I’ve taken to doing my training at stupid o’ clock. I can’t even begin to explain how stupid it is. It’s not even remotely light when I leave the house and it’s cold enough to convince me that hill climb season is here.
Fitting in training around extensive work commitments whilst also making time for the most important thing of all – family life – is really hard going. You have to suck it up and get up early and get out on your bike and try and use every available minute, even when there aren’t that many minutes available, and then deal with the collateral damage that a hard training session wreaks on a 10 hour day.
Lately I’ve found myself riding up one particularly horrible hill – the steep side of Dundry – at around 6.02am. It comes in about 10 minutes after leaving the house. It feels absolutely disgusting and also impossible to put out the requisite amount of effort. I am using my heart rate monitor but it stays stubbornly low and every rasping breath hurts. Who knows, maybe it’s good preparation. I know some things for certain; it makes me feel sick and all subsequent hills suffer from severely diminished returns after the paroxysms of effort in the inky morning light. I enviously regard my peers riding in the balmy sunlight of the afternoon.
I am rewarded, as ever, by the transcendent views and the beauty of the morning.