February 21, 2016 by welshcyclist
This is going to be rather self indulgent and self pitying, for which I apologise wholeheartedly to my reader out there.
It has been a rough couple of months, non stop rain, with only a couple of sunny days throughout. The result has been I have become an intermittent commuter, only travelling once or twice, at most a week, to and from work. The rain has made me lazy, slower and put me in a ” can’t be bothered frame of mind”. Where is my self discipline?
For years I have been the colleague they call mad, at work, who has cycled through deluge after deluge, arriving soaked through to the skin, but just got on with it, drying out my kit ready for the trip home. My mantra was “Rain ain’t pain!”. Where have those days gone?
Lots of things have been going on in my life as well. The lead up to my 65th birthday, could I afford to retire, what to do about pensions? If I had to work on, how much longer? Then I caught (like everyone else) a bad cough and cold, wheezing and spluttering, after, I believe catching a chill. My own fault of course, failing to get washed and changed immediately after arriving home soaking wet, having cycled through one of those constant deluges. I made the drastic mistake of sitting down and devouring my dinner before getting washed and dry! Serves me right!
Then a strange one. I caught an infection in my right leg? What caused it, I have no idea? But it was no joke, having the limb swell up to twice its normal size, and having a rash like scald marks all over it. When I cycled, it swelled even more. Fortunately, a two week course of prescribed antibiotics has brought it back to normality, and I have recovered my confidence to actually wear my shorts again. I mean I didn’t want to frighten the public as I rode by, did I?
On top of that, things are changing at home, two of my three sons, are moving out. Two have fled the nest before, only to return again, one after a sad divorce, and the other because of the cruellest way an employer, in this case a university, can chew up and spit out a hard working and loyal employee. One of the two is the baby of the family, first time to leave, at the ripe old age of 37.
They have bought a house to share in the next valley, i.e., the Swansea valley, in the village of Ystradgynlais, just over the mountain from us. They have been very lucky in their search for a property, because, as her indoors says, she would move in there tomorrow, given the chance. And I have to agree with her, I could forget about all the DIY jobs I need to do here. Her indoors also said that I could ride the 10 miles over the mountain to visit, and help out on my bike. Doah! I dislike sustained hill climbing on the bike, and it is a real grind both ways. For me that route has always looked too forbidding, because, in the decade plus of my cycling around here I have never tried that route. That’s just the wimp inside me.
Anyway, the two boys have been moving out slowly over the past two weeks, and have spent their first couple of nights in their new home over this weekend. This has meant some tears from her indoors, because of two empty bedrooms and so on. Being a man? I just try not to think about it.
On the plus side though, there is going to be a lot more room for my bikes and gear. Stuff we had been saving for the boys’ when and if they ever moved out, has started to disappear from my, now, two sheds. I will be able to set up my bike stand and work on my bikes, in the dry. Not that my mechanical skills have suddenly improved, but, hopefully, practise will make perfect.
But let’s get back to the point! I am not cycling enough, I have been getting lazy, suffering both a lack of self discipline and will power, and have been all too willing to blame it on the rain, coughs and colds, leg infections, middle aged men moving out, and so on, and so on. Someone needs to give me a right kick up they ass!