Let The Training Commence…

With the goals for 2016 having been set the training must now begin!

Christmas and New Year have now passed and with that a return to normality which means that the over indulgence now has to be kept under control and the focus must be regained. (Although it is far easier to focus after letting your hair down and having a good time!)

I had planned to get back on it on the 2nd/3rd of January however holiday high jinks had got in the way (illness) so the bike was put on the back burner until I felt better.

The weather has been nothing short of horrific and due to the dark nights I have been jogging in the evenings rather than cycling. Due to a fear of cycling in the dark. Well, not standing out enough to car drivers enough in the dark. I had joined a cycling club that went out in the evenings but it just didn’t feel right cycling the dark even in a group. I think it was due to the, sometimes, erratic cycling of club mates.

It was great to get out on the bike for a couple of rides this weekend. The first was with Prologue, who are my local bike shop. They head out on a Saturday morning. The second was on my own.

The Prologue ride headed out through some small villages to Brimham Rocks and then down to Glasshouses and up “The Raikes” over Dallow Moor to Laverton and then to Ripon. We would then head back to Harrogate.

This ride was great fun and thanks to company on the ride kept the motivation high. Looking outside at 8.45 it was very grey. Getting down to the shop at 9.00 it was spitting. It was clear that this ride was only going one way and it wasn’t the nice, warm, dry way.

Once we got going I warmed up quite quickly and had opted for the Gabba due to the hope that it would be a passing shower we would get caught in.

No. Such. Luck.

Reaching Burnt Yates, just before Brimham Rocks, the heavens really opened up and it became quite foggy. As we got over Brimham Rocks the Gabba was soaked but at least it was keeping me warm!

We then descended into Glasshouses which was quite a sketchy descent in the rain. Not especially technical but plenty of ramps followed by relatively sharp corners which needed concentration and some good braking.

Once we got to Glasshouses we had The Raikes to climb. I had never been up this particular climb before. Well, when I say “climb” it was a short sharp rise. The steepest part of the climb is around 16% and during the ride it was more reminiscent of a river due to the channels flowing down the road. Needless to say it was nice to have something to take my mind off the rain. The climb then continues over the road, at a more relenting, gradient to the top of Dallow Moor.

Once we got to the top of Dallow Moor there was a nice, long descent into Ripon.

However….One of my friends hit a mechanical reaching the top and we had to stop.

On the top of the Moor it was around 1 degree C and freezing! Being so exposed the wind was catching us too! The body temp dropped and the remaining half of the ride was horrendous due to not being able to warm up and my overshoes and gloves acting like sponges!

It was the first time I thought hypothermia was a real possibility on the bike!

On to Sunday.

Today I decided to wait until the weather cleared which was the correct decision as the wind was strong today so going out in that and the rain would have been soul destroying on my own!

The loop today took in Leathley, Pool, Arthington (up a little gem of a hill called Black Hill) and then down to Weardley, KO, Sicklinghall, Wetherby and back.

As I don’t train by power I find  it quite difficult to judge how hard I am working. I normally just go on feel and heart rate. Today I was just taking it easy and trying to get some base miles in.

However, it turned into a struggle due to the wind as I was needing to keep pushing to make any headway. As this was the case I threw caution to the wind (excuse the pun) and just decided to go as hard as my legs would allow.

Having missed the rain the sun (yes, that thing we do not often see) decided to make an appearance.

The first wheels for 2016 have now been turned.

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