Friday, 15 January 2010


oh for those happy days when the temperature was -10, the snow was powder and the sun was shining. not today. me and g, him for the first time since christmas, ventured forth. about two hundred metres from the car park!

aside from the wet snow being like cycling thru the worst mud imaginable, the general slidiness shows up the slightest failings in technique. look ahead and let the bike roll seems like the simplest thing. only it isn't. which wouldn't be so bad if the immediate consequence was falling off. again and again and again. a note to self - clipless pedals in snow are stupid. buy flats.

all of which leads me to the fact of still not cycling the strathpuffer this year. true there are some psychological issues to deal with - really, what is the point in cycling round and round a forest for 24 hours in winter? but, as i've said before, it's really only at these points that i've really ever been able to explore those deep and dark depths of the psyche.

i did get the chance of a couple of late spots this week but to be honest by this time i didn't feel either physically ready for it let alone anything else. and the thought of having to camp the night before, which i swore i'd never do again before any 24hr solo effort, was just too much. that said, i will miss it, seeing the familiar faces, having my bike break, crashing into a tree, having my bum disintegrate or any of the other ailments that have plagued me over the years and have caused so much amusement to so many. most of my year is, by my own choice, spent on my own, which i love, so i look forward to these great crowdings of idiots on bikes.

so no strathpuffer for me. not that i'll be off the bike. the roads are clear (ish) so off to argyll tomorrow on the grounds that gales and rain are likely to clear the tarmac of both ice and traffic. a good hard trip on the dark side with lots of nasty climbs. great!

but my head will be with those others who are setting off at 0900 in the morning. of course there will be those (alex slaven!) who will beats it for the whole 24hrs and respect to them. but the majority, back in the 'sports' class it'll be a race against themselves. tiredness, mud, horrific weather, it's an experience they won't forget. good luck to all of them....


kate said...

enjoy the darkside. plenty of pedal turning to get you thinking. have a gooden' ....see you at 'puffer next year....?

Sorlil said...

it's good to a have a year off from exploring your psyche, it'll still be there next year :)

Bill said...

I think I know you mean about going it alone versus entering events. I've more than once thought of entering mountain marathons, not got round to it, then gone off on my own (or sometimes with one other) and been very pleased I was doing my own thing instead.

And cycling through snow. You inspired me to get the mountain bike out here (I'm nursing an adductor strain, so can't run). It's definitely challenging, staying on a bike in wellingtons in the snow. It's been great.

swiss said...

as it turned out my darkside venture was stymied by food, drinking and conversation. spent some quality time with t, a rarity in itself these days, so no regrets. i did keep my eye on the watch for the entire 24 hours tho!

puffer next year? if i can get entered in time! lol in the meantime i'm looking at a couple of the tens, possibly relentless, an mtb coast to coast and a couple of longish road epics. if there's weather!

because i just like getting into those bits of my psyche and they won't wait until next year!

and i'm glad to have necouraged you out in your wellies bill. under-rated bits of gear i say...