Cycling weather frustrations
The weather, we all agree has been terrible. Last January, we had 'New Ice Age 1', and then we went into 'New Ice Age 2' in December. The north of the country copped it more than the south, and although our weather here is now mild – thank goodness – it's wetter, and every so often we get a cold snap with black ice. This all combines to keep me off the bike. I have managed to get out when the weather has permitted me, but even when it does, perhaps I'm not available to ride.
In the old days, I commuted by bike, so all my riding was part of "working". I did a few tours, but mainly my bike was an efficient and cheap transport to work. These days, I'm retired, so I need to find the time to get out. I may be retired but I still have plenty to do, and it's not always possible to ride. I need an excuse to get out, sometimes a reason, but usually an excuse. I have to tear myself away and I need a clear conscience before I can enjoy my passion for the open road.
On Saturday last, the weather was perfect for cycling. Crisp dry air, sunshine, and the promise of a far-off spring. What was I doing? I was out in the car with Hilary doing the Big Shop.
Sunday came, nice quiet day, chores complete, so what about the weather? Rain, wind, cold, awful.
Then Monday. Weather? During the night it had rained a little, then cleared, and we awoke to find seemingly everywhere covered in black ice. The drive was lethal, the patio too, luckily Hilary was ok walking to work, but we heard of cars and vehicles spinning off the roads. They hadn't done any gritting for a few days, and the recent rains had washed any salt away. The black ice remained all day in places, so I never got out on the bike.
Monday night the rain lashed down again, and by Tuesday morning, it was still pouring down with strong gales too. At this point, I dug out my rollers from the shed and set myself up for a good internal ride in the doorway between the living room and the hall. Boring and tedious but at least it keeps my cycling muscles in trim.
By the afternoon, the weather was fine! Great! So off I went, pedalling happily and out of the valley to the west to Callington town and back. It was great to be out, even though it was only eleven miles.
Today (Wednesday) the weather has taken a turn for the worst again. It’s very mild – 10deg – but very wet and decidedly dreary, so my rollers are out again. 10 miles done this morning in a half-hour session, and I'll squeeze in another 5 miles this afternoon. It's surprising how much training value there is with rollers – the heart rate goes up, you have to concentrate, and it feels like going up a constant hill. It's not like really cycling as when you cycle in the real world, you get rests and relaxation when you coast. You cannot coast on rollers or you're off and it's a long way down off them!
10 miles is far enough in one session on my rollers and if I can keep this up, I still won't be happy, but I'll be little more fit and a little less miserable.