Friday, October 21, 2011

Goals, anticipation and riding for pleasure

Well. I'm now signed off for a month due to work pressure. The mere mention of it sets me off at the moment - feelings of anxiety, nervousness and a sense of inadequacy as well as paralysing indecision. I had to take some files back to the office and I couldn't go in office hours because I can't face the others. I got there and sat in the car for 10 minutes plucking up the courage to go in. When I did go in I dumped everything and left quickly, feeling sick the whole time. Lots of work to do there!

I find that exercise helps which brings me to goals - small, pathetic ones but none-the-less goals which give me a sense of achievement.

In the gym on Tuesday I got on the exercise bike and, as is my wont, pedalled hard for 10 minutes to warm up. I usually manage 5.5 to 5.8km and have been aiming for 6km for some time. This time I managed 6.13km. It felt so good, motivated me for the rest of the session and set me up for the rest of the day.

I have signed up for the Cycle to Work scheme and will be buying a bike through salary sacrifice. The process is almost complete. I have chosen a bike (Merida Crossway) and am just waiting for the certificate to arrive so that I can go and buy it. At long last I will have something that is easy to ride and more that capable of the sort of riding I do.

To end this ramble I went out yesterday and intended to do a shortish route lasting about an hour. It lasted a bit longer (1.5 hours) and I went further than intended. That said it was a great ride, the weather was ok and the route scenic. It is easy to become jaded about the scenery when one is immersed in it but the whole point of rides around here is to enjoy it and breathe in the views and surprise encounters on the way round, in this case a new-born Welsh Black calf. The hills, fields, Pheasants in the road that try and run ahead before taking to the wing in a clatter of feathers and clucking. All this goes without saying most of the time.

Here it is.

Heads are still harder than bikes to deal with.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Further bike related trials and tribulation

Well here we are more than two weeks since I last reported on the troubles I am having with the bike and I have to report that I have hardly ridden the bike it that time.

After fixing the puncture (5 holes. Tut!) I went out on the Saturday for a nice morning run via Trefnant and up to Henllan and Groes.

On the Sunday I set out again but took a mini roundabout near home a bit quickly and the right pedal grounded rather hard. I stayed on but soon noticed that the pedal was loose.  I turned round and when I got home I found that the pedal was damaged and had sheared out of its alloy crank thread and the whole shebang was irreparable.

So...New cranks (again), new pedals (again). I ordered the pedals from Halfords online as they had none that I wanted in the local store. They use Yodel to deliver (NOT!). What a cock-up and what a bunch of useless idiots Yodel are. This is the company that sponsored the Tour of Britain sprint competition and they cant get a set of pedals to me in a van from 26 miles away!! The pedals went on a van 5 times - FIVE TIMES!

I'm now waiting for a refund from Halfords who say they will credit my account when the pedals are received back at their warehouse - some time next year then!

Anyway. Now the bike is fixed and I can get out again. I did a quick circuit on Friday up to Prion then grabbed an opportunity on Saturday... Our daughter wanted me to watch her riding lesson so I went up to the stables on the bike and took a longer route home.

Making the most of the warm sunshine on Sunday I did this one.

I still enjoy this ride as it offers a mix of challenges and I feel great at the end.

Now the weather is changing so I will have to begin cultivating some V (Rule #5) . With a bit of luck I will be the proud owner of a new bike soon which will make the job easier.

Now all I have to do is sort out my head (again). Bikes are easy...


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sunny Saturday

What a great day for an early morning ride. I was out by 7.50am and did this...

The bike held up and didn't get another puncture. Most of my flat tyres are caused by thorns in the road edges left behind after hedge cutting.

I felt great and it set me up for the rest of the day. However there were two incidents with inconsiderate drivers. One, having seen me coming pulled out in front of me from a side road and did not accelerate. I was coming down hill and caught him up much quicker than he expected. As we came off a roundabout to go into town he got stuck behind a bus and I passed them both which felt good.

The second was a driver, coming in the opposite direction who saw me indicating to turn right at another roundabout (giving me right of way). As I entered the roundabout turning right he came through and my pedal clipped his back bumper! He got the finger and must have seen this because he stopped. I do hope I left a good scratch!