What a week. First up, take the weather. Just when Britain thought it couldn’t get any wetter, it did. Rain fell in biblical volumes and the media gorged itself on an orgy of personal tragedy. The now familiar sight and sound of partially submerged sofas and elderly people rescued by outboard motors, filled our screens and airwaves. We drove through the fringes of that storm on Saturday, through the stark landscape of Snowdonia. Rivers seemed to be – at best – parallel with the roads close to Betws-Y-Coed and we drove through a puddle that had already claimed one car victim, the family still forlornly sat inside. With ebony black skies and horizontal rain, Snowdonia really is a wild place when the weather closes in. We had traveled up for the Welsh CX champs in Colwyn Bay and the journey was almost as hard as the race itself; a relentless mud-fest that tested skill and mettle. Regrettably Neither of mine held up.
Then, there was the twin and joyous delights of norovirus and a heavy, chesty cold. I was back in Cardiff less than a day before things got grim. A spell away from work and a diet of rehydration salts and boiled rice essential. It’s put the keybosh on racing this weekend and chest willing, I’ll be helping out as pit crew instead. Still…….it’s that time of year, ‘innit? If you’re going to get heavy rain and nasty bugs, you can bet your bottom dollar it’ll be the run up to Christmas that causes it. All those social engagements and extra people, all that running – or cycling – around. It’s par for the course. In the past I’d be distraught at missing a race or two. But not now. There’s always something else on the horizon and rest is often no bad thing (and of course it goes without saying that cross racing is for life, not just for Christmas).
To finish the week on a higher note, I’ve found a lovely piece of cycle art by the superb Eliza Southwood to brighten leaden skies and eliminate nasty bugs. Enjoy your rides.
Eliza’s art can be bought direct from her website. With thanks to Chris Jones for top image.