Thursday, 21 August 2014

Ridin' solo

Stuart Gray former GIA Vice President and architect with Holmes Miller moved back to his home town of Aberdeen in 2013 to pursue a career in the Oil and Gas sector. Despite turning to the dark side Stuart still pursues his interests in Architecture and has been training on his own around the Granite city ahead of Septembers challenge . . .  

5 years in Glasgow . . . 3 years with the GIA. 

Having left both Glasgow and the Architecture world last year to join the Oil & Gas industry back home in Aberdeen, even being considered to join the GIA team was a shock. It was however, an opportunity I couldn’t say no to …. so let the training commence!!

Motivation to train had dipped since the last sportive I did as there was nothing to aim for, so this was a welcomed challenge. I can ride 120 miles no problem but 4 days of 120 miles every day …… I’m not so sure and to be honest not too confident at the moment. 

So as the lads trained in the cold wet conditions over the weekend in Glasgow (good effort lads) I had the luck of 20 degree temperatures and sun in the tropical north east and I had planned a short 1.5 hour ride at a fast pace. 

Got the gear on, bike ready, tools packed and Garmin on (if it isn’t on Strava it didn’t happen) but didn’t pack any food, it was only a 1.5 hour blast… or so I thought.

1100ft of climbing into a headwind within the first hour was a good wake up and my constant swearing at the wind made me miss the turn I was supposed to take and my short cycle turned into a 3 hour ride. Not long at all but with no food or money and gusting winds it made it interesting.

I kept going, keep the average speed as high as I could and looked forward to the turn back home where I would be blessed with a tailwind to blast me back. For those that know Aberdeen gauging the wind direction is like predicting lottery numbers and as if it couldn’t get any worse just before I was away to make the turn back for home the wind direction changed… Goodbye tailwind, hello hell!!

5 miles from home I slammed into ‘the wall’. Legs started cramping, cold sweats and all I could do was limp home and watch my average speed be decimated. I made it home, demoralised and even less confident…..

Next weekend I’m in Glasgow for a ride with other members of the team. Looking forward to it, riding in a group is always enjoyable and I’ll remember to pack the energy gels!!!

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