I recall February being rather miserable (imagine that!)...and also that Her Royal Majesty's Customs-cronies had my bike hostage for OVER A MONTH (however overall it was crappy weather, so not a huge deal in the big scheme). I've had my bike for almost a month (it arrived just before I took off to Scotland for a long weekend). Just checked my ride-log...my first ride was on March 6th, and today was my 8th ride...so I'm averaging a ride every other day (which is optimum, especially considering the weather here). Overall it's been cold, windy and wet (or quite possibly I should have said windy, cold and wet). But I'm riding whenever it's in the realm of what I can bear because this is a limited time offer. I am the original fair-weather cyclist, and I must look quite the sight to the locals as I'm bundled up like it's the middle of winter. But my take is that if I'm not having fun, why do it? If I'm freezing and my toes/hands are numb, then I'm not having much fun. Ditto if the ride time goes over 6 hours (or so)...my ancient neck injury starts asserting its-self and life begins to spiral quickly into pain and misery. riding in the rain I have found quickly escalates the numb toes/fingers when the temps are at the lower end of what I will ride, and also really makes the bike a mess (causing increased wear and tear on my bike too).
But now I'm actually down to LESS than a month...as I need time to pack the bike (back in box!) and ship it. I fly on Friday April 20th, so I figure that weekend will most likely be my last rides. The time change occurs THIS weekend here, so as of Sunday I gain that critical hour of sunlight in the afternoons. Also I've been allowed (thus far anyway) to set my own working hours, as long as I put in my 40 per week. This week I worked 10's on Mon and Tues (starting at 6am), then today slipped out at 11:30am for a ride (3 hours early, but I"m still one hour ahead of pace). The forecast was actually about the best they've done since my bike got here...they predicted light winds, with a high of 55F. At 11:30 when I started the ride it was only 49F but the winds were indeed light..which is more important than the wind speed (as long as it's not crazy anyway). Ended up with 40 miles in a gigantic loop, which was only possible because of my Garmin GPS. I stayed on small back-roads whenever possible, and quite honestly had NO IDEA what direction I was going most of the time (the roads wind and weave all over the place...add to that the gloomy total cloud coverage (no sun) and my directional sense is totally out of whack. But Little Jeannie (what I call my new Garmin) got me back home just fine!
Of course, Jeannie laughed when I told here I named my GPS after her...cuz she can't find her way out of a paper bag (her quote btw). But aside from that oxymoron, consider that much like Jeannie, little Jeannie is very quiet most of the time, yet constantly keeping track of a plethora of critical information, and when she has something important to say, she gets my attention (in this case, goes "bleep bleep") and tells me what I NEED to know. And as LJ navigates me across the English countryside, many times I'd SWEAR she is taking me away from the direction I need to go. But that is not the case, it's my totally skewed directional sense. At any time I can either select a city (or just move my little pointer to wherever I want to go), and press the button twice and BAM, LJ has plotted a course for me. She takes me on roads that I don't even know exist quite often, which is really cool!
Anyway...I"m sure I've totally bored you with my blah blah blah...so without further adieu, here are some more pictures from my last few rides. This first batch is from Sunday's ride thru the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
With that I wrap up another edition of "Matt's photo pictorial representation and essay of North Yorkshire, UK as seen from 2 wheels". And yes, I'm working on a somewhat shorter (and somewhat catchier) title. Maybe after a TASTY beer I'll have some inspiration. Then again, maybe not. Tonight's beer selection with my dinner is an awesome Yorkshire Stout from a local brewery. Rather than go to the pubs, I've found I a truly amazing selection of English beer at the ASDA grocery store right here in town Harrogate.
Have a GREAT week! And by the way: enjoy all that non-stop Primary Election 24/7 round the clock reporting! You know, the stuff I'm NOT getting? Yep...I'm thinking there might be some tiny advantage to staying here until, well..... lets say off the top of my head: November 3rd. There does appear to be some things I DO NOT miss.