So my main target is to try to catch up on the mileage as Boxing day was cut short due to the appalling weather. The hope was that it would be dry and my hands would function for the ride. A quick check of the temperature; 8°C, perfect, quick look outside foggy. Why is it that whatever the forecast there is always a potential complication. So a quick change to the kit and head downstairs.
So yesterday was trash weather and I did not manage a longer ride, so with slightly better weather on the horizon I plan to do a longer run tomorrow that should break the back of this challenge. The main hope with the weather is that it stays dry, the current outlook looks like this:
One of my unknowns before setting out on this #Festive500 thing was the consecutive mileage. Whilst I am happy with a one day sportive and also manage to do 50km a day, everyday for my commute, I was not sure about the pulling off a large amount of mileage in such a short space of time. The first four days at least allow me to have some initial days off to break myself in; I can ride the first day, the Christmas Day is definitely a no-no, then ride on Boxing Day and then a rest day with Church and friends. after that it’s open season to finish off whatever remains of the 500km. So far this has worked; when I got on the bike this morning I felt great, no tiredness or fatigue (other than the time I was leaving the house) and so felt really positive that this is going to be achievable; weather permitting.
Am writing up day #1 from the comfort of the sofa on Christmas Day whilst checking weather and route for tomorrows leg. Truth be told I learned a fair bit yesterday on the bike; some things good, some things not so good.
One thing I confirmed was that I am definitely not as fit as I was a year ago, something I definitely need to work on this coming year; even with potentially loads of business travel.
Well here is the plan for tomorrow. I have ridden most of these roads before, the main difference here is that it follows the gritting routes; I am keen to see how it works out; it is pretty much an out and back loop, however going further inland both means lower temperatures and more climbing. Last year that would not of been an issue but want to pace myself this year.
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.
Winter in Northern Scotland is a real issue when you want to commute everyday; believe me when I say I try every year to cycle all through the winter and over the last couple of years I have nearly managed it. Winter has been kind for the last couple of years. Ice is however inevitable, and as some of my key roads don’t even make the “b” list, the gritter is something of a myth they could only dream of. One hill in particular is suicidal, as I have found out on several occasions, and so I resign myself to a turbo trainer in the garage and feel like I am wimping out. This is never helped by the regular postings of people racking up miles on the Rapha Festive 500 or other events.