The winds of change stay the same

3 weeks to #joberg2c

If that’s Stonehenge, it must be sunny Monday.

In Britain, there is one thing that we can always depend on. No, I’m not talking about politicians or Brexit. I’m not even talking about breakfast, although the odds are that a full-English is far more likely to raise the nation’s spirits than our PM or MPs ever could. No, what I’m talking about is, of course, the weather. Unlike Brexit, we’re certain that there will be weather, whether we like it or not.

Just take Monday. The forecast was mostly sunny, with light breezes from the north-west, no rain and about 12 to 15C (which is warm by English standards). Perfect for a long ride, you would say, and that is exactly what happened. The ride was 91km mostly off-road from home near Shaftesbury to Stonehenge. And back, naturally – the stones don’t have a roof any longer. The ride is something that I’ve wanted to do since we moved to Dorset more than three years ago. Finally I had the chance, and the reason, to do it. And so it took place, as anticipated, although it was a lot more tiring than I’d hoped for. Still, tick that one off for the log-book. Training for a long event like joberg2c is all about time in the saddle, they say. And believe me, my rear is evidence that I’ve done that.

So roll on Wednesday. What should I expect weather-wise. Well, if Monday was “warm”, Wednesday was time to pull out the thermals. Temperatures plummeted and there was an icy wind. But that is what you expect from the British weather. Although it might just have been hell freezing over because Theresa May had just asked to Jeremy Corbyn to help her secure a Brexit deal.

Off the beaten track. Or just beaten. And off track.

Friday’s ride, of course, was something else. Not quite so cold, but three hours of wind, rain and mud. And then some more mud and rain and wind. But I ploughed on through it all like the good soldier that I mean to be, hoping that in the long run, miles under the belt will become money in the bank.

Ah yes, my apoligies for the cliches. They’re a bit like Europe – we really can’t live without them.

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