Unhappy Anniversary

Boo the weather.

Today I should have been celebrating my first cycling anniversary by riding the Old Porlians CC Reliability Ride which was my debut into the world of organised bike rides last year.  Instead it was yet another casualty of the bloody weather.

It nearly killed me but I loved it at the same time.  My preparation was far from ideal; the previous day we’d had a wonderful meal at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck following by a gig at Shepherd Bush with The Hours and The Twang.  Nevertheless I turned up bristling with enthusiasm, wearing baggy moutain bike shorts (a sartorial faux pas of considerable magnitude!) and had only a water bottle with squash and a couple of bananas to keep me going.

Despite my woefully inadequate nutritional strategy, attire, fitness and cycling nous I managed to stay with the ‘top men’ of my new club for 90% of the ride.  The infamous south side of Toys Hill got the better of me though.  Despite being exhausted I managed the first brutally steep section of the climb, only to round the corner and realise I was less than half way to the top. The psychological blow was too much and with shame I dismounted and walked for a couple of hundred metres before re-mounting like a whipped dog and limped to the finish in Halstead.

It was at once a humbling but also fantastic experience.

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