Thin Ice and a Gentle Reminder

Hello Readers,

Well, that was a rough week wasn’t it?

Plunged into a third national lockdown; this time for 7 weeks as a minimum, the country once again precariously on the edge as COVID cases continue to surge. Madness in the United States with Congress stormed and yesterday, Twitter have shut down Trump’s account. To go along with that we have also had some fairly treacherous weather over the past week or so; wind, rain and ice, lots of ice. For me, it has been so icy, training has been very much limited to indoor training on the turbo.

For this entry however, it is not the lockdown, the US nor the ice on the roads which I wish to discuss. Instead, I find myself on thin ice. Already!

Following one of my evening training sessions, I was reviewing the RAB training guidance and I was explaining, in great detail, to my fiancé Sophie, how much training I should be completing so that I can actually complete the tour with that smile on my face I mentioned previously.

“Just remember Matt, that your cycle tour next September isn’t the only event you need to be focussed on this year!”

Now, I should say from the outset that Sophie is super supportive of me completing RAB; this is proven by the fact she has offered to drop me off at Lands End and pick me up from John O’ Groats. However, it was in this moment that I suddenly realised that I was quite possibly, like the country, on thin ice and needed to take note of this gentle reminder that our wedding is only 6 months away!!

From then on, my indoor training sessions, especially the longer ones (60 mins plus), full of pain and suffering also now must include periods of reflection on seating plans; suits; speech content; and first dance options. It is interesting to note, however, the certain clarity of thought one benefits from while in the Cycle Holme Cycling Shed. I have decided on suits; I have a few songs in mind; the speech has taken a skeleton format; and the seating plan is sorted, well, maybe just the top table but I had to start somewhere. Whether these ideas are agreeable or fail too make the cut when suggested to the wedding committee (Sophie) remains to be seen but at least I have a place to think about the other event that is occurring this year, in addition to RAB.

Of course, I jest and my wedding to Sophie in the summer is both hugely important and exciting for the both of us, and our friends and families; one which I cannot wait for. If we can operate at full tilt, we will have about 100 people at the wedding. Optimistically, the wedding could possibly be one of the early events to occur after restrictions have been lifted. Imagine that party! (Fair warning: The training plan will be going out of the window during that week) If however, we must run at reduced numbers; then it is what it is. We just want to get to the alter!

In addition, I must also make time for our new puppy, Winston, who moved in 3 weeks ago today. I promised to Sophie I would read the training book before Christmas and I made a decent start but it is now gathering dust on the bedside cabinet. I now have until the end of January otherwise that ice could start to crack!

Say Hi to Winston!!

It would seem, however, that it is down to me to make sure I do not lose focus on either the wedding preparations or puppy training whilst cycling up and down hills over and over again come rain or shine.

I hadn’t thought of the skill required for such a balancing act when I casually signed up to RAB: ‘Oh it will be alright’ is one of my mothers most popular sayings which we always point fun at due to the cavalier attitude being shown to the task at hand. Against my best intentions though it seems I have inherited such an attitude.

A well positioned, gentle reminder early in proceedings was all it took to focus my attention; either that, or was it a particularly effective tactic to get me to stop talking about cycling for a little while. I will let you the reader decide!

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