A lazy morning of procrastination not having any great desire to throw a leg over the Saddle and set off in to the Wind and Rain but at the same time I knew that I needed to get out and chalk off a few more kilometres from the target because the clock is still ticking.
A late brunch did not help with the motivation but eventually I got changed, donned the Waterproof Jacket and ventured out in to the elements. I set off along the Newtownards road to the Ulster Hospital and then the main road to Comber the Rain a constant companion. Along the way I saw no sign of Ice so decided to risk the Ballydrain road round by Castle Espie where the Rain temporarily abated and a Rainbow appeared on the horizon.
It was another Windy day not what weary legs, body and mind needed. As I turned to ascend up towards Lisbane that wind blasted me head on, I was down to my easiest gear and making very little progress. The inner Chimp filled my head with thoughts of quitting and going home but I knew if I bailed out today it would only make completing this challenge infinitely harder.
From Lisbane I took the main road back towards Comber each gap in the hedge saw me battered by a cross-wind trying to blow me off line so I took to the lanes again down to the Ballydrain road in the forlorn hope of a bit of shelter from that wind. Down the Greenway back to Dundonald with a little over 20 miles done, thoughts again turned to calling it a day and going home. At that point my mate Gavin sent me this picture, it almost cracked me! But I knew I needed a bit more distance to keep me on track to successfully complete the festive 500 challenge.
Down the Greenway to the Beersbridge road and on came the Rain again, through the streets then through Ormeau Park then back down the Ormeau embankment. Through the short strand to the SSE Arena and finally for a brief moment I caught a tailwind on the Sydenham road and what a tailwind it was the Bicycle almost pedalling itself.
Briefly out the Airport road then across the Sam Thompson Bridge in to Victoria Park, round the Park, along the Connswater to C.S. Lewis Square and home by the Greenway for a hard earned 36 miles.
With two days of the festive 500 remaining I need a little over 100 kilometres to complete the challenge. If I was fresh and well rested, which by this stage I very definitely am not, I could ride that in just a Morning. But tomorrow and Sunday has more strong wind forecast which will exhaust what little energy is left.