Welcome to instalment four of Project Best Winter Ever. I’m currently a few months into my first winter as a new dad and our daughter will turn one in the second half of January.
I’ve been documenting my winter as I go about balancing my cycling with being a dad first the first time. I aim to have my best winter ever on the bike despite the challenge by mixing things up, exploring the online world of Zwift whilst I’m time crunched and attempting to stay consistent.
It hasn’t been completely plain sailing so far, and I can hear the cries of “no chance mate” and “might as well kiss the cycling goodbye” from certain parents out there. But I’m an optimist for the most part and see no reason why I can’t balance the two. I should also state the obvious now and mention that my job also allows a good bit of riding at times, which I’m very lucky to have.
I had a blip a few weeks ago and discussed how things got a good bit harder. A serious lack of sleep kicked in due to the baby not sleeping well at all. I think we’ve been lucky with how the little one has slept for the most part so far, which possibly lulled me into a bit of a false sense of security. Throw in a bit of a knee injury which you can read about in part three, and the time needed for it to sort itself out and bike time was seriously diminished.
Luckily, it seems like things are on the up again now.
After laying off the bike for a few weeks and minimising my riding, my knee does now seem to be pain-free on the bike and walking about. I can feel some light pulling in the front of my kneecap still which I’m still working on, but I think I’m out of the woods.
As such, as mentioned last time, the time was right just before Christmas to lay down a bit of a marker and get a rough idea of my fitness and see what work needs to be done to improve my condition into the new year and the rest of the winter.
It was nice to get this benchmark, even though my preparation during the day wasn’t amazing; not managing hydration or fuelling etc. However, because I’m a bit of a nerd, I did swap my waxed chain from my best bike onto the winter bike for a little morale boost.
I got stuck in, jumping onto the trainer in the window I had before we put the baby to bed. This is a job that I tend to do, so I had to get cracking.