Saturday, 16 May 2009

Boot Camp - week two.

I was a bit lax with Boot Camp last week. A mix of other commitments and a growing aversion to being cold and pish-wet through meant that I didn't do my 12 hours. Chris and I had a couple of hours at Glentress on Saturday which, for a Saturday, was strangely deserted. I think everyone else had gone home because it was raining and windy again. My car was aquaplaning on the way over to pick Chris up (no fault of my new "Goodride*" tyres which were hastily shoved on it to get it through its MOT). We put in a solid two hours at the end of which my bike had turned a uniform grey colour and we looked like mud-men effigies.

This week I've been much more diligent and I've really enjoyed my riding. Tuesday I rode to and from work and went exploring on the homeward leg. The wind has been pretty strong all week, from the east which means it's a bit on the cold side, but it blew me home via some excellent new commuting options which reduces the road:off-road ratio to around 1:4.

On Wednesday evening I met Dave at the Water of Leith carpark in Currie and we managed a good 3 1/2 hours in the Pentlands. The wind made it really hard work in places but it was a beautiful sunny evening. I felt really good and strong on the long hills like Monk's Rig up from Ninemileburn to West Kip, though still made an arse of the Green Cleugh climb, almost colliding with Dave ahead of me. We finished after sunset with the now customary descent of the Poet's Glen in the gloaming, using The Force to negotiate the last bit before the road.

I'm pretty confident in asserting that Scotland is the windiest country in Europe (which is enough to make it a fact), and the same wind is present on Thursday evening as well. Once again the sun is out and the local trails are lovely and dry. I get home at sunset, feeling a contentedness that not even the MP's expenses row can unbalance.

Friday. Rest. Tick.

Today (Saturday). Rain. Tick. Boot Camp demands 4 hours of flattish road riding with 2x45 min sessions at 80% intensity so I head out in the afternoon to tour the neighbourhood. An easy warm up takes me west to Allo-a where it seems to have rained more than it has in Dunfermline. I manage one of my 45 min sessions on the way back but I spend all of it cycling into the rooster-tail of muddy surface water thrown up by my front wheel. I'd dressed optimistically since it was quite warm and sunny when I left, but this has left me pish-wet through and cold. My feet are numb. It's mid-May, for crying out loud...

Unlike the rest of the week (and my new car tyres), today wasn't a good ride. Tomorrow is SXC torture at Laggan. I wonder what that will be like?


(* I'm too lazy to Google it, but wasn't there a James Bond lovely called something like Felicity Goodride?)

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