Friday, 31 December 2010


As well as riding more, I intend to blog more - as I know I have been slacking these last few months.

In the mean time, I wish everyone a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

December Summary

December has been an odd month. First there was the snow and ice. Ironically we probably had less than the rest of the country but unfortunately Cornwall council is completely unable to cope with even the smallest of flurries. The roads were  untreated and treacherous so a few rides had to be done indoors on the turbo-trainer.

Thankfully the snow and ice soon went and I was able to get back out on the bike.  Trouble was the wind was fierce and icy.  On a number of rides I actually started wheezing - which is something that I haven't done in ages. I'd almost forgotten I was asthmatic. Anyway, I am now back on my inhalers just to keep my lungs functioning fully during the cold weather.

Just before the Christmas it was looking like I may not quite meet my readjusted yearly target of 2200 miles as I was still quite a way off (88miles), but with 5 full days off with Mikey all was not lost. We just needed some tolerable weather.

Christmas day came and we took a morning bicycle ride. We didn't make it to the beach this year as the roads were somewhat icy and I didn't fancy attempting the steep icy descent to the sea, so instead we managed a wee pootle along some local roads. It was cold but there was little wind and the traffic was pretty much non-existent. What a lovely way to start a Christmas day. Obviously this was followed by a few drinks at the local and then crimbo dinner at me Ma's.

The next few rides were much harder. The wind was back with a vengeance - over 30mph. Again I got home somewhat battered and asthmatic but pleased - I was still on target... only 34miles left to do.

Bank holiday Tuesday was a little less windy and the sun was warm(ish) so we decided to take a longer ride out. We headed towards Penzance and onto Mousehole (pronounced Mou-zel.) On arriving in Mousehole we grabbed a cuppa and a piece of Millionaires shortbread and sat looking at the harbour and the famous(?) Xmas lights. On the way home I was surprised that my legs still felt OK. (it's been a while since doing anything much more than 10miles a ride). Sadly the moment we got back into our village my legs bonked and I was barely able to get myself up the hill. I made it home with 19miles on the clock.

My legs were exhausted and I doubted that I could get back on my bike today (my last day off work) but after encouragement from Mikey I got back on my bike to do the last 15 miles. Unsurprisingly, I was slower than usual.  I arrived home with 14.2miles on the clock. Grrrr. I was just shy of my target and had to force myself to do 0.8mile on the turbo.

So that's it. I reached my goal. I have done 2200miles in 2010. Which is a whole 1000 miles more than I set myself back in January. I am a happy yet tired little cyclist.

Hope that you all have a great New Years Eve and all the best for 2011.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Turn around Brightttttttttttt liiiiiights

With the recent weather I've been unable to ride as much as I'd have liked but as I got a lovely set of wee Exposure lights I thought it was about time to put them to good use. Since my "rediscovery" my experience of riding in the dark has been limited apart from two brief (5mile) night rides with Mikey so I wasn't overly confident about striding out alone on the local unlit roads.

However, as my mileage was starting to slump I realised that I just had to grit my teeth and get pedalling, so much to Mikeys surprise he got a text message to say that I would meet him after work. Eek! That was it. There was now no going back so donned in my entire winter wardrobe (it was a tad cold) I set out on my adventure.

I was surprised at how much I immediately enjoyed the sense of solitude you get from riding in the dark. It was invigorating yet weirdly tranquil. That was until I suddenly found myself less than a metre away from hitting a pedestrian. Unfortunately, although really bright and adequate, the front light doesn't allow me to see a long way ahead on completely unlit roads and some stupid youth in dark clothing was walking down the wrong side of the unlit road. Grrr. Did his mother never teach him how to walk down county roads where there are no pavements? If I hadn't seen a flash of white from his trainers at the last minute I would have probably hit him. Freakin' imbecile!

Other than that, it was a lovely experience.  My rear light was obviously doing the trick as overtaking cars were giving me a very wide berth. Additionally, the front lights were making me highly visible.  It was really quite odd as most of the cars coming out of side streets actually gave me time to pass instead of impatiently jumping in ahead of me. (They must have presumed that I was a motorbike/scooter). I was pleasantly shocked by the courtesy of most of the motorists.

The sense of solitude though was slightly problematic. It gave me the false sense of being all alone in the world so instead of the usual singing in my head I found myself singing out loud. Loudly! Wouldn't have been so bad if I was singing something cool, but NO; the only thing that kept going through my head and popping out of mouth was a little adaptation/mash up of Bonnie Tylers Total Eclipse of the heart and Petula Clark's Down Town. "Turn around Brightttttttttttt liiiiiights"