A Change is as Good as a Rest?

I’ve just had the best six months of my life.

I was able to take six month of shared parental leave from work to look after my baby during the first year. That time is over and reality has brought back to work with a bump. Now I like my job, it is kind of unique and interesting, but it is not looking after baby.

Now as far as my riding and fitness was concerned looking after baby had its own impacts and “compromises” if you can even call them that. I wrote about trying to fit fitness training around looking after baby in a previous post. Once established, the time to ride my bike became a part of the regular routine. There were a few outings of the “Rad Dads Club“, myself and another rider with a similar family setup hitting the trails and sharing the tales of being a new dad.

Scolty DH 2
Rad Dads

The time on the bike whilst certainly great, wasn’t enough in itself to keep certain areas of my fitness where they once were. One of the things that I was missing in terms of my training during those months was gym work.

I had previously used my works excellent gym, getting in three too four sessions a week during my lunch hour. I had used this time to build power and keep my overall condition as good as possible, especially during the period approaching a race.

any other cyclists found a brand with a more generous thigh?

Without this block in my training, I had noticed a weakening of my power output on the pedals, especially over longer sprints. Whilst this meant my thighs fitted in my jeans better (seriously, any other cyclists found a brand with a more generous thigh? then please leave a comment below.) it was an area that now needed work. Particularly with my return to the Tour De Ben being the new focus of any training.

A change is as good as a rest they say

A change is as good as a rest they say, my families routine and rhythm has changed again, and it will take some time to settle into its new pattern and for the time to ride to once again become part of that routine. Until the rhythm is established, the gym is my main outlet, to build on the good base that I was able to establish whilst looking after the little one and to progress my fitness.

Whilst the gym is refreshing and the impacts of the time spent there will pay dividends when I aim to improve on my past Tours. It is not looking after baby.

Things will settle, things adapt, I will settle, I will adapt.


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Mount Battock

Standing silently behind Clachnaben, Mount Battock looks a innocuous little peak behind its more popular sibling.

Not one to be underestimated, it is nearly 200m higher than Clachers and enjoys unbroken views in all directions. Sometimes, all you need is a proper hardtail hoof, a stiff climb and to go 40-50km on the way back down.

On these sorts of rides I like to listen to music, tunes help me keep a good rhythm in the climbs and off the anchors on the way back down. But a playlist on random can be a funny thing, when your going full gas and Belle and Sebastian’s “The Boy With the Arab Strap” comes on, it is a little incongruous to be on the attack, if you know what I mean.

So heres the soundtrack to a ride, a great climb (almost) up a stonking big hill and a fast charge back down.

Clachnaben Mount Battock cycling
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Gold Lion
Glen Dye Mount Battock Mountain Bike
Get Innocuous – LCD Soundsystem
Glen Dye Mount Battock Cross Country Scotland
Without You – Junip
Glen Dye Mount Battock sheep shed
Hey – The Pixies
Mount Battock Climb out of Glen Dye Mountain Bike
White Light – Gorillaz
Mount Battock Climb Enduro Scotland
King Of The Mountain – Kate Bush
Mount Battock Shooting Cabin
Crimes Against Pop – Motormark
Mount Battock desert Mountain Bike Scotland Stravaiging
The Beat That My Heart Skipped – Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip
Glen Dye to Mount Battock Mountain Bike
Under Your Spell – Desire


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