Day three of the Christmas holiday and three rides down. 60 miles on Christmas eve, 22 fast miles (and three Queen of the Mountains) on Christmas morning and 28 miles today.
The Christmas day ride has to be my favourite; quiet roads and decent weather. Today’s was one of the worst rides ever, it actually made me cry.
So, in chronological order, on Christmas eve I had a day booked off on leave which I planned to use for a long ride. Ollie didn’t finish work until midday so we planned for him to do the ride backwards until he found me. I set off into a headwind which I battled against for 2 hours and after 4 miles arrived at my brothers new favourite route – an old military site opened up for vehicle access. He had suggested that I should try for the Queen of the Mountain on that segment but I immediately hit a flood across the width of the road and the entire segment was into the wind. The lack of traffic and the novelty means that it has potential, but I didn’t enjoy my first visit.
I exited the site onto a country lane and cycled a while before seeing two horses coming towards me. One ridden by a lady and the other by a small girl, both oblivious to anything around them and managing to take up the entire width of the road. As I cycled towards them the responsible adult didn’t look forwards even once. I considered saying something but didn’t for fear of a snotty response.
At this point I should mention that horse riding is my original interest and although I haven’t been on a horse for some years I don’t consider myself to have given up. I have been a horse rider since the age of 7. Well we are on the subject, I am also a motorist and a pedestrian.
Okay so back to the story…
Baring in mind that I am not ignorant of horses and horse riding, I assumed that the fact the lady hadn’t even once looked forward or even realised my prescence ahead of her meant that her horse was not spooky. I therefore decided it would be safe to, slowly, pass them in the small space left. However as I got closer the horse noticed me, spooked and bucked.
Cue, finally being noticed.
Shouted the lady, who glared the death stare at me. How very dare I use her road?!
Having marginally avoided being kicked in the face by her poor horse I couldn’t really comprehend her anger but also had no conscious response development. So I was pleased that what came out was to the point and closed her down.
It was not me taking up the entire road.
And off she trotted with absolutely no retort.
It got me thinking about relations between road users, but I’ve eaten too much food and the roaring fire is making me sleepy so I may come to that another day.
Christmas day seemed like a great time to get out on the bikes to enjoy quiet roads whilst most motorists sit at home in their dressing gowns opening their gifts. And it worked! Great fun and meant that Christmas day was guilt free (I still didn’t fill in my food diary on myfitnesspal though!).
Ride Three, today
In an attempt to lower body fat I am trying to get as much training in over the Christmas leave period as possible. Ollie suggested some weeks ago that we cycle to his parents and then back the following day to get some miles in. The early forecast suggested that today would be an enjoyable ride but that tomorrow would be a hard ride with a tail wind to compensate. The forecast was wrong. We got so wet and cold; my fingers were agony, so eventually we stopped at a pub and had a hot chocolate.We got back on the bikes and took a short cut. Cutting our ride by half and we were so glad for the opportunity.
A warm shower, much too much food and a roaring log fire later…all was forgotten as I uploaded my ride and found an extremely unexpected Queen of the Mountain.
I guess we will cycle home after all.