Wet and Wild Riding

I don’t usually train with other people, often because it doesn’t fit into my schedule or because other people don’t like to train at the same time as me, but recently I’ve started to organise an early morning ride on Sunday before the 9am swim session in Machynlleth pool. This means that we set off a 6:30am – perfect for me, but possibly a little too early for most people. That said, until recently I have found a few people who have been happy to do some early morning (6:30am) open water swims in Aberystwyth before work as well so I’ve been swimming with them quite a bit as well.

As winter has approached though, the early morning open-water swims are petering out. It’s still very dark at 6:30am so they started getting later and later so as to allow for some safety in the form of daylight and now that autumn is well and truly upon us, it’s getting a little too rough on many mornings and will soon be getting quite cold as well. I have been fairly determined to keep the early Sunday morning cycle sessions going though so have been diligently turning up at 6:30am ready to ride. I have had a couple of rides now where no-one else has turned up and most weeks there is just me and one other person. This morning was one of those where I was on my own. Understandably I guess as there had been some atrocious weather over the past few days, with flood alerts galore and weather warning every few hours. Everyone who was likely to join me had already said they wouldn’t be there as they were too worried about the conditions. I thought I’d still give it a go though and therefore checked out the Leisure Centre just in case anyone else had changed their mind at the last minute.

Not surprisingly there was no one there at 6:30am. I waited a little while in the gloom just in case, but it was blowing a gale and pouring with rain so I didn’t wait long before heading off into the wild weather on my own. I was perfectly warm through under a number of layers and with a hood up stayed quite dry on my upper body. There were times when it was absolutely lashing down with rain, so much so that the rain couldn’t drain off the roads so they were an inch or so deep in water across their width. There were very few cars about, the wind was buffeting me about at times and it was very dark, but I ploughed on regardless.

I decided that given the weather it was safer to stay relatively close to home /  the car so ended up just doing a few loops out the Cemaes Road Roundabout and back. The weather didn’t really improve that much although I think the rain did eases towards the end of my 2 hour ride. I could have cut it short of course, but as the pool doesn’t open until 8:45am that would have meant hanging around in the cold and rain so instead I just plodded along on my bike, keeping warm and riding at a very easy pace.

Once at the pool everyone thought I was mad for having been out there riding in those conditions, but I kind of enjoyed it and I think some of them secretly wished they’d been with me.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.