Monday, 29 July 2013


It's been a while since I've posted anything as I've been making the most of the brilliant weather we've been having this month.

Completely different from last year - we've been able to sit outside most evenings whereas last year we might have done so just once or twice. Some days it's been too hot: I have been repainting the windows on the house and the paint stripper was evaporating before it could do its work! Also since we are on a private water supply we have to be careful with water usage in times like this, we managed - just - but there were times in the day were the spring overflow stopped running and we just had to keep an eye on it.

I've been doing a lot of biking, nearly 1800km since the Ripon Revolution, a variety of rides from steady training rides to quick efforts along with some that were intended to be one and ended up the other! Above about 25C I begin to struggle so on the really hot days I'd go for an early ride at about 6am, the roads are lovely and quiet at that time of day.

Like many cyclists these days I use Strava, not to be in competition with the young riders (typically I add 50% to the best time for any segment to get my time) but as a means of measuring progress (or decline), the only competition is with myself. One Strava segment I'd been testing myself on is one of the hills heading back home, try as I might I couldn't get under nine minutes - my best time was 9:15, so a target for the year was obvious. Imagine my surprise about a month ago when I logged 8:30 then just two weeks ago logged 8:03 so it looks like sub 8 minutes is on the cards :-) I don't think I'll get anywhere near the best time of 6:50 posted by Tom Moses, a professional rider, though.

Other than that most of the cycling has been a blur, a bit like a long day doing lots of gritstone routes, it's the overall experience that your remember rather than the individual routes. One incident though was unusual - I got stung by some insect one Saturday morning. I remember the sound of something striking my bike helmet then a sharp pain on my forehead just above my eye. Fortunately I'm not allergic to bee/wasp stings so I wasn't overly worried. The rest of the ride my forehead had that slowly subsiding tingling feeling. The following morning however my eyelid had drooped such that that side of my face had an oriental appearance and by Monday morning I struggled to actually open my eye! A trip to the doctor's and a course of anti-histamine and it began to subside but a little worrying at times.

We've got a club trip to the Manchester Velodrome coming up in a week or so (must find out the actual date!). I've never been on a cycle track, I'd missed out on a couple of trips to Manchester over the past few years, so it will be an interesting experience. In fact I've never ridden a fixed wheel bike so it's going to be doubly interesting if not amusing for those watching.