Preparation for the Haute Route has hit a bit of a speed-bump. After hoarding a pretty hefty block of miles a combination of work and unavoidable sociability stuttered riding, although not as much as the body deciding to quietly and painfully implode on itself for a few days because it was made to ride something without dropped bars. A dark cloud hovered overhead and enthusiasm sighed and went up to sulk in it's room with the curtains closed and headphones on.
Unable to face a lacklustre comeback road session patrolling the same old same old tarmac the cyclo-cross bike was dragged from it's dusty corner and thrust blinking into a warm wind blue sky afternoon and just the simple act of turning right towards the dirt rather than left along the usual way put a suspicion of spring in the legs. Still it took a good couple of hours for the body to remember what it was doing after it's brief lay off, what it should be doing, and dragging itself slowly out of it's grumpy hole things started to work with a twinkling of enthusiasm again. Steering the bike along bumpy and twisty paths gave something else to think about rather than whether my choice of gear ratios would be enough for the Galibier and the last hour or so slipped by in a happy blur of speed and fore-arm sweat into the sloping sun.
Ride time on the CX bike was about the same amount usually strung out on the road, but mileage wasn't obsessed over or even recorded, distance was measured in legs feeling similarly tired and stomach echoing familiarly hollow. The whole rest of the body was pleasingly pummelled and pulled and stretched and aching in the way that only the effort of a cyclo-cross bike can inflict and a road bike can't, abused and all the better for it, and fun was had.
And crucially, enthusiasm was revived. So the same thing was done the next day.
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.