January can be the most unfriendly month of the year for cyclists. For those preparing themselves for the coming racing season, many will have been discouraged by the unremittingly cold, wet, wintry weather of the past few weeks. And if their chances of getting out on a weekend club run happened to coincide with the worst of the weather, they may have confined their winter training to indoor turbo sessions, counting the numbers and putting in the hours………very boring and very sweaty!
In my own case, I’m never in training for anything…..except the next piece of chocolate cake, perhaps. Though I do like to compete against myself occasionally, my riding is entirely for fitness and leisure and, enjoying a certain flexibility during the week to pick and choose my riding schedule, I can study the weather charts and hope to miss some of the worst weather.
My ride today was a case in point. Although it was cold and very windy, I was assured by the forecasts that the rains would not hit our region before 1pm. And sure enough, as I cycled along the high street of our village at 1.30pm, having completed a 40 mile ride, the rains were only just beginning. To get wet in the warmth of the summer is one thing, but to get wet in winter, when the temperatures are hovering above freezing, that is quite a different story.
As I stepped into the house and my body began to adjust to the ambient temperature, the chill in my hands and about my face became painful, forcing me to step back out into the garage to allow a more gradual adjustment. Our bodies do not appreciate sudden changes of temperature.
January mileage: 695 miles (1118 kms).