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Happy New Year and best wishes for 2019. I hope the coming year will be a great one for you and yours.

I had a great Festive period. For the first time in 10 years I find myself lucky enough to work somewhere that gives its minions a decent amount of time off over Christmas & New Year. Being able to spend time with my family and have everything else fit around that was very nice. Much nicer than the usual rush of some early morning training, boost to work, cram some more training during lunch and then only get a few evening hours with my family.

Little Rory is now a master at dishing out High Fives. He gives proper hugs on demand and has also taken three/four steps multiple times now. The Little Legend is growing so fast and taking so much in. I’ve started him on Green Day as his entry to music, he’s not ready for Slayer quite yet, but we will get there.

Fresh Blood:

We made a new cycling friend during the Festive period which put into perspective just how tiny the world truly appears to be.
I received a message from Martyn who rides for Edinburgh RC. He lives in Edinburgh now but originally hails from the village I now find myself living in. Oddly enough we have raced against each other multiple times across Scotland but our paths have never crossed properly.
Martyn was spending time back home at his parents for Christmas. After a few messages back and forth planning some training we established that his parents were literally next door neighbours of mine. It was a truly bizarre coincidence which gave us a good laugh but it worked out great for training rides!


East to West. 205KM Distance & 1780m Climbing:

No prolonged spell off work would be complete without a big day out in the saddle. I’ve had this big route in my head for a long time and was really keen to do it. So it was awesome to finally get a crack at it. Especially since the weather has been so kind recently allowing us to manage this type of ride at the tail end of December!


Fellow Fifer Chris tolerated my company for our adventure and Martyn accompanied us to Achnasheen (60KM into the ride) as he had other commitments he had to get back for unfortunately.
The first few hours heading West were grim. It was a block head wind and it was pissing with rain to top it off. Weather forecasting had promised us good things for when we would make it over to the West coast though. We soldiered on powered by hopes of sunshine and anticipation of a massive tailwind all the way home.

@ Kishorn looking over to the Bealach na Ba’

We even stopped at a cafe on this one. General rule being anything under 160KM’s is not worthy of a cafe stop.

Fun Fact: The 160KM cafe stop rule can be sacked off at any given time.

The planned cafe stop was at Shieldaig. A beautiful little village between the Bealach na Ba’ and Torridon. Unfortunately that cafe was closed because it was three days after Christmas and it’s still 1962 here in the Highlands.
Torridon was the next option and that worked out well. We sunk a couple of coffee’s which came accompanied with little bits of shortbread…. Hook, line and sinker they got us with their little samples and took our money for two further massive pieces of shortbread dangled in our faces on the counter.

Sunshine was finally living up to forecasted levels and we now had a strong westerly breeze to give us a helping hand all the way home. Suffering the block headwind and rain to the West coast earlier was now instantly all worthwhile as we set off for home.

@ Loch Clair. Of all our Lochs, she is one of my favourites.

Having fuelled this ride properly we both even had good legs after Kinlochewe and Achnasheen. The only thing putting a downer on it now was the loss of daylight and the creeping feelings of hunger as home became ever closer.

No power/cadence/HR data after the cafe. Garmin rage!

I finished with 207KM but Chris went on to do another little local loop to add another 35KM to his day. Everybody, well mostly just me to be honest, thinks he is a complete nutter. That’s because he is…. but training for a 24 hour race at the end of January kind of puts it into perspective and makes it appear 1% less ridiculous. He’s silly strong but still a nutter!

Onto 2019:

That rounds out 2018 which was an insanely fast year in every way.
I hope 2019 slows down a little in comparison. There should certainly be no more house moves for me thank goodness. I would say I hope not another job move either but unfortunately that is an unavoidable situation for me and all of my colleagues having been informed of redundancy.

Clear and positive minds. Lets focus on what can be and not what once was.