Saturday, January 19, 2008


I seem to recall January 2007 was somewhat moist, vis-à-vis the climate. Due to the cyclical nature of things, it is so again this year. It has rained almost every day since I got back and there appears to be no end in sight.

Flooding has ensued, which means Tewksbury in Gloucestershire is buggered again. The Avon is rather higher than it should be, as you can see from the MBUK blog. The bike path where I usually ride is OK, but it has a 100m long puddle on it now.

Last weekend, a few of us tried to cross the Avon between Trowbridge and Bradford. Negatory. About 250m of road was submerged by the river, and there was a car abandoned halfway across. We ended up going across at Lacock, and even that required riding through 1.5 feet of water. Of course, we could have gone on the pedestrian footbridge but that would have been wimping out.

My bottom bracket is making odd noises.

I've been trying new waterproofing tricks to keep myself on the dryish side. For my feet, which always get cold, I've been using a thin pair of Castelli waterproof booties with my old neoprene Pro booties over the top. I tried it on a four hour ride last weekend, and it worked brilliantly. With my hands, I've been using disposable latex gloves underneath my winter gloves. This is not as good, because your hands end up like clammy prunes, but at least they don't get cold.

As I noted previously, training in January is miserable. Last Sunday, I did a 115km loop through the Mendips and clocked myself up my two favourite climbs there: slowest times ever. I wasn't going flat out for sure, but I only managed 10'50 for Cheddar (did 7'38 in the national HC) and 12'15 for Burrington (8'07 in the HC there). It was a horribly windy day, which didn't help, but at the pace I was going I would be a couple of minutes quicker when fit. I was at this time last year because I'd been riding since the start of November instead of since Christmas.

I think I'll catch up OK, because I've already noticed a big increase in speed this week. Roughly five minutes faster over my various 45km loops, so no need to panic. I skipped today because of the non-stop rain and a day off won't hurt. Stupid bloody weather.

Social calendar: strangely busy. I even had an English ale this week that didn't taste like dishwater. It's called Gem and is meant to be one of the best Bath ales. To my complete shock I was able to drink three pints of it.

As you were.


Laura W said...

Try thin glover liners with latex over them under your winter gloves. That might do the trick!

Jeff Jones said...

That's a level of complexity beyond my feeble brain, although it does sound feasible. I think the very presence of rubber, while being vital to keep out the external water, means that your hands won't be able to breathe. Neoprene waterproof gloves also have this problem.

Maybe Goretex gloves would work.