So we are a week into February and the theme seems to be as follows:
Mon-Weds: Grey skies, cloudy and windy
Thurs-Fri: Sunnier but still cold
Sat-Sun: One day wet and cold but not windy, the other dry but very cold and windy.
A rare sunny day in 2018 so far - didn't last long!
It's hard to stay positive at this time of the year because you can feel yourself getting into the swing of things and every fibre of your being wants to get out on the bike until you wake up, look out of the window and see rain coming down at a 45 degree angle. There's a fine balance here between going out when you don't need to and realising when you do actually need to ride. Some people will go out and ride no matter what. They're maniacs who are either training for something in the very near future and therefore can't afford to miss a session, or they're people who will get out on their bike no matter what the weather and conditions.
For me, it's about balancing the pros and cons. I will definitely feel a benefit from riding when it's windy in terms of building strength in my legs but at this time of the year the cons outweigh the pros. I've still got 5 months of training to go so missing one ride isn't the end of the world, especially when you consider the increased risk of falling ill and missing a couple of weeks or even dropping the bike and breaking a collarbone. Obviously this doesn't mean I do zero rides... i'm still going out once a week (100km+ now for three weekends running) but I'm not fussed if I can't go out on both Saturday and Sunday at the moment. With that said... the moment we get a dry weekend I will be doing back to back rides! Luckily, I am still getting lots of benefit from indoor training at the gym.
On the subject of weather, at this time of year it becomes paramount to keep on top of the maintenance of your bike. While you may not need to clean every component every single time, I would definitely recommend at least cleaning the chain and cassette and re-applying lubricant after every ride. Personally, I have a stand for my bike (see pic on right) where I can hang it by the seatpost and wash it thoroughly without any access issues to the underside of the bike. I can also remove wheels, cassettes and pedals if needed!
Before & After pictures - took me about 45 minutes in total
It doesn't take forever... I got the above effect in about 45 minutes, including cleaning the frame and the disc brakes. If anyone is interested, I can put a much more detailed post up showing exactly how I get it that clean including utensils, products and what order I use them all in! Comment below if that does interest you :-)
Finally, it's now February so it's time to ramp up the sponsorship search! I have had an idea of selling sponsorship space on my official jerseys for the summer... I've had 3 companies say that they would be very interested in donating £250 in exchange for me wearing their logo! Hopefully I can get a couple more and that will ensure I can reach my committed fundraising target nice and early... Obviously I want to raise as much money as possible so I will still be asking family, friends and you guys to head to the link at the bottom of this blog and donate as well!
Here are a couple of rough mock ups showing where the sponsors would sit on the jerseys:
If anyone is interested in taking up one of the last couple of spots then please do let me know in the comments below or by adding my on any of the social media platforms!
That's all for today, guys.
Thank you again for reading and hopefully I'll get the chance to write more regularly now January is out of the way!