Tag Archives: Bike ride

Fair weather golfer

I’ve always been a bit of a fair weather golfer.  I’ve never enjoyed playing golf in inclement weather.  I really don’t enjoy the hassle of waterproof clothing, umbrellas, wet grips, damp feet or the general misery of seeing a round fall apart (which is generally the way with my golf) wishing I was somewhere else.  Somewhere warm and dry.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy playing golf.  Up until recently, it’s been my primary escape outside work.  A few hours in the fresh air, enjoying the best of what Mother Nature has to offer.  It’s just that I prefer it in shirt sleeves rather than oilskins.

Not my favourite way of spending an afternoon!

Given there is a Scottish winter between me and the Euro City Cycle, I need to “Man Up!” on a number of fronts.  One of the important ones is braving the elements to get the miles in.

I could be a wuss, and do all my winter training on the Turbo Trainer in the garage, but there’s nothing like actually being out on the bike dealing with the gradients, the road conditions and the elements.  As my sessions get longer it may also get a little tedious despite the distraction of the Sufferfest videos.

So, I’ve made a pact with myself to get out despite the weather (assuming it’s safe to do so, of course!).

This morning was my first test… the weather was dreich* to say the least.  I’m proud to say that I got up and out anyway and did a solid solo 13 mile ride.

A dreich Scottish day!

I headed to the Railway Line for the ride again.  One of the benefits of a miserable morning was that it was quiet.  It seems that only dog owners were willing to brave the elements – even the few runners that were out seemed to have dogs in tow.

I say only dog owners, but I don’t strictly have evidence to back this up as I did spot a couple of other sportsmen doing their thing… standing in the middle of the River Dee, fly fishing.  Good Luck to them!

Dreich, but a beautiful morning for catching fish!

So, a new rule for me:

Don’t let the weather get in the way of doing the things you want to do!
(Except playing golf, perhaps!)


Dreich:  A combination of dull, overcast, drizzly, cold, misty and miserable weather. At least 4 of these adjectives must apply before the weather is truly dreich.

Scotland’s favourite word apparently, perhaps because it’s in such common use.  http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2013/01/favourite-word23012012)

My next (big) challenge

As I approach the end of my Cardiac Rehab sessions, I need a challenge to help keep me focused and motivated throughout the dark cold winter nights.

This is an important decision for me.  It will create the structure of my next phase of my recovery.  I need to select something that is realistic and achievable, but also something reasonably challenging. Challenging enough to keep me interested, fit and focused!

I checked out the British Heart Foundation website for ideas.  Given my recent fitness exploits, it made sense to look at their cycling options.  They offer a large number of interesting choices… the extravagantly exotic, outrageously “foreign” and luxuriously lengthy options were ruled out fairly quickly.  I also eliminated the mundane… it’d be good to do something a little bit different!

Having tested a few options with the family (where I successfully tested the boundaries of exotic, foreign and lengthy), I landed on…

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…a Bike Ride from London to Amsterdam to Brussels.

280 miles over 4 days starting on 7th May 2014.

Along the way, I’m also hoping to raise a few quid for the British Heart Foundation.


This is the sort of climbing I like!

Excitedly I went to register for the trip.  Unfortunately, my first attempt was a complete anti-climax.  ironically my attempt failed on a web page with the title “Your challenge starts here”… it appears it does!!!  Having spent some time typing in my long list of medication, I was a little frustrated to say the least!

Anyway, I eventually resorted to the manual telephone method, and I’m now all signed up!

All I need to do now is raise some cash, get properly fit and persuade a GP to sign my “fit for fun” letter in advance of the trip.  All very exciting!!!

I hope you’ll join me every step of the way!

Click here to sponsor me

Out and about

It was another cracking morning in the North East of Scotland this morning.  I marked it with my latest venture out on the bike.  It’s the second weekend I’ve been out early, not quite the crack of dawn, but certainly a good start to the day.  It’s definitely a routine to get into!

Beautiful Morning

A cracking morning to be out on the bike!

As a result of my recent “Sore Leg” post, I have received some guidance that the reason my legs have been hurting is because the cleats on my shoes were slightly at the wrong angle.  Having made some subtle adjustments to my shoes, it felt much more comfortable.  Hopefully problem solved… it’s good to share your woes!

This morning’s ride was the longest continuous effort I’ve put in since my Heart Attack.  We went at a steady rate and kept going.  We covered about 16.5 miles in just over an hour (including spending some time trying to correct a mechanical “knocking” sound that turned out to be the lid of my water bottle rattling against the frame!!).  It didn’t feel fast, but it felt quite tough.

Morning Ride

The first of many loops around Westhill – slightly more undulating than the Turbo Trainer!

I do have to remind myself that I’m recovering from a Heart Attack, and back this up with frequent checks of the Heart Monitor.  I am however also making up for about 20 years of physical neglect, so my of my body is at the limit, not just my heart!

It really is great to be out and about though.  It gives me confidence that I’m making good progress.  I’m just about to enter my last week of Cardiac Rehabilitation, so it’s a good time to start to (slowly) push the boundaries!