2 weeks to go until the Strathpuffer, again. At the end of the ‘puffer last time I vowed never to do it again – I’d won it and for me that was very much a tick in the box – it’s not that it’s a bad event, quite the opposite in fact. It’s brilliant. Nope, the problem is trying to stay focussed on preparing for the damn thing while I should be relaxing and enjoying Christmas rather than spending hours and hours riding my bike in horrible weather. Preparing for 24 hour races is hard enough – doing it in the middle of winter and over Christmas is often a pain in the arse.
photo: Privateer Magazine
However, everyone I know seems to be barmy enough to go up and do it again so I was hardly going to knowingly miss out, was I?
The training, as usual, has had some quite significant good points – while I’ve done my fair share of solitary suffering I’ve done some big rides with Dave and Guy a few times and the collective stoicism (and lots of laughs) in the face of miles of freezing headwinds and knee-deep moorland bogs has helped maintain a reasonable level of sanity.
Anyhow, here I am again, thinking about what bike, what tyres, how many brake pads I’ve got, long-range weather forecasts and all the other tricky decisions that need to be made that almost always conclude with “sod it, take everything”. I’m not in the form I’d hope to be in the summer but apart from a persistent cough I’m in reasonably good shape (which illustrates one of the advantages of doing the Strathpuffer – a good level of fitness in winter) and I’m quite looking forward to it.
Or perhaps I’m simply looking forward to the end of it…