Two days of cycling and two days of contrasting weather. On the 30th December I managed to tear myself away from the house at last and pedaled into a headwind, keepinng to the main road between Norwich and Watton. All the side roads were smeared with a heavy frost well into the afternoon, with patches that never cleared.
I never know quite what to wear when I first head out, but given that I am way off the pace after 4 months off the bike, three top layers and a windproof jacket proved not to be too much. The bitter wind tugging at the collar of my jacket and freezing my ears and nose.
Despite plenty of energy after the Christmas festivities, my legs had none of last summers stamina and I could feel the beginnings of a shake when I stopped in Watton before heading for home. I obviously have a lot of work to do.
This afternoon, -new years day-, in the failing afternoon greyness and eventual half moon splashed evening I set out again to take on my 22 mile 'fast' curcuit, but without the 'fast'! This time the strong gusty wind was warm by comparison, averaging at about 6 deg. The same clothing made me over-warm after the first 4 or 5 miles and next time I shall ditch a layer.
I am loosely going to follow the advice from https://ultracycling.com/sections/articles/training/training_for_beginners.php and after an initial workup, push hard for 3 weeks out of 4, with a more relaxed training schedule in the fourth to allow for recovery.
I also intend to be more discerning about equipment and am still trying to get my saddle and saddle position nailed. I had problems last year with rear end discomfort, so I have to get this right.
Beyond the training and the bike, I am unsure about whether to raise money for charity again. Last year was the third time I have done so and now total about £8500. It is by far the hardest element, so if anyone has any advice about how to ease the workload or even has a charity that they feel particularly passionate about, please do get in touch. I'm on facebook and twitter @johnnymbakewell. It would be good to hear from you.
Happy New Year. John