ve got loads of really bright lights and an orange jacket.


Awful weather last night. I dragged myself out for a local-ish loop on the Tank Bike anyway. The first few miles were harder than I thought they’d be, partly due to the somewhat-tall 36:16 gearing of the bike but mainly a hangover from Sunday’s more-epic-than-I-was-expecting ride (probably).  Quite soon the rain water started to trickle down the back of my neck and visibility was reduced to about 10 feet, my HID lamp not helping matters as the retina-scorching light was reflecting off the rain and mist into my face. A steady flow of water was pouring from the visor on my helmet like a blocked gutter and there must have been a few billion extra leaves on the ground, so I was frequently riding into, instead of around, rocks – rigid steel fork sending shockwaves up my arms each time I found a big chunk.

That little yappy dog had a go at me again, as usual it came running out of the farmyard onto the cobbled road whilst barking and snapping at my ankles. I didn’t manage to make contact with its head this time, despite my best efforts. Perhaps I should have a word with the dog’s owner or something as it’s really starting to get on my tits now. I’m reluctant to go to the house and moan though on account of the deep, rumbling bark of another, much bigger dog they’ve got chained up and the fact that to them, I’m that cyclist who “kicked our dog in the head”.

out of solitary

It seems like a long time since I’ve ridden with someone else, in the hills, just for the hell of it. This was going to be a welcome change to the usual routine of riding for training purposes – just working hard and hoping it will make me faster and able to ride for longer eventually can turn a fun pastime into a chore so I need to start being more sociable occasionally.

I met up with Simon (AKA “nopies”) and off we went, following a route that he said would take “3 or 4 hours”. Not too strenuous then, I thought. The weather was brilliant yesterday and whilst the ground was soaking wet from the rain last week the sky was blue and the sun was out. We went up, down and around for a bit on paths and tracks I wasn’t familiar with, even though this wasn’t a new part of the country – this was on-the-doorstep stuff, so I was glad I brought the GPS so I could check where we went on the map later. We arrived a couple of hours later at “The Halo” – a modern hilltop sculpture that apparently lights up at night. It looks like a radio telescope if you ask me. Nice though. Definitely makes a change to the chainsaw log carvings that seem to be littering the woods around here anyway. The route, as it turns out, was a mainly offroad loop from my house to Accrington and back again.


Shortly after we “oooohed” and “ahhhed” at the Halo for a couple of minutes,  Simon’s front wheel washed out on a wet stone slab whilst crossing a small stream, sending him down into the water with his handlebars trying to break his ribs. That could have been a lot worse!

By the time we reached Waterfoot later on, it was clear that this was no 3 hour easy ride and we still had the climb up to Rooley Moor on the MTL. Yep, that was a bloody killer. Steep and rocky, I was burning energy and rapidly running out of puff just negotiating the rocks and bits where I had to really shift my weight about to maintain traction. Despite my Rad Skillz(tm) I must admit I didn’t make it all the way to the top….

I don’t do geeky stats on here, but let’s just say that the ride was 45 miles-ish and my average heart rate was just where I wanted it to be at this time of year 😉

3 miles of hurt

I finally took a GPS around the Winter Hit the North course earlier this week – turns out it’s a very tame-sounding 3 miles long with about 150 metres of climbing. It’ll hurt though, most of that climbing is up flights of slippery steps. We’ve not yet decided on the duration of the race, perhaps 3 hours plus one lap?

Me and Deb went for a 5K run together last night. It’s been a long time since we did that! We were pretty quick too, her training is definitely paying off.

Apart from all that, I’ve been keeping myself busy by riding bikes and neglecting this blog. The girls have been really poorly with colds and puke for the last week so it’s been a bit hectic. I didn’t ride at all last weekend due to the lack of sleep L