I hope everyone has survived the weather this week. It seems we have had everything thrown at us this week and Sheffield has certainly had its moments of being wet and wild. My diary entry for Monday was simply, RAIN!

Monday, I sorted and finished sending the Team High Road Mallorca training camp pictures to the office. Then I got down to writing last week’s blog. It turned out to be a bit of an epic at over 2,000 words. I’ll try and moderate the length this week. The other big thing on Monday was popping up to the Post Office at the local shops to pay my income tax. OOOcccchhh! but glad to get it out of the way.

Tuesday and again the weather wasn’t great but the forecast was for an improvement by the afternoon. I used the morning and early afternoon making a start on writing out and then typing up my taped interview I’d done with Tanja Slater who I’d seen last Wednesday.
Decided to get out on the bike at 14:15, though it was about 14:30 by the time I set off.

Steve Herriott, a kind of neighbour in the sense that he is the mechanic from the little service garage across the road, came over for a chat. We often have a chat and catch up on news. I’d not seen him for a while and thought he’d perhaps been on holiday. Far from it. It turned out he’d been quite poorly and had spent five days in hospital with pneumonia. I’m glad to say he’s on the mend.

Did three hours on the bike, which was as ever my Matlock run. The weather was overcast and there was some drizzle in the air on the home leg. Things were brightened by the Kingfisher I see regularly at the mill pond up Via Gellia. There was even a Dipper there too. It was perched on the sluice gate rail at the head of the pond.

The last hour of the ride I had my lights on and by the time I was crossing the ‘flying mile’ near Foxhouse to come down Ecclesall Road it was quite dark. Not good really with all the rain and traffic having created dozens more potholes as I mentioned the other week. Fortunately I managed to second guess their locations in the gloom.

Wednesday, I spent the morning and early afternoon composing my Tanja Slater Ride story. I had a few windows open in my flat and there was a point in the morning I heard the distinctive sound of calling geese in flight. I put my head out of the window to see a large V-shaped skein of geese passing over.

Decided again as I’d done on Tuesday to put three hours in on the bike. Set out at a similar time. The weather was much milder but there was the added ingredient of a stiff breeze. There was a good head wind all the way out to Matlock. Quite testing as the legs didn’t feel the best.

Thursday, I completed my Tanja Slater story by about 21:30 in the evening. During the day I’d also been sorting a few things out for the next couple of weeks work. It included booking flights to Spain for the first week in February and flights to Switzerland for this week. More on those stories as and when.

Friday and I started on my next piece of work being a Ride story on the experiences of the Pinarello RT’s rides out of Luchon before Christmas. I’ve found it a challenge to get the story underway. Getting there now though.

Friday afternoon and again did three hours on the bike. Set out slightly earlier at just before 14:00. The weather had dried out a bit to what it had been earlier in the week. The problem now was strong winds. It was a head to cross wind across the moors from Owler Bar to Baslow. That was the worst section of the ride really where I had to really hold on.

By the time I got down to Chatsworth and beyond to Matlock it was relatively sheltered. The return leg had some good sections that had a gutsy tailwind which was welcome. The change in the weather system gave for a super sunset. Riding up Froggatt there was a lovely soft pink light cast across the landscape. It was good to be out.

Saturday was a day of catching up on things I’d not got round to for a week or two like cleaning and hoovering. Cleaning the bathroom. Cleaning the car. Also got a bit of tiding and filing done. Basically used the day to getting to feel a bit more organised. Had chance to watch the back garden area behind my flat to do the RSPB Garden Watch survey. Will have to log my results later.

Steve, Simon and Tony take a break

Sunday and I met up with the lads for the big Sunday run. Steve Gibson, Simon Owens and Tony Grassby. As you might remember from the last Sunday run I’d done with them I’d not had the best of days. The legs had felt rather chewed and never got going all day. Felt a lot better this time.

It’s about an hours ride out to Balborough and Clowne and to where we start our through and off session. Our hour of through and off ends at Ranskill’s village sign and I actually got the sprint for the sign this week. A vast improvement from the other week. Our averages from home to that point were 21.4mph. Two hours riding.

After grabbing a few refreshments from the newsagents there it was back on the road for the home leg. The wind had starting picking up again and there were several sections of absolute block head winds.

A testing ride via Harworth, Laughton, Thurcroft, Swallownest, Handsworth and Darnell. We then cut across the edge of town at the Whicker to head out to Hillsborough before heading up the Riverlin Road to join the A57 back up in to Sheffield. I eventually got home with 78mls on the clock. A four plus hour ride averaging 18.1mph. A good solid ride.

Catch up next week with what I’ve been doing in Switzerland this week.

Andy