It was my birthday today. 42.
I’d booked the day off and had planned on doing a nice long route of around 80 miles or so. As it turned out, a number of factors went against me.
Reasons to not be cheerful
Here’s my list of excuses, which you’re perfectly welcome to borrow if you ever have a crap day on the bike:
Firstly, I was a bit tired setting off, having done about a hundred miles in the previous two days, and over 200 within the last week. So, not exactly completely fresh.
Second, it was all uphill for the first 10 miles, climbing about 1600 ft.
Thirdly, there was a particularly vicious headwind.
Combine all those, and you get a very difficult and frustratingly slow hour or so which grinds you down and makes you wish you’d stayed in bed.
Oh, and I was on my heavy bike. Classic excuse.
With two full water bottles. Say no more.
Oh, and I had my spongy socks on.
A constant companion on the ride was a nagging internal voice suggesting that if I did attempt to do the original route I’d planned, I’d end up injuring myself.
It’s my birthday, ffs, why was I doing this to myself?
I just so happened to be heading in the direction of my favourite little cafe in North Wales, the wonderful Conwy Falls. I’d plough on through the soul destroying wind, have a bit of lunch there, then turn back and head for home. Feeling inspired, I phoned my wife to see if she’d like to drive over there and join me. She checked the cafe website and it was closed.
Not my day.
Plan C was to grab a quick coffee and a snack at another little cafe in that area, the Riverside Chocolate House. Despite the Hansel and Gretel type imagery which may be invoked by the rather flowery name, it’s just a little cafe. Ok, it’s by a river and they sell some chocolate stuff. Great marketing.
Anyway, it was closed.
And so, with aching legs and hungry tum, I turned around and headed for home, this time with a decent tailwind and the knowledge that I would live to fight another day.
I grabbed this pic, the only one of the day. Click to enlarge.
After crawling back towards my home town, I popped in to see my mum, had a cup of coffee and reflected on 42 years together.
Sometimes it’s about the riding, sometimes it’s about where you end up.
Here’s my route, on Strava