Friday, 11 December 2009

Good intentions.

I've been planning this all week, but it goes further back than that.

At the start of the year, one of my goals was a road century. An imperial one. I was already fairly fit, knocking out 50 milers easily enough, on and off road. A test run in mid January, a metric century, was straightforward enough. A plan was made whereby I'd build it up, one big-ish road ride per month and edge the mileage up until I hit the century.

It all sounds simple enough. Of course, March's 'incident' then happened, which kind of derailed stuff. Never mind. As the year went on and Autumn arrived, I remembered that particular objective and made vague plans to return to it. Properly renew my aquaintence with the road and cross bikes after spending more of the summer and my recovery in the world of MTB then start on the miles.

Everything went well, my only enemy was time....parental committments and the season meant shorter days and a strict ride end time. No matter, you just have to adapt a little. Then it was time.

A rest week, a good weather forecast and a plan. An early night followed by an early start at dawn gave me a six hour window of opportunity, and some extra just in case. More than enough. The day comes, I drag myself out of bed, coffee and a big breakfast then changed. I stuff my pickets with gels and Haribo. Cafe money is secreted in the zip pocket of the base layer.

I look out the window and I start to worry. Its foggy. Really foggy and the road looks icey. I delay a little and revise the ride plan a little. I might still be able to make the 100 miles but if not, I'll just do less and call it another training ride and do the 100 later. There's still a few weeks until the end of the year.

After the self-imposed delay, I go to the garage, get the bike out and prepare to set off. I'm nervous....the road looks slippy but I'm sure it'll be fine. I reset the computer and set off. For info, I always leave the computer set on ride time, not distance. Seeing how little you've covered demoralises me and seeing how long I have been out empowers me. Yes, slightly mad, but so what.

I clip in and set off. Traditional circle of the street to allow me to check if the garage door is shut (the joys of an OCD!) then up the hill. I get to the lip at the base and my back wheel slides out from under me.


If its bad here, it'll be worse out of town and there's also standing water on some of the roads. It'll be frozen now. This ride would not be a good idea. I trudge back to the garage, hang the bike back up and go back up to the house. I meet the MiL on the stairs....she confirms that the roads are even worse out of town and the back roads (my routes in effect) are sketchy as hell. Damn it.

So, now it's coffee time and a chance to think of a plan B. There is a plan B isn't there?


VeloCake said...

Arhh Grant, I do enjoy your well writen and thought provoking pieces.
Makes such a change from the norm and adds a little gravitas on here

grant said...

Oh behave. ;-)

Anyway, a couple of hours of careful laps of the doorstep singletrack gave me *a* fix, if not the fix I was after. :-)

KatieCake said...

:-( Sorry to hear that nasty weather sabotaged your momentous ride. Great write up about your despair though. ;-)

I really look forward to hearing about the century ride when you achieve it, it already sounds like an impressive feat.

I'm not really gay said...

makes sense to fight another day rather than break yourself today, tonights ride home was interesting, freezing fog and black ice, I don't envy Simon if he's ridden in

VeloCake said...

Simon won't remember what his commuter looks like.

it was a lovely morning down here, all sunshine, blue skies, about
6'c and a tail wind!

ha ha ha

Simon said...

Plan B should be to eat cake.

I can't remember the last time I rode a bike other than to 'race' 'cross :(

Nice words anyway Grant, keep it up.

grant said...

Leaving it to fight another day sums it up.

It's not helped by my fear of falling (rightwards), which goes away on dry days but comes back pretty forcefully on wet and slippy ones.

VeloCake said...

"just racing" cross is hardcore though

grant said...

Couldn't manage it today either due to the weather and time constraints.

Next weekend is a bust too (there's something on, on Friday, I'm booked for Saturday and Sunday).

Aiming for sometime between the 28th and 30th now. I don't think doing it on Hogmany will go down that well. :-)