I felt I needed to vent after another training ride and yet another incident with a car in Richmond Park!
It has easily been the worst winter ever for disgruntled drivers on the Surrey roads with shouts of abuse, horns being blown and in some cases erratic actions from drivers to scare us!
I/we do everything we can do avoid roads when they are at their busiest, we leave at 8am on Sunday mornings for the group rides so we can get out into the country lanes before people are up, I only ride in Richmond Park Monday to Friday during the day when people are working, and yet it seems to not make any difference.
I can only assume it's a 'London thing' and people are so stressed and in such a hurry ALL of the time, that even the sight of a cyclist angers them and for those few seconds they might loose from their journey to wherever it is they are going; and late for; is life threatening!
As a coach it is already hard taking groups and clients out on the roads when they are competent so taking beginner and nervous cyclists out is becoming a horrendous experience for both the client and myself.
We often get shouted 'get single file' when we ride a two-a-breast in a bigger group. If you don't know, riding two-a-breast is NOT illegal and for car drivers it actually makes over-taking easier not harder. I have attached a YouTube video below which I think sends an important message. The video has been put together by 'RSA Ireland' and talks about cars and bikes sharing the roads together.... wishful thinking I feel as things seem to be getting worse not better?
As a cyclist I have a responsibility on the road and as a car driver I have the same responsibility which is to cycle/drive safely, respectful of others and abide by the rules of the road. If we can all make more of a concentrated effort, plain and simple, just be nicer to our fellow road users, I believe EVERYONE will have a more pleasant experience.
Write again soon....I have lots to say. :-)
So far so good…its been 3 days now into the New Year and I have successfully accomplished 3 out of 3 of my new years resolutions. RESULT! I haven’t been tempted by any of the sales this year although I have purposely stayed away from my Net-a-Porter site, as hard as it was. I also started my new book “Cold” by Ranulph Fiennes and not just looking at the pictures which is usually my first port of call. Finally… I have been playing cooking Goddess in the kitchen by making healthy meals for my family while they visit from New Castle. It has been a great start to the New Year for me, lets hope I can continue this for another 362 days…..only! Gulp!!
MOUNTAIN BIKE + SPEED + GRAVEL = CRASH…. However, in my defense I wasn’t going as fast as I normally do gliding down that Everest-esque hill. (Richie and Simon’s fault) It was just a silly mistake…..we all make them and boy do they hurt when we do! But just to clarify I crashed AFTER my spectacular decent….yes thats right on the flat. DOH! Thank goodness my other half, John, was there to witness my landing…like a sack of potatoes! A broken shoulder, badly bruised pelvis, scrapes and cuts on both knees, forearms and a massive bruise on my right hip… hard to wear pants after that. Not to mention the head injury which was followed up by an intense feeling of nausea. LISTEN UP EVREYONE..PLEASE WEAR A HELMET! That accident would have been significantly worse had I not had my helmet on. BELIEVE ME!!
I was taken directly to Kingston Hospital by John’s mom, Carole, who came to pick me up, my saviour! I then had several hours of waiting in A&E, so much fun. After I eventually saw the doctor I was given some pain relief which made me a bit more comfortable but still felt as if I was hit by a truck. A few x-rays later I was bandaged up, given a sling and sent home. Bed rest and lots of being looked after, I can do that, for the next few weeks.
So going forward, to keep up some of my fitness I have started to walk, no not stroll or meander… but walk. It is like power-walking but without the arms. Minimum 2hrs I have been doing almost everyday and of course being the triathlete that I am, I am trying to better my time. I know..its not a race… but I do find throwing the competitive edge in makes me work a bit harder.
I know I will have many more falls in my athletic future, I just hope they all end up as easily fixable as this one was.
As Churchill is famously quoted: “The empires of the future are the empires of the mind”. Too many times our head gives up way before our bodies do and once the head goes, everybody can accept the sad inevitability of the body following suit. I’ve been here, I’ve bought the T-shirt, and I hopefully don’t wear it too much these days – but believe me, I know what I’m talking about! We started with the first RGActive Open Water session this morning in Ham Lake in April. Yes, I know, crazy or what? It might sound as warm as a dip in a Norwegian fjord in February, what with this ‘cold snap’ we’re having, and, y’know, as we do live in England and haven’t seen much of the sun for the last 2 years – BUT we were pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t as frosty as I was expecting, and I largely put this down to my state of mind.
I know that what some people consider cold others don’t. For example, Wim Hoff is currently a Dutch multiple world record holder; seeing as he managed to complete a full sub-6-hour marathon in -20º above the Polar Circle in Finland, dressed in nothing but his shorts and trainers, he can be excluded from this example. I am only talking about us normal humans who have trouble with the idea of getting up at 6am, of course for training, bypassing the most heartwarming of morning coffees, and jumping into a cold lake, the bottom of which is obscured by silt, mud, and little creatures that occasionally brush our toes. Well STOP right there!
I am now looking at it as a wonderful opportunity to do a sport I love, in a beautiful setting not many people have access to being in London. It is only cold if I let it be cold and, as Churchill and myself have said, mind over matter really does triumph… If I don’t mind it doesn’t matter, right?
So this morning have I decided never to complain about getting into cold water again; I am going to try to embrace all that open water has to offer and be positive. Lets hope this works next time!
MENTAL TOUGHNESS IMAGES
This blog is a place for me to share what I do with you. It is about my love for racing, family and fashion. It is also about being an older athlete and how I manage to keep my training balanced and, most of the time, injury free. I hope to inspire other ladies, regardless of age, to get up and get healthy...just try it!