exo : rides


Tue, 10 Apr 2018


Riding on a bank holiday weekend is a given. Terrible weather on a bank holiday weekend likewise. Hence I find myself two hours into an early April ride hoping the snow does not last.

My plan had been to go out the day before but the incessant rain just didn’t inspire me. Saturday was supposed to be better so I did all the organising and just went despite it still being underwhelming. Not actually raining but clearly thinking quite hard about it and clearly not inclined to manage more than a few degrees of warmth.

The first hour and a half wasn’t that bad: decent tailwind, no rain, nice quiet roads. And then the rain started and only really let up occasionally over the next three hours. Sometimes there was snow or hail instead but mostly rain.

Fortunately by this point I was far enough in to the ride that you might as well do the rest, plus I had a load of rice cakes to eat and they don’t keep. The far enough in was based on my estimate of five and a half hours for the ride. At some point I will learn that my estimates are bad.

One thing I will say for bad weather is it means you just get on with the riding. There is zero incentive to stop and look at the view or take a break because those things involve being colder and just prolong the time in the rain.

The cycling itself was fine and I was mostly pretty comfortable thanks to a small fortunes worth of clothing and a decision to keep a fairly steady pace. Quick enough to generate the heat to stay warm but not so much effort that everything is drenched in sweat. No matter what they say waterproof clothing is only so breathable.

About half way round I decide to change the route slightly because I figure that heading along the base of the hills just to the north of the Tay will be a bit more sheltered than the rather exposed roads closer to the river. It’s a bit more climbing but a chunk less slogging into a cross headwind. Plus it means riding roads in a new direction which is always good.

Five hours in and I reckon I’ve got at least another hour of riding left. Estimates. It’s all on known road though so at least the size and shape of the task is known.

The ten or so miles of tailwind once I leave Newport are a godsend. I’m still feeling pretty good but a bit of barrelling along with the wind behind you is always a joy. It means I reach the turn to home in better shape than I was expecting and the final grind into the wind isn’t too bad.

I stop the clock pretty much on six and a half hours and decide that eating all three of the hot cross buns in the house is justified.

posted at: 21:18 #

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