There are days when you wake up, draw the curtains aside and look out at a very uninviting landscape. Rain could be bucketing down, a howling wind could be bending trees at 90 degree angles or a freezing fog might restrict your visibility to the far side of the windowsill. Those are days when you ask your self the question ‘Why should I bother going out on my bike?’
Yesterday was one of those days. A normal day for me consists of emails and website work in the morning along with a spin on the bike before lunch. Then after lunch I pack up the online orders that have come in the previous afternoon and that morning on the seankellycycling.com website before heading to the post office. Then it’s out on the road to go and meet clubs and clients for fitting nights or going through their design requirements for their ONDA custom cycling clothing. This means that it’s often late at night when I get home so it can be difficult to face into a bike ride the following morning. Yesterday as I looked out at the freezing fog the bike almost remained indoors.
Normally on Wednesday mornings I meet the ‘Carrick dole gang’ and we head off for a three hour spin. The fog was so heavy and dense I figured that they would have gone for higher ground in a different direction out towards Dungarvan and choose to hit for the hills myself too. Leaving Clonmel via the mountain road within minutes I found myself above the fog and out in the sunshine. It had been minus 6 degrees at home but now it was a balmy plus 4 degrees. I wondered if I should have lathered on some suncream.
The appeal of the bike for me and many others is not just to get fit, or to go and do specific training. It is to get headspace out in the fresh air. It also offers the opportunity to see parts of life that surround you that become lost in the noise of everyday living. Why would you go out in the rain? why would you leave home in a freezing fog? Sometimes a picture can speak more than words so here are a few images that I captured out on the bike yesterday :
Yesterday there was a freezing fog but there has not been rain for a few weeks. This meant that most roads were dry, so the only place where I encountered any Ice was on Seskin Hill.
In cold weather if you layer up like an onion, sweat cannot evaporate, so you find yourself with a very damp base layer that will give you a chill if you stop at all, let alone for a coffee. I wear ONDA naturally as my business partner Sean Kelly helped to develop the range and we are the Irish agents. Of course there are comparable brands which are just as good such as Assos and Rapha. With just the Algarve 2 Jacket and Zero to Minus 15 Base Layer I was warm throughout the spin and had a bone dry base layer when I got home.
The easy thing to do yesterday morning would have been to stay indoors in a warm and cosy environment but I would have felt a little frustrated and uneasy all day. No matter how wet or cold it is, once it is safe to head out on your bike there is never a time that you return feeling like you should have stayed in bed.