‘Cross diary 9: I lose my mojo

April 12, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Posted in cycling | 2 Comments
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Golly. Hello there. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Well. You remember that ankle injury? It got better, but then I got a cold, so I was out of action for about six weeks in all. Then I needed to build up the running before I started jumping on and off my bike again, so I spent a few weeks doing that. And then: Right. RIGHT! OK. Yes. Bring it on! I was raring to go. In principle. So why couldn’t I actually get out on my bike?

icy park

Well, the weather got a LOT colder. Icy some mornings. Snow, even. I started worrying about falling off onto HARD ground, as opposed to the nice squashy mud I’d got used to. And it was dark so early! Riding on the roads with lights is one thing, but bumping around Todmorden park through the woods is another. And you can forget the towpath in the dark, with all that water so close by. And my non-existent bike-handling skills. Asking for trouble.

I spent the autumn at home on study leave, but now I’m back on campus again, and opportunities to go out and get muddy are fewer. And I think, well, I’ll go and practise at the weekend. But then the weekend rolls around, and I think, oh, the park’s full of dog walkers on Sundays; I’ll just get barked at, and have to keep getting off and acting calm the whole time, while the owner explains that “he doesn’t like yellow.” So I don’t go.

Dog Attack

It’s getting lighter in the evenings now, and warmer, and still the weeks pass. Finally, I have to admit it: I’ve lost my mojo. I’m scared again. I can’t bear to get out there and realise I’ve lost the few skills I worked so hard to acquire. I don’t want to forget to unclip while dismounting again, and feel those two seconds of terror before I’m gazing at the clouds with a bike on top of me. I don’t want another saucer-sized bruise on my inner thigh, from trying to re-learn remounting. In the words of @CycleBoredom, I don’t want to HTFU. I want to sit indoors with a cup of tea. I’ll just get on the turbo, and plan how I’m going to get practising next weekend. Again.

But I’m getting irritated with myself. Spring is here! Everyone is Out and About doing their first road races of the season, and I’m prevaricating. I miss my lovely, comfy, brilliant-fun-to-ride bike. I go out on a road ride, but I’m bored stupid;  I miss grinning and singing through the mud and cold. I miss washing my bike in the rain, with hardy Yorkshiremen grudgingly admiring my tenacity, and thinking to myself: Yay you, Fearless Badass In Training! I have to get out there again, or I won’t be able to live with myself.

dirt in one bucket

The events that seemed so far off in the winter are nearly here. Summer ‘cross season starts in May; I want to ride in that, and see if I can acquire some skills in time for next autumn. My British Cycling provisional race licence arrives in the post. I laugh uproariously, but when I mention it on Twitter, everyone is so supportive and encouraging, I know I’ve got to follow through. ‘Cross practice has started again on Thursday evenings; I can’t go along still unable to remount, I’ll die of shame.

So, I’m off to the park. Wish me luck. I’ll be fine. Really, I will. As long as it doesn’t snow.

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2 Comments »

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  1. It has snowed though hasn’t it? It hailed again yesterday morning – can’t play tennis in that, and training for the 10K didn’t seem very appealing either. I did a spinning class last week – it’s fairly embarrassing trying to dismount from a stationary bike with your feet strapped in too! Get back out there and I’ll go and run in the rain (yeah right)

    • Yesterday’s weather was proper BIBLICAL, wasn’t it! I was out running in it and I felt EPIC (even when I was running along with one hand covering my face to stop the stinging rain). What’s the 10k? I’m looking for one that’s all uphill, and guaranteed to be run in the pouring rain and gale force winds. I’ll definitely top-ten that one.


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