I did a variation on the Biggar route which involved a diversion to Peebles and ended up being around 65 miles, here and here for those interested, which took just over 4 hours. It is interesting to compare the experience of a four hour cycle on your own and one where you have company. On my own I am all business and it just involves pedalling (obviously) and thinking about random stuff, whereas with Dave it was slower but more fun. It is not slower because Dave is slower, but just because you tend to move at the slower of the two cyclists (which sometimes will be Dave and sometimes it is me). If you know me and Dave (and if you are reading this I would assume that is the case) it should be fairly self evident why it is more fun, but for example I took a ridiculous amount of pleasure in saying ‘in your face Morrison’ when I realised that my heart rate was 1 bpm slower than his. It is also amusing two guys trying to slow their heart rate while riding at 15+mph.
Today within a mile of my house, I turned up Midmar Avenue and realised that there was a seriously black cloud overhead. At that point I took a mental checklist of my preparation which went something like this:
- Have you checked the weather forecast – No
- Do you have waterproofs if it rains – No
- Did I have a hearty lunch which would provide an adequate amount of energy over the next few hours – No
- Do I have some cyclist specific energy food on me – No
- Do I have *any* food on me – No
- If I suffer a puncture or any minor mechanical failure, do I have the necessary tools and equipment with me – No
- Do I have a phone – *Yes*
- Does it have reliable battery – No
Looking at the above it is hard to believe that I have the word planning in my job title.
Bonking is not good (for cyclists at least) and even the elite guys can be caught out. What I did today was probably not technically a bonk, but I was struggling on the way back. The wind was strong and in my face and for a ride which probably used in the region of 4,000 calories I *probably* needed to eat more than a Mars bar in Peebles. I need to look into nutrition a bit more for the ride to Inverness, but I don’t think I will be following today’s strategy because I was completely fucked by the end of it.
Still, you live and learn.