Sometimes doing something on your own can be good; it can allow time to think, to escape the demands of work/kids/life in general or to cook up a surprise birthday party. For me though, training for this three day, 200 mile #RatRaceCrossing is one thing better done with someone, she just needs persuading to get out the door!
An hour before we were to meet, along with her partner Keith, Janey had posted on Facebook: “who’s idea was it to go for a night ride on such a cold and dingy wet night? Tom!!! Better be good when I get out there as the psyche is not so high just now :-)”. Admittedly temperatures were hovering just above zero, it was drizzling, there was still loads of snow on exposed tracks and we would have an inevitable clean up operation post ride just when most people would be thinking about going to bed! I however didn’t see this post and trundled through to meet them just as Eastenders would be starting for millions around the country. What a brilliant ride it was; we chatted, laughed, fell in mud, heard the crunch of the snow as our tyres rolled over it and even couldn’t see where we were going at one point as the reflection of our headlight beams came straight back from the patchy dense fog.
Senses were on overload; being able to only see a few meters in front of yourself, in such varying conditions, on narrow twisty trails and steep slopes means that the senses are in constant use. Even smell, that unique burning aroma of overheating brake pads and you know it is time to give them a quick rest! Otherwise your eyes and brain are trying to process what is being seen (limited!), hearing is taking in what noises the tyres are making (which can relate to how much grip you have) and touch is understanding what the bike is doing at any given moment (slipping, compressing, rider movement feedback). It’s exhausting but at the same time hugely exhilarating.
But this is all lost if you are own your own. As an individual I still have the memories but if I try and describe it to my wife when I get in I get a few nods, smiles and then the grimace as the amount of mud on the utility room floor is spotted. You know what it’s like when people show you their holiday photos…… Whereas, by sharing the experiences, that sense of achievement, fun and friendship is apparent and is a big positive release. For that two hours I forgot all about the other stuff that’s going on around me day-to-day.
Summed up by Janey afterwards: “ok, you were right, it was fun and I’m glad I went!” Friends; do everything you can to keep them as finding good ones you really trust is hard, and then share experiences with them. It is much more fun.
Here’s my donation page: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CharityCrossing
Here’s why I’m doing it: https://charitycrossing.wordpress.com/about/