We all know it. Whatever pressured time you have is more pressed. Outside just isn’t as inviting as it was last week, or the week before that or the week before that. Distant memories of the Alps or Majorca or that day in the Peak District where the sun never stopped beating down and daylight lasted for hours are filed away with all the others. The closest thing to sunlight that you have seen for what feels like years was the supermoon; and it’s not even December yet.
The darkness has come my friends. Darkness has come.
We all have different goals during this time. Some modest and others less so and whatever magic number is in your head, whether it be measured in kg, hours, watts or miles we will all have different ways of doing it. Some outwardly sensible and some where our friends might look at us rather strangely upon mentioning that a twenty mile commute to work at 6 am in the pitch black might be your new norm.
"Bright lights! Bright lights!" Don't feed your gremlin after midnight.
We’ve been there. In the days before the Duckhouse we weren’t scared of the aforementioned commute; in fact it was relished at all times of the year. Recently we dipped into the world of commuting again and there really is not better way of getting to your place of work even if it does decide to relentlessly smash it down on the way home and your cycling cap morphs into some sort of eye umbrella! These times keep you honest.
Deep in the pain cave
Variety is indeed the spice of life. We’ve never been one for indoor trainers but our favoured plan of attack in the garage is the more traditional rollers rather than the static trainer. It’s a personal thing but the challenge of rollers have always provided us with entertainment and daring and after a short while its always pleasant to feel the improved pedalling efficiency (that lasts all of three rides before the ‘pedalling in squares’ returns) and the right to brag a bit that you’ve survived a few sessions on these mythical beasts. The wave of virtual trainers are becoming more and more widely used and shared (the other night a friend of mine climbed up Alp D’Huez, in November, I imagine it was pretty chilly!). Mmore recently in the Duckhouse we have been partial to keeping the summer dream alive with our local crew; doing loops of our part of town at night, developing an interval session and indeed retracing our summer rides whilst lit up like lycra clad Christmas trees doing our regular local tear up. Night time XC rides are still as much of a constant as they have ever been and the woods throw up different gremlins under the cover of darkness although muddy bikes do seem to remain muddy for longer when it is dark out. Some of the lads have been crunching out what look to be really competitive laps out at the velopark during the week proving that the dark nights and a chilly breeze shouldn’t stop you so long as you’ve got the will, a bit of kit and the contact details of at least one like-minded soul!
Nothing better than wanging it around with a mate
The weather always looks worse from the wrong side of the window and hard work in the dark days not only make you better in the spring but make spring feel all the better. Isn’t this the real romance of cycling or any sport? Not the summer sportive centuries, the spring runs or the hundreds scored on flat pitches. When sport comes alive is when it's at its hardest and in our view it’s most pure. Indeed races are won when no one is watching and winter is when the romance of cycling shines through. Often once you get out there its better than you thought. Mud guards, ass savers, good gloves, decent lights, a slightly acrid smelling buff and it’s on. Don’t let winter stop you.
Want to see what we’re up to during the winter? Join our Strava Club! In the New Year we’ll be doing lots of giveaways based on how everyone is doing! As always the best thing to do is to get involved!