When I woke up this morning, having also gone to bed this morning, it has to be said that the chances of me riding today seemed slim. Though the hangover I most richly deserved failed to make much of an appearance, the shortage of sleep and the general feeling of *bleurgh* that is inevitable after such a night left me feeling distinctly under motivated. Self-induced jet lag ;). What difference would waiting to ride for another day, after so many days of delay, make? I’ll ride tomorrow, when the world returns to normal, I decided.
Time passed. Copious quantities of coffee restored a degree of humanity. My insides slowly settled. We packed and made ready for our return home, surrounded by the chaos of family, half wishing I didn’t have to come home at all. But we did. It’s a chicken sitting thing. During my many sweeps of the house to see what we’d left behind, I grabbed the chance to check the weather forecast for tomorrrow…and wished I hadn’t. As the weather map slowly advanced, as did a blue wave, predictably coming in to cover Somerset for precisely those hours that were free to me to ride.
The little voice in my head starting calculating, and worrying, and niggling away at me…
So we came home. Leaving behind us some rather essential chicken sitting keys and the cool bag full of cooking ingredients and the like that I had taken with us to allow me to do the catering in safe stylee. As yet ignorant of these facts, we drove along the sunny and dry lanes, seemingly passing every cyclist in Somerset. By the time we got home I’d formulated a plan. Not a cunning plan. But a plan nonetheless.
I was still feeling a tad rubbish. Just as I was recovering from my op and espying the light at the end of the tunnel, Boxing Day saw me come down with the worst cold I’ve had in a long time. Great if all you want to do is lie on the bed and watch episodes of Criminal Minds, but not good for getting me back to the gym or on the bike. We were not amused. It was only the day before yesterday that I finally started to clear of it enough to get a sense of smell and taste back, and it’s still lurking around the edges. I made it back to the gym twice before New Year’s Eve, on the basis that little steps are better than none. And believe me, there is work to be done getting me back up to both speed and strength, but it was a start.
But I am feeling on the way back to better. And the sun was shining, so not to ride? Positively wasteful. Rude in fact. But to overdo it, try and train properly just yet? Stupid. Welcome to my plan, my compromise, my brownie point earning scheme. I decided to take MaxiMe out for a short ride for the first time in forever. A popular choice all ’round it would appear, and no sooner were we re-installed chez nous than we were kitted up and heading out. Probably to save me changing my mind ;).
We did the Nyland Loop, as we tend to in such situations. It’s familiar, easy, fairly quiet, and predictable, with several opportunities for photo ops along the way should the urge strike. And here we are.
Of course the sun chose that particular moment to be hiding behind an irritating, albeit dramatic, cloud, so it doesn’t look as sunny as it was out there. It was however dry overhead and, mostly, underwheel. There’s still a lot of gravel, holes, and puddles around, but we managed to avoid the worst of those, though my back wheel did slip on corners a couple of times.
Doesn’t it look nice out there nonetheless?
MaxiMe was very insistent that we take a photo of this swan, conveniently located in the rhyne by where we stopped, which has clearly been doing its own fair share of wheel sucking…see the mud on its neck? 😉 MaxiMe is almost useful that windbreak way now – as he’s grown again! So much so that he felt a lot more comfortable on his bike. His back problem, possibly caused by too much stretch to the handlebars, never manifested itself, though to be fair it’s not like we were out long.
Time will tell, but he said he was feeling much more comfortable and he definitely looked better on the bike than before. There has to be some advantage to the speed at which he’s growing right?! He enjoyed it, I enjoyed it, and let’s face it, it was the best way to start a cycling year :).
Stats for your delectation, should you be interested:
Cycling time: 0:49:37 hrs
Distance: 12.39 miles
Avs: 15.0 mph.
ODO: 15562.39 miles
Last year I cycled 5118 miles. I have to admit to being a bit disappointed with only managing 177 more than 2012. But considering that for the last two months I’ve barely ridden and done around 600 miles less than I did over that same period last year, that’s not too shabby, right? And I do have my reasons, though I’m planning on trying not to use them as excuses. It is very easy to get so lost in some of the rubbish that has gone on this year, especially latterly, but actually I probably need to remember that I did really well. I did! All those lovely sportives, the progress I made, my beautiful new bike, the wonders of the Dolomites, the great people I have met and/or cycled with? Standing on the top of the Passo di Giau was such a highlight for me this year. I should stop moaning :).
So ok, come to think of it, 2012 wasn’t as bad as it sometimes seems. But for all that I am determined that 2013 is going to be a better year. Plans are afoot and falling into place. It’s a whole new year. A new start. And it’s going to be great – because I said so! Come ride with me? :).