Monday, 10 March 2008

Struggling for time.

Well as far as this blog goes, I am struggling for time, I've said it before, I just don't know how all you other bloggers make the time to keep a regular post going. Though I keep telling myself I will make the time, I still fall by the wayside, so to speak. What makes things worse, from my point of view, is I've been off work for two weeks! Elizabeth will tell you that I've done very little around the house, though there's stacks to do. The list is long, I've to turn the airing cupboard in Tierloch's room into a wardrobe, the wood etc is all waiting to be sawn, and so on, my shed needs secondary glazing under the roof, to stop condensation, again all the materials needed are waiting to be used, then there's the bathroom, our bedroom......

But the truth is I'd rather be using the time out on my bike, or out with Elizabeth walking along the seashore somewhere, then having lunch in a cafe. I can't get motivated about DIY in the house, much to Elizabeth's chagrin, but at 57 now, I really want to make the most of our time. My dad died at age 64, only had 2 years of retirement, I certainly don't want the same to happen to me! Sadly the way pensions are, I'm not going to be able to retire early, so presumably I'll be in work to 65, hopefully my bicycling exploits will keep me fit enough to enjoy a few active years, after that.

Consequently I really make an effort, each day, to ride my bike, these last 2 weeks has seen me only miss once. Not being in work, and this crazy shift pattern means it's very doubtful I'll be enthusiastic about returning to work, when I have to this Wednesday, so I haven't been commuting, but going for a long rides early every morning. I've upped my normal mileage a good deal, for me this is a long ride, to between 22 and 28 miles, the latter is the longest ride I've ever done yet, that was yesterday. Which I really enjoyed, I wanted to keep going, but that would be selfish, I need to think of Elizabeth, but I keep finding other things for us to do, anything but the dreaded DIY! It's all too obvious to Elizabeth, and we had words about it earlier today.

So shamefaced, I retreated to the bathroom, to clean up the tile grouting, it's so annoying how mildew builds up, not that it's surprising with four/five of us showering each day. I did a couple of hours penance working away in the bathroom, just had my lunch and I'm here at the computer, making this post, as I've said, anything to dodge the DIY!!

I've been looking at cycling holidays on the net, these last few days, and there's loads I'd love to have a go at, but once again, it would be so selfish of me not to include Elizabeth. Our trip to Brighton worked fine, because I did my cycling before breakfast, and had the rest of the day to share with her, but...

The thing is, I want to have a go at some real mileage, not just a couple of hours worth, now I've hit on the idea of a cycle trip for charity, there seem to be plenty available, and well organised, hopefully I can find one of only a few days in length. Of course one has to raise sponsorship money, the longer the trip the more one has to raise. I've seen one from London to Paris, 2nd to 6th July this year, costs £99 to join and one has to raise £1100 for the charity of one's choice. I like the sound of it, and there are places available, but I don't think I'm too keen on going on my own? Who can I ask to do it with me? Of course they'd have to raise £1100 as well as pay £99.

Maybe I can find someone, there are a couple of lads at work who may well be interested, and the bonus with involving work means the company will match what we raise in sponsorship, which means that we'd each only have secure £550 each, sounds great, but it still has to raised.

Had a fantastic ride this morning, the weather took a change for the worse, last night, the forecasters have been warning for days, about a storm on route to our shores. Well it hit last night, I thought it was all over and done with, when I left this morning for my daily ride at 06.40, but as I headed down the valley, into a stiff breeze, I could see the rain and sleet, coming up towards me. The wind made the hills that much harder to climb, particularly my bete-noir, the steep stretch by the Rock and Fountain pub, I've always only just managed to make it to the top, in the past. However, these last couple of weeks, I've been getting up it much easier, on my Subway 8, halfway in 6th, and then the last, steepest section in 4th gear. Today, travelling into the increasing force of the wind, I had to drop into 4th alot sooner, and then down to 2nd, to eventually get to the top. I had to pedal in 2nd for awhile after, to catch my breath, I cut off my journey at Aberdulais, turning back for home, and I was grateful for the wind at my back as the clouds began to burst.

I stopped at an empty bus shelter, to put on my rainproof trousers and woolly hat, as the rain and sleet started to pour down, then I was quickly on my way, though somewhat slower than of late, as the wind seemed to change direction, toying with me. The wind was definitely the strongest I've been out in on my bike to date, it was forecast to be 46 mph, but I'll have to check what speed it turned out to be. Overall I did 22 miles, and it took me 2 hours, including my stop to don my woolly hat and waterproof trousers, as well as a stop to take a picture of a waterfall, and a cup of coffee at McDonalds.

Now getting back to "struggling for time", typing this on the computer has taken me, so far an hour and a half, I know my typing skills are abysmal, two fingers at best, but the effort, on top of actually cycling, let alone maintenance of the bike, then work etc., puts me in complete awe of all you other bloggers. How do you do it?