Start How You Mean to Go On!

I've always felt that what you do on New Year's Day somehow sets the pattern for the rest of the year. A bike ride is therefore compulsory but a weather forecast for severe gales and heavy rain from 9.00 am was hardly encouraging. An early start was my only option, and so, while normal people were sleeping off the previous night's excesses, I headed off while it was still dark. A ferocious gust just as I opened the gate almost sent me scurrying back in, but I persisted, choosing the most sheltered roads I could find.

My usual route along the south coast was clearly out of the question but main roads that I would normally avoid were empty as I headed north east for Bembridge. I was rather enjoying myself. It wasn't long before it began to rain heavily but I had expected that and wrapped in Goretex from head to foot it was no problem. I'd managed to avoid the worst of the wind but had no option but to head due south into the teeth of it for the last 3 miles. I was feeling thoroughly intrepid and virtuous as I began to climb the last hill before home. A mug of tea and endless cake was only a few minutes away when my front wheel began to squirm about on the road. A puncture! Close to home in the pouring rain, on a narrow road with nowhere to pull in to fix it, even if I had the heart to do so. There was only one option – walk. I didn't really mind walking uphill into the teeth of the wind but it was awfully galling to have to walk down the other side! If this has set the pattern for 2014 its going to be a long hard year!

12 comments on “Start How You Mean to Go On!”

  1. Dan wrote:

    Well, you did it, that's the main thing.. I also went out for a ride today but it was abridged by the weather.. no mechanicals but I think you'll have got less wet than I did! – or at least, I hope so. Took me most of the rest of the afternoon to warm up again when I got back.. but yes, a precedent has been set, and if I make it to the Faroes this year as planned, I imagine spending much of my days cycling through wind and rain will be what I should expect! Let us hope that the weather does not dampen our enthusiasm for riding and that we manage to make it out in all weathers – and enjoy them all!

    Happy New Year in cycling and everything else!

    Daniel

  2. Patrick wrote:

    Yes, Happy New Year and well done the cyclists. I have't started yet but I mean to go on.

    LOL

  3. Chris wrote:

    I've always felt that what you do on New Year's Day somehow sets the pattern for the rest of the year.

    Crikey, I hope it doesn't. I sulked around with toothache and only got as far as my garage to wipe the mould (!) off my Brooks saddles. Ugh.

    Glad some of you are getting out. I have a window for Sunday, but the weather is looking grim again.

    Happy New Year – and did Father Christmas bring us all shiny things etc?

    The boys in our house were (fairly) good in 2013, so we got some boy's (boys'?) toys:

    Boys' toys

  4. Patrick wrote:

    Nice mechanic shop Chris LOL

    ... did Father Christmas bring us all shiny things etc?

    Yes, a Halfords screwdriver set (but the professional version).

  5. Kern wrote:

    Where there's a will there's a way. Good work on getting out on the first day of the year, Hilary and Dan.

    No cycling on this side of the pond, for obvious climactic reasons. However I did haul out my spares this morning. I will change my rear tire and rouse out Titanium Man this afternoon. He has been slumbering for far too long.

  6. JamesB wrote:

    a Halfords screwdriver set (but the professional version).

    Well pardon me all over the place :cry:

  7. Hilary wrote:

    Nice mechanic shop Chris LOL

    Yes it looks excellent. Glad to see you're steering James in the right direction :lol:

    If this has set the pattern for 2014 its going to be a long hard year!

    Certainly looks that way – another puncture today on a different bike. Actually it turned out to be 2, a slow one with a bit of flint embedded in the tube and a large thorn as well! Another short ride trying to dodge the gales.

  8. Patrick wrote:

    JamesB wrote: Well pardon me all over the place :cry:

    LOL (nothing wrong with Bosch).

    Another well done to Hilary... peak tides, burst rivers, gales, mechanicals... keep going!

  9. Patrick wrote:

    I suppose we should spare a thought for North Americans caught in a polar vortex. Ottawa temperatures very low this week: down to minus 22. Is it coming over here?

  10. Kern wrote:

    North Americans caught in a polar vortex ...

    Actually, yesterday morning, Winnipeg (where I am headed) was colder than Mars. There are still cyclists on the streets.

  11. Hilary wrote:

    Actually, yesterday morning, Winnipeg (where I am headed) was colder than Mars. There are still cyclists on the streets.

    :eek: :eek: :eek: And I was moaning because it was a bit windy and I got another puncture! In my defense that makes 4 since Xmas, I only got 5 in the whole of last year!

  12. Patrick wrote:

    Kern wrote: ... colder than Mars. There are still cyclists on the streets.

    Is very cold ice still slippery? Just wondering because the warmer ice we usually get (referred to as black ice) is so slippery it can't really be cycled on. Or maybe the polar cyclists have special tyres. They are brave anyway.

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