Can’t stand the rain? Learn to love it – you’ll be glad you did.
If I could have a pound for every time I’ve been asked how I always get blue skies in my pictures… The answer is, or rather was, actually very simple: I only ever went out in good weather.
Anyone who’s tried to take a photograph in the rain, even on a phone, will tell you how frustrating it can be just keeping the lens dry let alone the electronics inside. And when your work depends on the quality of the image, and the camera in question is worth more than your car, it is the only logical way to do things and I’ve become quite a good reader of forecasts.
So truth is, mountain biking with me has always been a good thing: you only ever go out in the sun.
But this has a downside too. And it’s only since I started MTBGuiding, and started going out in all weathers that I realised it.
It has made me soft. And I had got to the point where I didn’t want to do anything in bad weather.
Well I’m pleased to say that all that’s changed. A combination of the wettest winter I can remember, a need to keep my fitness up and a desire to just keep bashing the trails has meant that I have ridden more this winter than any I can remember.
And the point of writing this?
Because it’s actually been fun. I’ve enjoyed every cold, wet, windy moment of it. Well, the warm tea, cake and shower afterwards at least.
I’ve sloshed through floods, skittered down rock gardens that bore more than a passing resemblance to waterfalls, sunk in bottomless bogs, been knocked half unconscious by hail stones the size of marbles, and even pedalled head first into blinding snow driven by gale force winds. And yet I’ve managed a smile every time.
So for all those that have always done this, respect; you were right all along.
But if you’re not one of those; and you’re thinking of getting out in the near future. And if (should that be when?) the weather once again looks awful and you’re tempted to abort. Ignore those temptations and go… it’s only really ever the first few minutes that feel totally horrible. After that you just stop caring.
Think of the calories burned, think of the warm fire waiting for you at the end. Or the tea and cake (did I mention them before), the pint, the shower or just the smug feeling of satisfaction that you braved it when others stayed at home. Think of anything really as long as you go.
It may be a cliché but it’s true: it really is never as bad as it seems.
Cold and snowy in the Yorkshire Dales