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2013 so far: failure, excuses and recriminations

This blog is meant to be about cycling. And happiness. Me cycling. Me being happy whilst cycling.

The problem is, there hasn’t been much cycling to speak of. The year started well, and here I’m going to be generous to myself by including December 29th and 30th as honorary members of 2013.

Those two days, as well as January 1st itself, saw 3 reasonable rides (for me) around God’s own county and the location of the 2014 Grand Depart of the Tour de France (t’ Tour). That would be Yorkshire, incidentally.

I was particularly pleased with these rides because:

  • getting my bike in working order had been a MASSIVE hassle in the 10 days running up to Christmas, involving numerous trips to bike shops, multiple tools and components purchased hastily on the internet and the “investment” in a brand new set of wheels;
  • I had transported the bike and all my super s3xy lycra kit all the way up the A1 from south-east London (presumably I could have bought a new bike for all the additional petrol-consuming wind resistance from having my steed lodged proudly upon the roof rack);
  • It p1ssed it down for two of the days and it was nut-crackingly cold for the New Year’s Day ride (but beautifully sunny – you can’t have it all).

I was not pleased with these rides because, as ever, my youthful enthusiasm (ahem) had caused me to rush in too quickly. Going from nothing to hypothermic uber-training with a body that is not as young as I would like simply caused my knee pain (which had previously only been a problem for running) to flare up.

I would, of course, like to claim that I acted the responsible athlete and hence did not rush back to the bike too soon. But I’d be lying (about the responsible athlete bit; I certainly didn’t rush back to the bike).

In actual fact, I may have done the right thing: I did a few small (read tiny, as in to-the-park-and-back tiny) rides with Petite Grimpeuse in the child seat. I did one session that I could call, rather grandly, hill repeats (but then have to admit that I only climbed the main hill once). Otherwise I ‘rested my knee’.

But the truth is, I did not find myself with face rested dolefully upon the window pane (with a little dribble of drool representing a metaphorical teardrop), wishing that my knee would fix itself. I did not mope around my house wearing the Campagnolo cycling top that I got for Christmas from my sister (thank you!). I simply wimped out.

Grey clouds? Hmm, looks like it will rain then. Better stay in. Clear skies and sunshine. There’ll be ice on the Kent roads. Surely better to stay in than risk breaking a collar bone. A breath of wind? I’m no stocky rouleur, it’ll blow me over.

I was glad when it snowed because at least then I didn’t have to lie to myself. No one without a mountain or cyclocross bike (and I don’t own either) goes out in that sort of weather.

So the real cycling hero in our house this month (and indeed this year) is my son, Mini Grimpeur. Despite being only four, and in the midst of all this glorious (terrible) winter weather, he might well have spent as long cycling as I have. And with a bigger smile on his face.

And to top all that off, he cycles in the snow, showing no fear. Chapeau!

Happy cycling!

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Grimpeur Heureux February 7, 2013, 5:27 pm

    Hi Rhiannon! Long time no see. I imagine my blog had little role in your inspiration but thank you for your very kind white lie.

    Did you know we’re moving back to near our alma mater (if that’s the term)? Not strictly accurate, in that we’re moving to Derbyshire rather that Nottingham, but you get the idea.

    Hope you are well and maybe see you soon (Derbyshire being closer to you than London)?

    Oh, and just buy a hat.

  • Rhiannon Butlin February 7, 2013, 5:56 pm

    I’m thinking I may resort to my ski helmet next time!

    I didn’t know – where abouts in Derbyshire? (I spent a few formative years in Chinley – it’s up above the cloud level) We’re in Brussels now (feel free to visit for Belgian cycling events! Or just moules, frites and beer) so further away but often back in the North West. Would be lovely to see you all!

    Oh and it did. I’ve been putting off getting my bike out of the cellar for months and you gave me the push!

  • Grimpeur Heureux February 7, 2013, 7:00 pm

    Ha! Except they do turn up. Nice…

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