The over-enthusiastic cyclist

If it involves pedalling then I'm probably into it…

The Christmas morning ride

There’s numerous stories of pro cyclists going out for a training ride on Christmas day in the belief that many of their rivals wouldn’t, thereby gaining an advantage on them for the coming season. I can’t claim to have quite the same motivation, but I had been looking forward to sneaking in a Christmas morning ride, something I’ve never previously had chance to do.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy Christmas, but there’s rather a lot of faff and stress that can leave you pining for some quality cycle-therapy, so as the rest of my family headed off to church on Christmas morning, I headed out for some worship of my own out on the hills. Thinking about it, there’s a lot of similarities between cycling and religion, especially the Catholics. They both involve some peculiar rituals and some very distinctive costumes and they’ll both leave you you with feelings of guilt if your devotion lapses. Professional cycling may have a history of drug use, but I’ll take that over pedophilia any day.

I’d imagined that the roads would be empty of both cars and cyclists, but there was still plenty of both. Of course there were no concessions given to the festive spirit by the cyclists, with the usual subtle nod of acknowledgement being the cheeriest greeting I received off any of the solitary riders seeking some peace. I’d considered putting some tinsel on my bike or helmet but managed to refrain from such frivolity in the end. There’s no point getting carried away just because it’s Christmas. By the time I’d climbed up to the Cat and Fiddle inn there was snow on the ground and it was getting cold, so I took a quick photo to mark the occasion and then started the cold descent back down to begin the family fun.

It’s just as well that I wasn’t out to gain an advantage on my peers, as Strava later showed that most of them had been out for nearly 50 miles, making my 17.5 miles look like a mere starter compared to their full turkey dinners. I’ll see if I can get away with a longer ride next year.

Merry Christmas to all cyclists from me and my Uncle John.

Merry Christmas to all cyclists from me and my Uncle John.


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