Tuesday, January 19, 2010

After the thaw its all gone Potty

Sunday morning was different.
As I lay in bed under my duvet I could not work it out right away, my brain was frozen.
Far too slow to decide on which sense was being stimulated.
But finally it came to me.
It was the sound of birds outside.
Not the joyous sound of Spring, but more of a birdy sigh. The sort of equivalent sound that a human might make when finishing a long journey or completing an unpleasant task.
Of course my curiosity got the better of me and to the window I went, angling the blinds to look outside.
Although I lived on a street , I could be forgiven for forgetting such a fact as the roads, pavements, fields and even local beaches had been covered with thick layers of snow.
Not for the usual day or two but for nearly a month!!!!!!
Birds had stopped singing, they had lost their sense of humour. Even the red breasted robin no longer blushed.
It was too F***ing cold to sing.
If they sold beak balm, I am sure whole aviaries would have been queuing up to buy some.
Like us they just saved their energy to keep warm and look for food where ever it might come from.
Even some of the local stores had run short on bread and milk.
The birds were not the only surprise, the road was silver.
The dampness from the melted snow was shimmering in sunlight and bathed in long shadows.

I could Cycle
My recent cycle training had been confined to reading my colourful Lance Armstrong book 'Up close and Personal' so the concept of actually riding my bike seemed quite novel.
My brother Paddy in Texas has already stolen a march on me going out every weekend and already up to 45 mile sessions.
With Texas and the MS 150 Houston-Austin in April looming , I realised that I had to get my skates on (sorry cycle shoes). Of late I have been pre occupied with alpine pastimes.

So off I went wishing that I had not eaten all that christmas cake as my bike creaked under me, and my Santas sack protruded towards my handle bars.
I decided on a short cobweb blowing, hill climbing route.
The green grass on Beverley Westwood looked bizarre dotted with half melted snowmen and the odd pile of 'Scarf, carrot and coal button combination' remaining isolated and unemployed on barren grass.As I climbed up towards the mast to the north of Little Weighton there was the last remnants of our big freeze defying the morning sun.
Lines of snow framed fields and gullies creating white linear patterns all around like an agricultural chessboard.
The road so familiar to me had also changed since summer months with new unwanted arrivals.
Pot holes.
A month of freeze and thaw had exploited the weakness of the friday afternoon resurfacing. Where workers minds were on pints of ale and fancy girls, not on Mr Macadams compound.
Some parts of the road had more in common with a lunar landscape than a rural highway.
Still it made the ride interesting, a slalom without snow.

I was relieved to get to the top of the climb, the the icy air hurt my lungs as I breathed heavily.
The 20+ mph average from last summer was now a paltry 11mph, I was struggling, really struggling.
The long descent home increased it to 14 mph, whilst my heart beat recovered.
I recorded 16.03 miles, hardly respectable but at least it was something.
When I got home the birds had again stopped singing, I think the novelty had now worn off.
I put away the bike and reflected in front of the fire with a hot chocolate.

Its a long way to go to get cycle fit again, but in every journey there has to be a start.
Mine is now behind me.
Happy cycling

1 comment:

Red Bike said...

Getting out after such a long rest certainly felt good.

Sundays 'easy' ride has killed me! I can't believe just how unfit i've become.