To #Festive500 Or Not?

There are so many reasons why the #Festive500 is a bad idea:

This time last year I was at the peak of fitness, had done my first road race and also my first time trial, and had managed to get a consistent amount of time on the bike, this year has been the complete opposite. My first day back after the Christmas break this year was a taste of the year to come; oil prices had crashed enough for most of our contracts and potential look ahead to disappear over night, a year of growth turned in to a year of cutting back. The one positive outlook for work was a project have been working on in India, and over the year I have spent a large amount of time travelling back and forwards and this has completely hijacked my plans for focussing on time trialling, in fact any time on a bike. In fact I have only managed to get out on the time trial bike four times this year. As a result my fitness is far from where I would like it to be.

Family is important to me, and they have also paid the price as a result of my travel; spending a large amount of time on the bike does not always go down well and so I need to balance how much time I can steal away for without impacting time with them. This is definitely the case with my eldest who is hoping to spend his wings next summer and head of to University.

North Scotland can be a pretty harsh at this time of year. I see all these pictures of people on their bikes in amongst snow laden roads. My experience is seriously thick black ice and several falls that have made me very nervous and usually has me cowering in the garage on turbo trainer. Aberdeen and the Shires is a pretty huge area and the amount they are able to grit is very limited; generally only A and major B roads are gritted leaving everything else untouched. The main road I use to escape out of my village is a small single lane road that is suicidal as soon as it gets remotely cold. I have also noticed in the last couple of years that the gritters don’t come out until its light; and in Aberdeen at this time of year that is late. So any snow that falls overnight often settles until the ploughs come through.

I have looked on at the #Festive500 for the last couple of years and know that it was not the right time to have a try. This year however I know that my travel will continue, my boys will sleep in and so mornings are generally free, I rebuilt my wheels for cyclocross and have also been trialling Continental Top Contact Winter II tyres on the icy mornings that I have been home to great success and the weather actually is generally favourable. In fact there is no snow currently predicted between now and the New Year.

Weather forecast for the Festive500

So after much thinking and discussion I am going to try and see how far I get. Fitness and time away from family and the big balances here. But here goes.

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