The seasons have changed and it’s getting nippy out there! If you’re anything like me, cycling suddenly feels far, far less inviting and much harder than it did when the weather was warm.
Having just returned from a sunny cycling holiday in Catalunya where the temperatures hit a rather perfect 28 degrees, getting out and cycling in temperatures nearer to eight degrees is taking a little more effort (OK, a lot more effort). Some days I need a good talking to (read that as most days). So, here are the six things I tell myself whilst cycling in Autumn. I say in Autumn; what I actually mean is here is my inner monologue all year around!
1. I CAN do this!
I know I can do this, but my legs are telling me I can’t, so aside from telling my legs to shut up, I find shouting ‘I CAN do this!’ in time to my cadence when things are feeling particularly tough is pretty effective! ‘Can’t’ is not in my vocabulary…not out loud at least!
2. This is the MOST fun I have ever had on two wheels!
Anything below ten degrees and my fingers turn white. My toes turn a similar shade too…with a hint of purple right at the ends – not at all attractive and very sore! My chest feels fit to burst and my thighs are burning more than Guy Fawkes on bonfire night. And of course my nose is dripping…constantly! But this is definitely the MOST fun I’ve ever had on two wheels. And this is absolutely, definitely my best ride ever!
3. I don’t think ANYONE has EVER cycled so fast up this hill!
OK, so some dude just overtook me in his super duper top of the range kit and whizzed wet, muddy road-splatter in my face and I can hear that jogger coming up on my shoulder; but the cyclist obviously had wheels which cost like a gazillion pounds to make him that fast and the runner must obviously be super-human. I have never cycled this fast up this hill. Go me!
4. OMG, you are so ridiculously FAST!
If you keep telling yourself something over and over again, I’m sure you’re mind becomes convinced it’s fact. This girl can and will do it! So some days, on the Nottinghamshire country roads, I’m Lizzie Armistead and no one can see me for dust! Honestly!
5. You’re ALWAYS faster than you think you are!
Well, certainly faster than those couch potatoes sat at home watching back to back weekend cookery shows. I’m doing this and I’m doing it well (in my head at least)!
6. I’m so nearly finished!
I’m 20km through my planned 50km route (maybe I was a little ambitious with that distance today), but that means I’ve only got a 30km cycle ride to go. Whoo! I’m dripping with sweat, I can barely whisper my name, but with only 30km to go I’ve only got to cycle one and a half times as much again, which means I’m so nearly finished! I’m ignoring the side wind and the downpour. I’m done, dusted, in a hot shower and eating a big fat slice of cake! Nice! In about another 30km…
What do you tell yourself that gets you through that longer-than-expected ride or up that humongous looking mountain, erm, I mean hill?