I’ve been feeling guilty of late because although I’ve been out for a couple of walks, I haven’t been out on my bike since, ooh, October, probably.
Last time I rode through the winter months, I ended up with a bronchial cough that persisted for months, so I tend not to go out when it’s properly cold.
But then on these walks, I often see people out riding (older and fatter than me, even), and I think to myself, when the wind dies down…
So I bought this app for my phone, it’s called WeatherHere, and it allows you to see on a map, what the weather is like. I’m particularly interested in the wind speed and direction. So it’s like one of those apps for sailors, or golfers. I wanted one for cycling, so I’d know (a) if the wind was too strong for a ride* and (b) what direction it was blowing in, so I’d know whether to go clockwise or anti- on one of my usual circular routes.
It was my idea, actually, this app. I work with the wife of the developer, and she was saying how her husband wanted to get into iPhone app development and I suggested this. I didn’t have any involvement with how the app looks (frankly, it’s ugly), but the idea of a wind speed arrow on the map works well enough.
Today the app showed the wind was 28kph (which is stronger than I’d like) and coming from NNW, which meant that anti-clockwise was the way to go (putting the wind behind me on the home stretch). But there was blue in the sky and the roads were fairly dry after a stormy week, so I forced myself to go out.
What’s interesting about a first ride after a hiatus is where you ache and why. Obviously, I felt it in my legs, though I managed to get round my shorter route. And my neck ached from the leaning-forward-looking-up position you need to be in. But the worst part was the feet. My shoes and pedals are just not right for me at the moment, and I need to do something about it. I always have a problem with cycling gear being too small for me, and with shoes the problem is always that my feet are wide and I have a very high instep. I don’t wear shoes as a rule, because none fit me properly and I always have to buy ankle boots. What worries me with cycling gear is that everything seems to be made for those skinny, bird-like, cycling types, and not for huge lumps of meat like me.
Anyway, I went for a ride, and now I can feel the beginnings of a cough.
*Anything over 20kph is too much, right?