Sunday, 8 March 2009

Dead ends and numb hands

This week has been interesting. It’s been a mixture of relaxing and some longer rides the emphasis on not overdoing it before the races begin over the next few weeks.

With this in mind I set out for a leisurely 2h ride on Tuesday morning. The weather was forecast to get worse throughout the day so I took advantage of the fact that the sun was shining and set off midmorning, rain cape packed just in case. The first hour of the ride was fine, in fact it was quite warm and I began to feel a little overdressed for the occasion! As the halfway point drew near the clouds began to gather. Then, as so often happens in the welsh valleys, I crossed over in to the next valley and the heavens well and truly opened. It did cross my mind to short cut back so I told my self to stop being such a pansy and carried on. After about 10minutes my hands and feet started to get a little chilly. Then minutes later they were numb. Then I turned back towards home into the lovely headwind, and promptly froze! It turned into one of those epic rides you can never train for. I was cold to the core and wanted to stop, but if I stopped I would get colder and home was still ten miles away. So I dug in and carried on. By the time I got home I was unable to change gear and could hardly brake. Fortunately my housemate opened the front door as I’m sure using a key would have been another 2hour task! I guess these rides need to be done every now and again to remind your self what suffering really is, being cold is far worse than achy legs in the middle of an Enduro.

Wednesday was a gentle 3h group ride on the road. Some of the guys had trained hard the previous day so we took it steady, with a nice climb for good measure. Temptation got the better of me as usual once we hit the climb. Maerdy Mountain is one of my favourite climbs. It is just less than 2 miles long with a super steep 17% gradient at the bottom. It then levels out and has 5 alpine like hairpin bends, its great fun and I set one of my fastest times up it, happy days.

By the weekend I needed some mud so I went out on an exploring mission. I discovered a few new trails which I never knew existed around Caerphilly. I also found plenty of dead ends. There’s nothing worse than finding a lovely steep trail to ride down only to find it abruptly comes to a halt at the bottom. Pushing back up sucks! After a few hours getting lost I headed back to Cardiff ready for an afternoon full of uni work, not so happy days. To make things worse I woke up this morning with a sore throat. I guess Tuesday’s chilling just got the final word, rollers for me for a few days. Better to be safe than sorry though!

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