As I’m writing this I’m sat hunched over my laptop, at home, on a Monday afternoon. I should be at work, however the powers that be, or at least a very understanding boss, have decided that it’s better for me to be at home being somewhat terrorized by cats whilst my road bike, proudly mounted to my on-loan turbo trainer, sits mockingly in eyeshot in the room opposite.
I should explain…
I’m under no illusion that training starts when the weather warms up again. Winter training forms the basis of the next season and although it may be difficult to wrestle on your winter tights and overshoes by the time you’re home after work, in the dark, and the cold, turbo miles at least keep my body active enough to stave off the guilt.
That being said, when the chance for a dry and relatively warm ride (for December) presents itself, you’d be crazy not to take the chance, right? Unless… well… unless you’ve been under the weather with a full blown cold / man flu / what the guys in 1995’s Outbreak suffered from. After a few days of no riding, commuting to work or turbo training I started to add cabin fever to the list of ailments so decided, against better advice from my riding buddies, partner, and pretty much every internet forum going to head on out and stretch my legs.
Route planned – a swift 70km loop north heading towards Twycross Zoo, a particularly loved set of roads for the panoramic open-field views and relatively gentle inclines. Gear on, a few extra layers for comfort (including a buff in my jersey pocket… just in case). Tyres pumped and bidons filled, time to head out.
The ride itself was fairly uneventful; any climb, no matter how gentle was an out-of-the-saddle slog and riding on the flats felt like riding into a headwind, no matter what orientation I headed. But, I was out, and that was better than sitting in front of the computer dreaming of the open road.
I’ll jump ahead a few hours here, as I mentioned above, the ride started and finished rather uneventfully. The garmin has synced up and I’m taking what feels like the world’s hottest shower. Strava reports a 27km/h average pace and a few extra pre-Christmas calories burned but I find myself wondering, as I cough up another lung, was it worth it? It seems like my body is fighting my mind, one relishing in a much-needed endorphin hit whilst the other barely supports its own weight without creasing over into another cough and splutter. I’m afraid, on this, I don’t have the answer. Overall am I glad I managed a few hours out, you bet your lycra-clad ass I am, but have I ended up causing more harm that good, or does Rule #5 still hold strong?