About not giving up…

We won’t lie to you, riding around in the seemingly relentless rain we’ve been having in Cardiff lately is no picnic.

Arriving at home or at work sopping wet and cold is undeniably a challenge. We all have our own reasons for cycling –our health, our finances or our desire to do our bit for the environment. However, when the conditions aren’t right it can be hard to stay motivated and to tough it out.

The night is darkest before the dawn, as they say

It is important to remember that now we are into January, it does get better from here on in. The nights and mornings will get lighter; the temperatures will increase and the weather should start to calm down until we reach summer and we see the sorts of long, calm evenings cycling was made for. Yes, we may get the odd blip, the odd cold snap, but the overall trend is in the right direction.

Yet, now is the time to build for the summer. This is where we build our fitness for the long summer rides; where we shed excess weight for our skimpy summer clothes and this is where we save our train fare or petrol money and instead blow it on a summer of entertainment, or a family holiday.

Come the spring, much of the winter will have been forgotten as we feel the warmth of the sun on our faces; the first signs of new growth on the trees and in the hedgerows. Best of all, on our bikes we get to experience the changing seasons first hand. Whether you get to work by train or by car, you miss these changes either by spending most of your journey staring at the floor or your phone on the train, or by concentrating on the bumper of the car in front of you.

Glass half full?

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, it is entirely possible for you to “enjoy” these cold, wet winter rides. Depending on how you look at things, some of the commutes I’ve personally had this winter have been downright hilarious.

Those rides home where it is raining so heavily; there’s surface water everywhere and it’s blowing a gale. Those rides have had me literally (and I mean literally, not figuratively…) laughing my head off as I’ve attempted to navigate debris & flood water, whilst the wind blasts cold rain into every nook and cranny of my body.

A day out riding from Neath to Cardiff, via the Bwlch.
A day out riding from Neath to Cardiff, via the Bwlch.

These are the rides you remember. They’re the experiences that stay with you; that teach you a little bit more about yourself and that make those summer rides an even sweeter reward.

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