January has been a tough month for cycling, but has it really been that bad?
Hooray, January is finally over. I say finally, because it’s been an especially testing time on the bike. The climate has thrown the full gamut of weather at us, from snow to howling winds, sub zero temperatures to prolonged rain and everything else in between. Sometimes all at once within one ride.
It’s all tested my commitment to cycling, but I’ve managed to scrape through with a reasonable number of kilometres logged in the 31 days since the year began. The snow was particularly trying, and here my mountain bike and cyclocross bikes came to the fore. It turns out riding in snow is bloody good fun so I got out there when the snow was fresh powder and made the most of it.
What you can’t do in snow is targeted training. So the dreaded turbo trainer was dragged out the shed. I say dreaded, but I’ll openly admit, I don’t mind it. I know, I’m not supposed to say that, I’m meant to say how evil it is and how much I despise it. But as a tool for achieving very specific training, it can’t be beat.
So I managed to keep ticking over. And then, with a glimmer of sunny weather towards the end of the month, the opportunity arose for the first century of the year. I always try and get a century under the belt as early in the year as possible, and would normally strive to have the box ticked by the end of the first week. There’s no rush though, and it was worth the wait. The annual ride to the coast and back (from London) was a fantastic blast and 6.5 hours later I had the first big ride of the year done and dusted.
So now it’s February, and hopefully there’s no more horrid weather coming our way. The evenings are noticeably drawing out, and it’s not quite as cold as it has been. I’ve managed to make small improvements to my fitness through January which gives me some confidence to start picking up the speed as the year progresses