It Might As Well Rain Until September

Dear Met Office, I’ve got a bone to pick with you.

 “Get your sunblock at the ready, the UK is set for a six-week heatwave, according to the Met Office’s latest report.

Following the wettest winter on record, our summer is coming earlier than normal with temperatures expected to soar above 20 degrees for the second half of April and May.

The report reads: “Latest predictions for UK-mean temperature favour above-average temperatures for April and April-May-June as a whole.”

So how does that square with today, when I had a half day and did the return LifeCycle trip at midday and wore a woolly hat under my helmet, two pairs of gloves and two pairs of socks: and that on top of getting a right old soaking in a biting easterly wind yesterday and freezing my fingers off on the way into work?  And furthermore, the forecast for next week is for more of the same. I don’t know what data models you’re using at the Met Office, but I would suggest that they come from the same source as Sevco’s business plan. #FantasyForecast

Anyway, amidst the plummeting temperatures and the darkening gloom, I got to play with my new lights this week. The back light on my bike (I’ll not mention the brand so I don’t get sued, but basically it was supposedly a good ‘un and packed up after four months) is a wee bit bright and very flashy. And as if that wasn’t already enough, the strobe on my helmet is apparently so bright that passing motorists have remarked that I resemble the polis: so what better than to buy another strobe mount the pair of ‘em so that they sit either side of the back centre of my helmet. Result: a very, very, very bright spectacle for next winter. It’s the bike light equivalent of fluffy dice and a big subwoofer.

Regular readers will know that hardly a blog goes by without a mention of the miles and this week did not disappoint: the most miles in a LifeCycle week ever (188, I’ll repeat that… 188) and the 5,000 milestone cracked on Monday. Indeed the pace has been so frantic of late that here we are at the end of the 5K week but already the total is up at 5150. You know that saying about making hay while the sun shines? Well I get the drift except there’s no sun.

I’ve adapted my route home to form a giant S shape. I kind of made an unwritten rule that says I can’t go round and round in circles just to make up extra miles, but as long as I’m heading in the general direction of Stewarton, then I can vary the route to add an odd mile on here or there. I call them Oscar miles because on days when I might otherwise just head straight home, I think of wee Oscar never giving up the fight and opt instead for the longer route. So four days this week, instead of hanging a left straight down the hill at the the top the Clunch Road, I’ve been carrying on up the hill and joining the Old Glasgow Road three miles out of Stewarton. It adds extra climbing on top of the 800ft I’m already doing but 2 miles a day more on the road sure keeps the scoreboard ticking over in good fashion. Today also marked the first time since week one that the overall average has topped 20 miles a day (for all days) since I started, including all the weekends and holidays. To put that into perspective, it’s now 257 days since I started, and the split is 150 LifeCycling days plus a further 107 days sat on my backside. So to have the overall average at 20 miles+ is very pleasing. Forward projecting all of that, there are now only 582 actual LifeCycling days to go: I’m a fifth of the way there!!!!

But if you like stats, here’s a LifeCycle stat and a half: the distance that LifeCycleForNeuroblastoma has travelled since the start is further than the distance between Glasgow and Beijing.

Let that one sink in for a few minutes…

Talking of long distances, I met a bloke at the lights in Giffnock today, or to be more precise, he met me as he was in front and turned round to see who was behind him. He asked me where I was going so I said Stewarton and he immediately came back with “so you’re doing a 40 mile round trip”… Well we rode side by side for a while, seeing as it’s a four lane highway, and I was telling him about the LifeCycle project. He then went on to tell me that he and some of his mates cycled to Landan last year, ran the marathon then cycled home again! That’s incredible. Imagine cycling all the way to Landan, running 26 miles then cycling all the way back to Glasgow. #Bonkers  😉

I can’t let this week pass without a mention of next week. Next week is gonna be mega. You see twelve years ago, I went for a very long walk with some of my Inverness Caley mates. And over those twelve years, some great friendships have been forged, in good times and in bad, in relegation and in promotion, in sunshine and in snow: and in pubs. The Highland March is one very special event. And it’s next week. The rules of engagement are very simple: you have to walk from the last but one game of the season to the last game, wherever those two games happen to be. In this case, Doomcaster’s fixture computer has thrown up Motherwell away followed by St Johnstone at home. This will be the third time that St Johnstone have featured at one end of an HM but a first for Motherwell. However, much more significant is the fact that the penultimate game is Wednesday night, leaving only three days to make the trip back up the road. It’s 165 miles. We had a similar challenge on HM9 and fell short of Hamilton by 90 miles so it was actually a bit of a relief when Dunkant suggested we do it on bikes. #GreatIdea

But to make it more fun, and add a bit of excitement, we’re biking some of it overnight after the game on Wednesday night. With 17 previous HM’s between us, we both know the various routes like the backs of our hands but which one we actually choose will be down to circumstance and weather. Me: I fancy a shot at Glen Tilt and Glen Feshie but maybe that can wait for another year.

Of course, to make this expedition fun, we need good weather. I’ve already discounted the Met Office as a bunch of fantasists so I’ll be going with my weather channel of choice: the fabled Windguru. It’s suggesting, even from six days out, that I’ll be packing the rain trousers. That means overshoes too: and the big jacket. I mean, this is meant to be summer…


It might as well rain until September…

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