Here’s a little post about what I’ve been up to over the winter.
Because of Uni deadlines (multiple essays, presentations etc and working on my dissertation) I haven’t really been doing as much cycling as I would like. Uni suddenly seems so serious now I’ve finally reached my final year
Here are some photos of some of my rides
Couldn’t face the thought of studying on my birthday, so I had a lazy morning in bed followed by a bike ride along Strines. Unfortunately I went the wrong way, meaning I lost, in about 5 minutes, all the height I’d just spent the last hour gaining! However it was very pretty and views over to Kinder Scout were very majestic. The light failed quicker than I had expected so I thought it wise to chop off an extra 15 miles I had planned on. Route here.
Later in the month it was the University of Sheffield Cycling Club’s Christmas Fancy Dress ride. There wasn’t a particular theme – I went for garish pink, Clara was a robber, Jerome was all dolled up with pink blusher etc.
It would have looked a bizarre spectacle to see us cycling along, it was bloody freezing and at one point we ground to a halt in a blizzard of hail – quite contrary to our happy-go-lucky outfits!
My brother Gregory came up to visit me for a weekend and we went on a night ride through the city and the next morning went to Bolehills pumptrack. Gregory likes that type of thing, along with 4X, so he’s pretty good. I just amused myself with bouncing around the less technical parts. It’s a good work out!
Over Christmas Tom and I got a few rides in whilst we stayed at my parents in Northamptonshire. Here’s a photo of me with a new friend we made;
Most of Christmas was spent revising and having epiphanies about my dissertation. And then when I did get a chance to ride my bike in a lull between my exams, this happened!
So now I’m making do with my MTB and am slowly getting more confident with crazy downhill bumpy-ness. Having never ridden MTBs before I’ve noticed that you really have to use your core muscles a lot more, I guess its easier to get away without doing so on the road. Also it’s really muddy!!! <<Obvious one I know, but still, not something I’m used to.
I’ve even tried swimming in my desperation while my road bike is broken – I’m not good at it plus it makes me feel worryingly like a triathlete. I’ve even been reading Triathlon Plus (mostly for tips on how not to drown).
Another reason for the sudden interest in swimming (and skipping!?) is the snow that refuses to remove itself from the pavements and streets.
Today I decided to do a road ride (on my MTB). It was cold, slow and hard but I like to think maybe it’s gonna make me strong??! It’ll be doing nothing for my speed but I guess it’s better than eating biscuits :p
My winter has been sadly lacking in anything even closely constituting base miles but at least I got some good news this week; after chasing after my bike shop, there is eventually some movement happening on the replacing of my broken shifter. The dead shifter has been sent off to SRAM today, so hopefully they will soon decide if they will replace it under warranty, and then my bike can get fixed!!
Through the Uni bike club girls team later this month we’re going to be going over to the Manchester area for some Crit. racing and training at Tameside. Pretty exciting -provided my bike is fixed in time!
Then in March the Darley Moor races start, maybe I’ll be able to skive off work a few times and have a go – although I’ve heard it can get pretty wild up there with over 100 entrants into the 3/4 category As much as I’m keen to race with men (surely better than being in a one horse womens race[TT]) I don’t really fancy full-on carnage, so the jury’s still out on that one.
BUCS TTs and team TT are also coming up, along with varsity and the BUCS RR.
It’s pretty likely that Tom and I will be moving to London after we graduate this summer, so then I’ll be nice and close to all the LWCR league races and the rest of the honey badgers 🙂