‘Alternative’ Commute

As pathetic as it may seem, this week I’ve been putting pressure on myself to get more miles in. After 3 weeks of excuses for not being able to commute or ride I felt as if I’d lost a great deal of winter training  that I’d put some much effort into obtaining in the first place.

As a Scottish pal once said “You don’t just loose that muscle immediately…”.
Time and effort and it’ll be back in fighting form right? Well as I mentioned this week was the week to get back too it.

After waking up late and having to get the train to work I decided I didn’t want to loose out on the usual miles (above) thus making a longer commute home. A long HILLY commute home.  It’s always so deceiving when you’re plotting your route on a map right?

At the time it seemed like a good idea and in retrospect the ride itself was pretty amazing…


The image above is Cow and Calf on the tops of Ilkley, a notoriously tough hill for climbing and descending! By the time i’d got to Ilkley I was already at zero, on a bowl of porridge and 6 cups of coffee that’s no surprise to be honest but getting to Ilkley was a comforting point in the ride.  I new where I was and could now gauge how long it would take to get home!

Resting at the top of Ilkley it was a beautiful realisation as to how lucky I am having the opportunity to commute home this way. But let’s be honest folks, some have 3 miles commutes, some have 33 mile commutes. It’s your choice? You can get out the city without a problem you just have to find the motivation to do so. Luckily given the fact I wanted to catch up on miles this was a useful motivation for me!

Given the recent fog/missed/pollution visibility on much of the tops was next to none which did cause a bit of concern  descending into Ilkley. I’ve yet to climb Cow and Calf but I can already anticipate the pain even prior to the climb!


It feels like it’s been a long hard week in the saddle and I feel my body is telling me (has been telling me since Wednesday) that I’m due a rest day. That feeling of physical abuse is some times quite settling though… Laying down at the end of the day and feeling your muscles tingle with a sort of pain/relaxation makes it all the worth while as mad as that may seem.

Ironically to say the least,  in retrospect of this weeks amount of cycling, I’ve found myself feeling safer in the saddle then anywhere else.  Loosing yourself on the climb, in the middle of the dales or at zero energy on a ride is something many won’t ever understand unless experienced for them selves.

Climbing to the top of Cow and Calf was one of those moments.