Christmas cycle up North in hail and gales…
Totally pig sick of the gales, really really fed up to the back teeth with em...
Over my Christmas time off work I fully intended to do this:
Cept I havent made it, I have failed it...I hate it when I tell myself I am doing something, then for any reason, not go ahead with it. The Challenge started on the 23rd December and runs until the 31st December. Usually, this type of distance (500km over nearly 10 days) is very achievable, Rapha I believe, do not intend to hand out their badges easily. I am not using this as a feminist excuse, but its Christmas, and to peel myself from the sweaty kitchen, no matter how much I would like to remove myself from the situation is near impossible at Christmas time. Kids are almost grown up now, but everyone, me included.., does rather like the week of Christmas with all that noshing and sloshing going round.
To make this particular week of the year happen is a logistic nightmare for the full time worker and full time housewife (did I say full time Housewife, that bit isn't quite true to be honest, thanks to Hettie and Enid).. I do all the prezzie and food purchases and preparations all myself (him upstairs keeping a VERY low profile at this time of year). Frankly if I cycled too, nothing would happen. Nothing would manage to find its self in the freezer and fridge and I think if I slung cheese and bread on the table, World War III would explode into life in my very favourite room of the cottage.
If I relied on 'him upstairs' to buy in all the food and prezzies, bacon baps (mind you, it would be Moore's smoked Manx Bacon Baps) would be our Christmas fayre.
Christmas as since been and gone, and its been a good one as usual. I havent ridden Enid for nearly a week, and I have totally failed in my quest for the Festive Redemption 500km badge... There is always next year, cept next year I will register only to fail again I expect. LAst winter the snow got me, this time its indoor, lovely family stuff and the gales... The chances of clear weather, no gale and no ice doesnt really exist on the Isle of Man in December... I think I shall stick at Audax riding instead.
All is not lost though. Christmas means Beth my eldest comes home from University. And guess what???
She has been nibbled by the bicycle bug. Beth and Rosie, both used to cycle with me years ago (2008 we cycled Hadrian's Wall cycle route). But teenagers soon find other less taxing things to pass the time doing.
But, Beth is part of the Triathlon team, and a third of that exercise includes cycling! SHe was given a second hand bicycle for Christmas. A Specialized Allez Compact 9 speed (2003 model) now at her Uni digs, and she loves it. I was very lucky, one of the Manx Team cyclists was upgrading, the bike has only been used for time trials and we got it for a very good bargain price, enabling her to upgrade the pedals, upgrade her own cycling gear.
Beth was rather miffed with the pic, honestly she had a load of phones, and gloves in the breast pocket of that jacket (mine), and its not her tummy after Christmas noshing at all!
Beth cycled home her Dads bike (Thats devotion for ya), and today we cycled from home to the North of the island for a wee spin. Her Specialized stayed at Uni, and so I dragged out Hettie from her Winter slumber, Beth fixed Hetties puncture (good training session), and she rode up NOrth on Enid, my winter commute lady. Enid cared for her well, and we had a great little run out, even though there was a force 7 gale blusting to an 8, and it was hailing and chucking it down too.
Our Route today.
Luckily for me, she is here for a few more days. Considering the foul weather, we did have a great little ride out and about, and it was truly great cycling on Hettie again, she felt so light and speedy, I think she was enjoying a wee winter stretch.