Saturday 17 December 2016


I cycle nearly every weekend. During the summer it's easy to motivate myself to get out on my bike. Cycling with my fellow NVL member, Matt helps. If I decide I just can't be bothered to go out. What do I say to Matt? I know it's the same for Matt. Even bad weather rarely stops us. But what if Matt isn't around? This weekend he is down in the New Forest. The weather, as you can see in the picture, wasn't inviting. Damp, chilly and very foggy. Should I just have stayed in bed?

No. I got out. The sun hadn't risen as I left the house. Compared to some recent mornings, it wasn't too cold. Unfortunately the fog got thicker the further I cycled. As I left the street lights behind I had to make a decision. Turn around and go home, continue on the road or use the cycle path.

I didn't want to turn around but the road from here is a 60 limit. Too dangerous to cycle on in these conditions. But the cycle path is typical of many. Very poorly surfaced. Covered in mud and leaves. With slippery tree roots pushing through it. Pretty dangerous. And then there is the very real possibility of punctures. Alongside the path is a hedge of thorns. Not too long ago it was pruned. Leaving behind small branches covered in big thorns. I did well, covering around 3 miles before getting that deflated feeling as air escaped from my rear tyre. It didn't take too long to locate and remove the thorn. And then replace the inner tube. But my motivation for a long ride had gone. I had intended to cover 30 to 40 miles. Now I am home I wish I had pushed on. But to be honest, I know it would have just been a case of saying I had done it. No real satisfaction or enjoyment. Had Matt been there we would have continued. There is still tomorrow to look forward to though.

I do get a sense of achievement from completing a task that I may not have had much motivation for. The cycling is a good reminder to myself that I am stronger than I sometimes feel. And that, I think, is another reason I do it. My photography also benefits. I know I can push myself, learn and improve.

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