Good day. Day light is increasing; the sun is higher; the temperature is moderating; February is at an end; March is a hare on the hound (okay, I just made that one up).

I’m not mad as a hatter (yet) but I’m looking forward to freedom from COVID-19 and the confines imposed by the authorities. Covid-19 will end and I will end. Let’s hope it’s the former before the latter.

All to say that I’m restive and ready for the road, having spent many hours on the skate skis since January. I can say that I know every corner and curve and rise on the FLP in Gatineau, having climbed that stretch of road on my skate skis four times a week for several weeks. I can say, too, that the FLP is much easier to ascend on a bicycle. Skate skiing is basically an all out sprint for two plus hours; whereas, cycling has moments of rest, however fleeting. But, I learnt something the other day about skate skiing. It was a revelation, not in the biblical sense, though.

If you’ve been put off skate skiing because you don’t skate, think again. Skate skiing is actually akin to hiking more than to skating. Funny, eh. Everyone can hike; not everyone can skate. I’ve been doing it wrong for almost four years and am now trying to unlearn and to step forward in a different way. Progress has been slow but it’s coming. I should be good at by age 75. Haha.

Okay, so all this blather is by way of saying that I’m going to take a pass on the RLCT this year because a) it’s scheduled for August and I’d rather ride the PEI Grandfondo and b) I’m not interested in the RLCT 50 for 50 scheduled for May and c) everything is up in the air anyway because of COVID-19 and the question marks about the vaccination rollout. But, who knows. Maybe, things will change and the RLCT will become a thing of interest in 2021, after all.

It also looks as is air travel will be non-starter for several months. That means no Mallorca in April. That means cold weather cycling in April. I’m thinking we’ll have an early start to the season and would expect to be riding by April 01, maybe sooner. So, if you’ve been neglecting your fitness, it’s not too late to up the ante. Thirty days of concentrated training will see you in good stead for the start of the season.

Regarding your bike, if you haven’t already taken it to the shop for maintenance and mechanical fitness/safety, you might want to book now. If there’s another lock down, as Dr Tam is predicting, it might be difficult to get an appointment. Also bicycle parts are in short supply. Okay, I’m not your mum. Got it.

BTW, don’t you just love our MP, Cheryl Gallant. She never fails to surprise (but not in a good way). What a treasure – NOT.

Here’s to your health and fitness. May you have vigour and vitality in 2021.

– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling (currently open)
– IG @arnpriorcycling (private)
– WP; formerly but no longer available as at March 01.

Life is short, and art long, opportunity fleeting, experimentations perilous, and judgment difficult. Hippocrates