If you've read some of my previous blogs, you’ll know that cycling has always been a large part of my life. If you haven't already, check my earlier blog Full Circle
However, so far this year I've been out twice.
Once was on a cold clear day just after the New Year. It was a perfect winter’s day, with the exception of the icy roads.
The other was the Cotic Bikes 'Beat the Winter Blues' Ride in the Peak. Thirty of us, all on Cotics, went riding on a loop of the Peak District’s finest trails. It was another great day, despite the snowstorms and freezing rain towards the end of the ride. Stoke was certainly high that day.
Since then, my bike has been washed and remains locked away, awaiting a full overhaul. New cables, brakes bled and hoses tidied, pivots stripped and greased, bearings checked and replaced where necessary. All those jobs that mean once the weather improves I'll be raring to go with the knowledge that my bike is in tip top condition.
Some might say that this is the hallmark of a fair weather biker, but I beg to differ.
We are in the depths of winter, the trails aren't in the best of conditions and more traffic will only make them worse. Plus all that grit and mud won't do my bike any favours. So I'm putting my Cotic Rocket into hibernation until spring.
Luckily the hotel where I stay whilst working away, have let me put my turbo trainer in a spare room, so I can at least keep my legs turning.
A few years ago, winters were spent indoors. Climbing.
It was good to prepare for the coming summer when the fitness built up over the winter came into its own and the tick list of routes you’d built up thumbing through the various guidebooks were slowly ticked off. Summer’s seemed to get wetter and we got bored of visiting the same crags.
It meant that climbing was slowly replaced by biking, with only the occasional foray onto rock just to remind us how good it felt to play in the vertical world.
After a trip to the Lakes last year, Jacquie and myself have decided that we want to tick off the Wainwrights so there are trips to the Lakes to be planned. We also intend to visit a few of the Scottish islands this year.
There's lots of planning and research to do for both these and the depths of winter is the perfect time, when it's dark by teatime and it's cold and wet most weekends.
Do you know what, it feels good to give myself permission to take some time out and do something different, knowing full well that when the sun shine's, the trails dry out a bit, and the daylight lengthens, the bike will be back out. I know that I’ll ride with a new found vigour, like a bear out of hibernation hungry for eating up some sweet singletrack.