Unless you live in southern Europe or you are able to get away for most of the winter to a warmer part of the world there is no escaping the fact that we are well and truly at the beginning of another good old British winter! It’s November and that means, dark mornings and evenings. Coupled with the decreasing temperatures, increasing wind speeds and rainfall, it’s not the best conditions for cycling!!
Some people like the winter nights, they can sit by the fire and relax, but if you’re like me it’s a time when I seem to get a bit restless. Of course there’s nothing I can do about it so I will have to make the most of it. Out comes the turbo trainer for the two or three times a week I can bear it! I know its good for me but I’d rather be out on the road.
So its time to get my Ribble winter training bike out. Its got an aluminium frame, carbon forks and a mish mash of components-campagnolo wheels and shimano gears. It’s not the fastest or the lightest bike but it’s very comfortable and it’s got mudguards so I’ll avoid the majority of spray on the wet roads. I usually do between 30 and 40km on each ride, enough to get some good exercise in. Most of the time I start out when it’s dry, but of course it’s inevitable that the heavens will open at some point during a ride.
Last Sunday I set out to do 30km, heading towards Harlech and beyond and then returning via a different road. It didn’t take long for the rain to start pounding down.
To start with I was going north with a tail wind, and the rain was coming at me from behind so it wasn’t too bad, but I knew that when I turned south to return home it would hit me full on. Sure enough as I headed back it got worse, hailstones and torrential rain into my face! Just keep going I said to myself – well there wasn’t a choice was there?!!! Up the hill back through Harlech pushing hard on the pedals into the wind, the road was flooded, everybody except me seemed to be taking cover. Harlech is only 8km from home so I thought won’t be long now, not much more of this wet and cold! As I left Harlech the rain and hail stopped and the sun shone- amazing! I smiled to myself thinking how good I felt getting out - good old British winters and my Ribble winter bike!
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