The past week was an interesting one, in which I didn’t do as much outdoor cycling as I was expecting due to the pesky British weather. I did however watch a lot of episodes of The West Wing (obviously whilst cycling indoors, though occasionally with a cup of tea and not on a bike) and I made myself a little more broke purchasing some much-needed kit for the trip. Here’s a little round-up of what I got up to last week:
Monday 10th June
Today I didn’t get home from work until 7pm, due to covering a late shift. So instead of going on a planned outing I attached the bike to the turbo trainer and attempted to do as many sprints up hill as I could manage. I did an hour before I ran out of energy, pushing myself as hard as I could certainly builds up an appetite.
Miles cycled: 6.83 miles to work & back
Time on turbo trainer: 1 hour
Tuesday 11th June
With all the bother I’ve had recently with my eyes (bugs, dust and wind are not kind to eye health) I finally took the plunge and booked an appointment with the optician. Hopefully I’ll be able to get contact lenses to fit my bizarrely shaped eyes so I can wear wraparound sunglasses and stop a lot of these problems occurring. I’m also going to need to speak to them about how my eye is still hurting after getting something in it last Saturday, the appointment is on Friday after work.
As much fun as it is cycling in torrential rain I decided against it today and went home after work and did another stint on the turbo trainer. This time I didn’t do any sprints, just continual uphill for an hour
Miles cycled: 6.49 miles to work & back
Time on turbo trainer: 1 hour
Wednesday 12th June
Today I’m working late again and I arrive in the office to find my new frame has been delivered a lot earlier then we expected:
And now I just have to get it home some how!
After work, despite the threat of rain from the ominous looking clouds, I think I might be able to squeeze in a few extra miles so I go for a little detour, I think I made it about 20 seconds down the road before the torrential rain started, so I hastily retreated and dragged my drenched self home. Once I’d dried myself off I did a bit of indoor cycling and watched the rain pour down from the warm safety of the front room.
Miles cycled: 7.87 miles to work and back with a mini detour in the rain
Time on turbo trainer: 1.5 hours
Thursday 13th June
Thursday was almost a rest day, as I was working in a different part of Oxford which I decided might be quicker to drive to. In hindsight it would have been easier to cycle as I sat in a lot of traffic jams watching cyclists sail past me. Once home I hopped on the bike and watched a few more West Wing episodes whilst climbing up some big hills.
Time on turbo trainer: 2 hours
Friday 14th June
Friday was my first rest day of the week and I really needed it! After work I went to the opticians where I had my eyes tested and poked for two hours. Thankfully there was nothing still in my eye from the weekend, but I do have some very dry patches for which I was prescribed some fake tears to use for a week. Naturally they didn’t have my contact lenses in stock as I have weird shaped eyes, but they’ve ordered me some to try next week. I wont be allowed them unless the dryness has cleared up, which apparently can be caused by cycling and wearing glasses (because the wind gets forced around and in to your eyes). Hopefully I wont have any problems getting them next week!
When I finally got home I went straight out in the car and drove back to work so I could go and pick the new bike frame, later that evening Ryan and I had a Skype chat so we could look at any differences between my old frame and new one to predict any problems we might have swapping them over. All looked okay so next week the new frame gets fitted.
Total miles cycled: 6.58 miles to work and back
Total time spent having my eyes poked: 2 hours
Total people I annoyed saying: “ooh, look at my new bike frame, isn’t it sexy”: 2 (sorry Laura & Christine)
Saturday 15th June
I spent a lot of time this week planning possible long cycle routes for my only day off of the week, as the weather reports got worse and worse as the week went on. The problem with covering so much distance is that you have to check the weather for several different counties. Eventually I reluctantly decided there was just no way I was going to be able to cover 100 miles this weekend. Instead I settled for heading out first thing on Saturday to get in as many miles as I could before the rain started, with an afternoon of indoor cycling.
I cycled 25 miles and headed back into Oxford before realising that the weather still looked okay so I should stay out a bit longer. I cycled through town, taking a brief stop to get another damn bug out of my eye. Heading back home I really started to wonder if this promised rain was going to arrive as the weather looked good, but I knew that if I’d headed out on a longer ride I ran the risk of being 50 miles from home and making very slow progress in the rain. I was just cycling up to the driveway and wishing I’d done a more even number then the 36 I’d managed when a thought occurred to me….I didn’t take my house key out with me. I gave the door a quick knock just in case but I knew no one was in. I got back on the bike and cycled back into town where Christine was at work and got the very lovely building porter to watch my bike while I ran inside to frighten the library users with my lycra and beg for a house key. Back home I’d managed to add another 6 miles to my total to make it a nice round 40 miles for the day.
I grabbed some lunch and had a quick chat with Ryan who was at home nursing a bad back, when the dark clouds descended and the rain started. Happy to be indoors where I don’t need to do makeshift windscreen wipers on my glasses, I tried to spend as much of the afternoon on the turbo trainer as possible. I honestly don’t know how Ryan manages to do so many hours indoors, I got bored after two hours but managed to push it to three before my brain started to melt and I had to give up. Still, three indoors is worth double outdoors so I think I did okay.
Total miles cycled: 41.06
Time on turbotrainer: 3 hours
Episodes of The West Wing watched this week: Can’t remember, but I had to change the disk three times!
Sunday 16th June
On Sunday I decided to give myself a total rest day. I had to work so instead of cycling I drove in, in fact, I didn’t go near my bike all day! It was a very odd experience, and one I’m not too keen to repeat. I attempted to do some more route mapping today and managed a bit more in my break at work, but I really need to finalise it next week, it’s a lot harder than it seems as I have to check all the roads to make sure they’re cyclable as well as trying not to make it so complicated we can’t remember the way, or too long that we wont make it in the four days we have to cycle through the UK. Today I also purchased some after-cycling recovery drink which I have had some samples of and it works really well to give you a much-needed boost at the end of the day. I also purchased some new cycling shoes, as my current ones are big and bulky and likely to make my feet too warm in the no doubt glorious weather we’re going to have for two weeks.
Thoughts on the week
Last night I noticed an old message I’d written about a cycling holiday we did to Scotland last summer. I’d written “cycled 34 miles today, totally exhausted”. I would now like to apologise to Ryan and Dave for being so incredibly slow and distance-averse on that holiday! It’s amazing to see something like that because it reminds me how far I’ve come, 34 miles? I could do that before lunch and still have the energy to come back again!