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Winter boots

I know it's not strictly speaking Winter yet, but it's the time of year I start to prepare for the weather ahead. The wind picks up down here on the coast (well, 2 miles back up a hill), which makes the route I'm using for work rather unpleasant. It's a pretty typical road, single carriageway, no pavement or shoulder, not really space for a bike, 60mph speed limit, pretty constant traffic. Not the kind of conditions that work really well with a gusty, 20mph side wind, for example. 

There is a byway that runs along side the road, on the high side. It's a bit rough and ready, a long way from the droveways I used to use, and actually much less defined than the South Downs Way. I think the top half at least is new. This means it's not an easy route to follow, and the rain we've had this summer means that it's muddy as anything too. All of which means that if I want to use it, my bike needs some Winter boots. 

Winter boots

Fortunately, Clara (yes, my bike is called Clara - it's a Surly Long Haul Trucker, which in my head gets mixed up with Long Distance Clara from Pigeon Street in my youth) is built to take big fat tyres. So I've been attempting the off road route this week. I'm struggling a little with skidding - not something I'm particularly used to on-road - and my upper body is getting a good workout. In fact, it's about the only thing that makes me say I'm happier going uphill. Still, it's good practice, and being further from the traffic is definitely a good thing. 

I'm really hoping to keep cycling and running as much as possible over the next few months. I think I can ride Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and get the bus in and run Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Then with parkrun on Saturdays (either running it or running home after it) I get 3 runs in as well. Should keep the fitness levels up pretty high without taking huge chunks of time I hope. It will be interesting to see what going off-road in the dark is like - it could well be that I end up using the 10 mile route home as my 'easy' route rather than the 3.5 mile off-road route. 

And of course, all that is assuming I don't get too many colds. Fingers crossed. 

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