Weekly Review December 27th 2021 – January 9th 2022

Each week I try to review and reflect on my previous week on the bike. This allows me to see how my fitness and ability is progressing on a wider timescale than day to day. For previous weekly reviews please click here

There’s two weeks worth of stats in this post, simply because last week’s review turned into my Yearly Review. I’m not going to go into all of the rides, but rather focus on the high level takeaways from the previous two weeks.

Being the Christmas break, you wouldn’t expect too many outdoor rides. However, with the weirdly warm end of 2021 and start of 2022 I managed to get outside more than I’d have expected.

This translated into two decent climb-y rides. It’s hard to get a true climb round here – there’s no Alpe d’Huez equivalent – so it’s either short and punchy, or repeating the same climb over and over. I’ve only done repeats once, and that was a long, long time ago. Pretty much every other climb ride is one and done.

Anyway, I enjoyed both the Beacon Fell / Crumbleholm Road climb, and another trip up Oakenclough. Both were far from ideal conditions, and I particularly struggled on Crumbleholm, but I was able to make it up without having to stop… kind of. As I said in my Yearly Review, I definitely need to get back into the habit of doing harder climbs more frequently, I’m well out of touch with that sort of thing.

Generally though, just getting outdoors without a time restriction, being able to get out to further afield, it’s a real luxury for me. Especially so in winter.

What I found on the Oakenclough descent was that I was super chilly. I know in the pro peloton they do all kinds of tricks on long, cold descents. One of which is shoving newspaper down their jersey. I’m not taking a copy of The Sun out, just in case. But what I have done is to buy a cycling specific gilet:

Generally I don’t find my core gets particularly cold, so I’m hoping to keep this in my back pocket on longer rides. It’s only just shipped at the time of writing this, so will hopefully be here tomorrow. Maybe it will be impractical, I don’t know.

Not sure on the coat either – that was a total gamble. But the Assos jersey is one I’ve had my eye on for ages, so was not for passing up on that one – another sale item. I have loads of white jerseys at this point, which is a bit daft as it’s the one colour that has the most risks of being ruined. Whether that’s outdoors with all the road muck, or worse, in the washing machine when mixing with other colours.

Overall then, very happy with the last weeks rides. That’s what having a break from work can do for you. Sadly, now I’m back at work the opportunities for longer day time rides are completely off the cards again. Sucks. It’s not really about the fitness for me, it’s about the freedom. Being able to get on the bike and cycle off for two or three hours is pretty much exactly what I’d do two or three times a week, if I didn’t have any immediate requirements to keep earning cash.

The fitness is just a bonus.

Leave a comment