Summery Summary

This summer has been a good one. Since the near zero temperatures have set in, it seems like a distant memory and before that’s lost for good, I thought I’d better put key to keyboard to capture a summary of my summer.

Coaching my weekly S&C session out on Southampton Common was fun as usual. The sessions were well received and the weather was kind. We’ve had several indoor sessions since September and participation has increased although it’s been a little sad to see some of the regulars leave to start new adventures, several new members of LRR have been regular participants at the sessions.

My own running has been sporadic at best. I enjoy it when I do it but can’t get into a rhythm of weekly sessions. Although I have a habit of lining up races to try and motivate myself to train, my enthusiasm for races has declined over the last year or so so the incentive of trying to gain a PB doesn’t currently lead to anything other than a DNS and a wasted entry fee.

Cycling to work remains my exercise of choice. With a 10 – 11 mile daily commute, the return journey is enough to burn 650-700 calories on average which tends to be offset with treats rather than weight loss. I have a goal to help focus on the latter but need to find the enthusiasm to press start on tbat journey. Our daily rag, the Daily Echo, continues to post stories and readers letters enticing motor vehicle users and cyclists to bash heads over:

– cyclists using pavements – I avoid them unless it’s not safe to be on the road and I have no other choice.

– cyclists not paying road tax – no one pays rod tax and as a council tax payer, I make the same contribution to the upkeep of our roads as every other council tax payer. When cycling, I cause less damage than a 2 ton+ vehicle.

– cyclists not using cycle paths and cycle lanes – the use of cycle lanes and paths use is optional based on the cyclists choice taking into account experience and skill on the road. The Highway Code states that very clearly. I avoid cycle paths and shared use pavements as they are more often than not less safe than being on the road for me as a cyclist and for pedestrians. Their condition is often appalling and getting on and off then can be dangerous, and in some cases, impossible.

– cyclists jumping red lights – it makes my blood boil too but I see motor vehicle drivers do this frequently.

– cyclists acting irresponsibly – also agree on this. However, road users of all vehicles as well as pedestrians can all act stupidly when faced with travelling along or crossing tarmac covered ground.

– ninja cyclists or cyclists with bright lights – I want to be seen whether its night or day. I wear high viz when on two wheels and have lights on my bike and flashing regardless of whether it’s day or night. You wouldn’t miss me on the bike which I hope means you will miss me.

– cyclists not wearing helmets – I’m afraid that I believe that if a cyclist isn’t wearing a helmet they are jeopardising their life. I always wear a helmet in a bike and always will. I’d be stupid not to.

– cyclists not having insurance – the likelihood of a cyclist causing damage to another vehicle or a person is far less than a motor vehicle user and therefore insurance isn’t a legal requirement. However, I have cycle insurance that covers both liability and legal costs.

The main focus of my summer adventures has been out on the water on the River Itchen with about 25 visits to St Denys Boat Club. I’ve really enjoyed paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing and sculling (rowing) as well as dinghy sailing and can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I can get back out on the water with Daniel. Through the winter, I plan to kayak, canoe and row when possible in the hope I can stay afloat and not perish in The hyperthermia-inducing murky depths.

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