Thursday, 2 December 2010

Whoooops, spoke too soon!

Last weekend I left The Peak District and headed off to South Wales to have some off-road fun with XC racer rider Mel Alexander. This, I thought, was a strategic move given that the weather forecast predicted snow in The Peaks and sun in South Wales. Hahaha, I chuckled to myself  :-D

The weatherman made a small boo boo!!!! Within an hour into our ride last Friday we found ourselves skiing rather than riding the trails as there was a massive dump of snow!!! Huge fluffy flakes of snow fell quickly :-) It was really good fun and the forest turned into a wintry wonderland. Lovely. The next day we kitted up and got back out onto the snowy trails. After a few hours and lots of drifting, giggling, a couple of crashes and suspected broken ribs, everyone gradually started to have a sense of humor failure!
Bobsleigh anyone?

The next day we woke up to discover that the temperature had dropped to -18 degrees! I decided not to return to The Peaks but instead to head back home to sunny Poole on the south coast of England where snow is scarcely seen. Although I wouldn't be donning my bikini at least I'd be able to ride. Another strategic move, or so I thought! Once I'd finally prised open my car door which had frozen solid I waved goodbye to Wales and took to the motorway. It wasn't long before I'd left the snow behind and I started to get amazed looks from other drivers wondering where I'd come from. The 3 inches of snow covering my car was causing rather a lot of rubber necking ;-) I could still see snow and ice bouncing down the motorway in my rear view mirror as I approached Poole!!!

On Monday I woke to sunny skies, 0 degrees and dry roads. Perfect. I headed out for a great two hour road ride. Lovely. The next day it was grey and raining. Waterproofs on and out of the door. A couple of hours in and the snow started to fall but the roads stayed clear and I was able to ride for 4.5 hours. Meanwhile the snow caused chaos across almost everywhere else in the UK.

Yesterday was a recovery day, AKA feet up and tea and cake day ;-) This morning I pulled back the curtains to discover, erm, a massive dump of snow!!!!! Arghhhh!!!! The whole country seems to be hiding under a huge blanket of the stuff. Even the airports are closed!!!!!! Noooooooo!!!!

Snow covered sand on the beach in Poole

So, I'm stranded in Poole while my turbo trainer is buried under 12 inches of snow 250 miles away in The Peak District. Bah Humbug!

Beach huts: home to sleighs not buckets and spades ;-)
I dug out my swimsuit and headed to the swimming pool. I've not been swimming for years and at first I must of looked really funny floundering around as I attempted to front crawl. A few lengths in and I swallowed a mouthful of water at the halfway point and had to resort to breast stroke until I caught my breath again. Eventually I got the hang of it again and before I knew it I'd knocked out 100 lengths of the pool. I didn't want to stop!

More snow is forecast tonight....... I never thought I'd be longing to see my turbo trainer!!!


  1. Hi Sally,
    I have been reading through your blog today, and it has really inspired me to do something about my biking. Although I have always rode on the "black stuff" I fancy having a go at off road. What you have achieved is fantastic. Am I mad thinking I can compete in a 24hr solo? I guess lots and lots of training and a positive "can do" attitude is needed.
    Thanks for the inspirational blog.

  2. Hi Richard,

    Thanks for your nice comment. It's brilliant that you're feeling inspired to ride off road and race a 24 hour solo. You're not mad at all and a 24 hour solo is totally possible. Events such as Mountain Mayhem and Sleepless in the Saddle are very laid back and have a great atmosphere.

    Although training is important, you don't have to do massive amounts to survive one. To be honest I didn't do a great deal of training for my first couple - I simply couldn't because at that time I commuted to London and Warwick for work and I only had the weekends to ride.

    Actually, the positive "I can do it" attitude is more important than training! So I guess what I am trying to say is give it a go, even if your training time is limited.

    Good luck,
    Sally :-)