Increase your annual mileage: lap 5

Whether the weather be hot, whether the weather be cold

We’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather

Whether we like it or not

A couple of years ago, I joined some of my clubmates on a spring training camp in Majorca. The island’s roads were heaving with thousands of cyclists from the northern countries, all getting themselves fit and trim for the coming racing season. My own personal training objectives were the next café stop and piece of chocolate cake and (incidentally) adding some distance to my total annual mileage.

Of course, the reasons for going to Majorca were twofold: plenty of mountains and good weather. One day, however, the skies

Image: Cycling Weekly

Image: Cycling Weekly

clouded over and the rains came down. The forecast was very bleak for the rest of the day. It was then that I realized that I occupied a different cycling hemisphere to my clubmates. In their droves, they decided to hang up their cycling shoes for the day and head off to the local bars and cafés. So, I set off on my own, battled through a very wet morning, waving at other solitary souls as we passed each other (but very few), eventually cycled into an improving afternoon, and arrived back at the hotel in sunshine, having completed over 60 miles (100kms), only to find dozens of my riding pals moping around the hotel grounds, kicking tin cans, wishing they hadn’t wasted a whole day.

Now I ask: is this an unfair image of the racing confraternity? Do they all wimp out at the least sign of inclement weather? Are some a bit touchy about getting their ‘pride and joy’ (ie. bike) wet and dirty? At the first signs of cold wet weather at home, I know a lot of them retreat into their caves, and spend days and weeks in the virtual world of turbo-training, peering at their iPAD animations through sweat-blurred eyes, huge fans whirring or A/C blasting away to keep them from melting into a little pool on the floor.

Sorry to say this, guys & gals, but adding serious distance to your annual mileages means going out in some inclement weather from time to time. Unless you live in Canada, northern USA, central Europe or similar, if you want to make the most of your opportunities, you’ll just have to grin and bear it. Get both yourself and your bike properly kitted out, and just go for it. Hail, rain or shine…………. and don’t forget to smile  ;0)

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About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on November 11, 2014, in Increase your annual mileage and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Some days I can motor through a torrential downpour. Others? No chance. I prefer to get caught than to start when it’s raining though.

    • ….never feels good to have to start in the rain, but it’s character-building….! 🙂

      • Same with high winds… I know. While i can live with crazy winds, I just can’t bring myself to look at starting in the rain the same way. You’re right about character but I look at it from an addict’s standpoint: I’m really not that bad if I won’t start a ride in the rain.

        Keep in mind, rain days are my only days off the bike. In the summer, if it doesn’t rain for two weeks I ride 14 days in a row.

  2. I had snow tyres for my recumbent trike. Now this is sold, not sure what my winter solution will be this year…

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