It is the first day of the Christmas holidays and my son has a stinking cold which he has no doubt already passed on to me, so before the symptoms took hold I decided to head out into the gloriously horizontal weather to get a few miles in. The wind carried me effortlessly down the valley before dumping me at the foot of a selection of hills blocking the route home, from which I chose a meandering back-road and byway climb towards food and warmth. The back-roads and byways were chosen largely for their capacity to hide me from the blustering headwind, but once I’d gained some height there was little chance of shelter anywhere and it was a case of gritting teeth and grinding away to make any progress. Head down and hiding a grin I made my way through the wind and rain; I like riding in lousy weather really, provided I have the right kit and the energy required. There’s a great sense of satisfaction knowing you are out fighting the elements when most would stay at home, and it’s always good to feel that you’ve achieved something on a day when it would have been very easy to justify sitting by the fire instead.