Wednesday, 29 September 2010

what to do

when recovering from the flu. probably best not to decide that last night was the night to get back out with the tuesday boys. true, i was fooled by the fact that although i could feel the rain in the air it wasn't actually raining, at least not until i'd got ten minutes up the road. another sign, aside from the drenched nature of the car park, should have been that only two others turned up but never mind - i had my mud guard on and that, along with the fact i was wearing 3/4's and long fingered gloves, was preparation enough for me.

it turns out in interim that one of the longer absentees in the group is refusing to come out on the grounds 'none of the rest of us are fit enough to keep up with him'. he said that i say? and make a mental note.

but not for last night. my legs don't feel bad in the flu aftermath but equally they're not great tho on the bright side the expected lung chunder, happily, does not arrive. rather than the drag up to the loch we decide to go a different route which entails a bit of tarmac at the start rather than at the end, a novelty for us and we ascend a route we more often descend.

after a bit of an early wobble i settle into the fact that the middle ring is what i'll be climbing in and ease up. i realise that this is the first night ride i've been on this year! so i edge myself away from the other two so that i can find my pace and also just to enjoy the forest which is drippy wet and eery with mist. i switch my lights off and ease thru it like a ghost. the pine needles look silver and the only sound is water. that's right, i remember, this is why i do this!

i'll give the boys their due - at the top of the climb as we rejoin the main track they gamely volunteer for a second climb, steeper and longer than the first. it has to be said that at the top i'm starting to feel it, not least because last time i was up i did most of it in the big ring and this time i'm struggling in the middle. granny to the top and it's fine. down to the loch isn't quite so easy, not least because i haven't gotten round to taking my dry weather race tyres off this bike. mud is slidey but the rocks are unfeasibly slidey! and then there's the frogs. t would be proud of my frog avoidance skills!

and it's very wet. at the loch i get cold. and then i realise, yes, i'm not over the flu. i never get cold! even the boys notice that one! on the descent i notice how amazingly tentative i am with lack of night practice even allowing for the tyre issue. mr p falls off with a balletic grace that voids any concern i may have had when he went over the bars. i particularly admire the second roll he does before landing in the mud!

both me and g have been ruined by summer cycling and are expressing concern by the time we hit the road and our bikes are creaking and grinding with grit and gloop. of course now mr p decides it's time to get the head down. i notice that g is conserving himself. he notices that i notice but what he doesn't notice is that i'm freewheeling with a fistful of gears. mr p loves a crazy break so i stick to his back wheel and watch him push the pace. as soon as the road steepens i'm off. shouts of frustration behind! g makes a manful effort to catch up on the flat but to no avail. and then we're back at the car park, old maybe, slow definitely but still laughing like idiots. top night!

so today my winter bike goes into the shop to get the stuff done i should've done at the beginning of summer.
and today will be the day, as it really is only weather for ducks, that the trainer comes out of the shed. not having a day off you might ask? absolutely not. because it's that time of year (and esp with me being away for relentless) when the subject of strathpuffer rears its head and even asking that question means that any day off the bike is a potential regret in the dark hours of a january morning!


kate said...

is the guy who's 'too fit to ride with ya'll gonna be at 'puffer? i bet not. well, if you're starting training now then i guess i should at least stop drinking quite so much ;) see you there!

swiss said...

to be honest i think g was dropping the comment in order that the next time this guy comes out i'll know exactly what to do. i've only met him the once and my bike broke early so i didn't see his form but atleast it'll keep me motivated for when he does come out!

i don't think you need to worry about your puffer form if you're managing 160+ miles on a single speed! i'm not so much starting training as innuring myself to the conditions.

see how it goes. if we don't get in as solos i'll maybe tap you for a mixed pair!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Never did cycling sound so appealing! I'm almost tempted to get my rusty but trusty Halfords bought bargain basement 15 year old mock mountain bike out from the side of the house.Then I remember the chain is still broken from last time.
I'll stick to reading.