Sunday, 16 March 2014

Week & 11 my cycling drought ends

Due mainly to going on holiday cycling ceased for 4 weeks !!!!

Week 7 was mostly spent searching for my daughters passport, diplomacy and panic meant that cycling of any description would have been a bad move.

Week 8 was spent basking in the sun in Malaga, exercise came mostly in the form of Table tennis, pool and swimming :-)

Week 9 oh the unpacking and the getting back into work mode grrrrr

Week 10 consumed by work, morning, noon and night, still no cycling

Week 11 Back in the saddle........

Monday started great with a commute to work, i was absolutely buzzing the night before whilst i made preparations, although i thought i was going to struggle, having not cycled in 4 weeks so i set my alarm 5 minutes earlier than normal.
My single speed cross bike is my weapon of choice for commuting these days and it is pretty much perfect.
Due to the flooding in my area i wasn't sure if pedaling along the Thames tow path to Windsor was going to be an option, fortunately for me my gamble paid off and the path was clear and very dry as it happens. Next decision was whether to chance going through Windsor Great Park. The rule is that you can only enter from dawn till dusk, i pedaled on and into the park, initially there is a hill as you proceed through Rangers Gate, then you round a corner and can see across the long walk and Windsor castle, as i did so, i was greeted by the most beautiful tequila sunrise. I reckoned that confirmed that i could legitimately say it was dawn. The rest of the ride was uneventful all be it refreshing (read, pretty chilly) and it was great to be back on the bike.
For my commute home i made a change to my usual routine which is to get ready a bit before i should so i can sprint to the earliest train i can. This always causes me a little stress, as i get to the cycle path 1/2 a mile from the train station i am always met by a legion of students, if i was of a different disposition i would find it hilarious, particularly when its dark, riding up behind these youf's and scaring the living day lights out of them, however they often jump six feet in the air or have to be told repeatidly by their mates to move, bla bla bla, therefore after that long winded explanation, the change i made was to just get the later train. It was bliss no traffic outside the schools and no critical mass of students.
I knew it would be bright enough to go the Windsor Great Park which i did. overall it was a billiant commute, arriving home famished and overjoyed about how great it was to be pedalling again.

Tuesday, wow where do i start.......i was working from home...this was particularly useful as
I had been invited to participate in a focus group for Cyclist magazine, whereby i had been asked, along with other equally awesome cyclists to talk about cycling and cycling magazines. For my expert views and opinions i would be rewarded with a heart stopping ride through London from the train station to the venue, free sandwiches, juice and Beer with a £50 note to take away. This was all performed hipster style with my single speed and my jeans turned up, oh yer baby, i blended right in.
It was a great evening, really interesting. Most of the others were preferring a publication called Cycling Active and thought Cyclist was a bit elitist, i disagreed. Strangely i had only just started reading the issues of Cyclist which i had purchased as part of a free offer some months ago. I have to say i think it is a brilliant magazine with beautiful photography, i will certainly be seeking it out more in the future or reading it in the library (WHSmiths), other publications are available, indeed Cycling Active is quite good for the beginner and Cycling Plus is better still for someone who knows a bit my opinion.

Ah but before i got to go to go and do the above i discovered something amazing. BTW i am still excited which is why i am rambling on.

From previous blog entries you may or may not be aware that i have an entry for Eroica Britannia , a retro cycling event and festival which makes it's British debut this year. This event is in association with L'Eroica which is in Tuscany where the riders cycle on the now protected white gravel roads of the area. Getting an entry to L'Eroica is pretty tricky, it is by ballot, unless your a journalist, it is also limited greatly if you are a non national. I thought it might work like the marathon ballot.....apply, don't get in but then you stand a better chance the following year and so on and so forth. Well it doesn't. The Mayor of Gaiole in Chianti drawers the application numbers out of a hat.
Guess what happened....go on guess....oh alright then...i'm in........ WOOHOo
I don't believe it
My euphoria ebbed and rose frequently as i fought in my own mind, the practicalities of actually going. Moving from flirting with the attitude of "i simply must go" to "but i haven't got any money and the Mrs will kill me".

Wednesday there was a plan, it involved getting up early, working from home, pedaling a stolen route at lunchtime then carry on working........this didn't go according to plan...... i overslept a little, i worked, i got distracted, i didn't cycle, instead i looked up flights to Tuscany, i carried on working.
The wife came home, with a heavy heart i spilled the beans on my entry to L'Eroica, she said....."i've always wanted to go to Italy, is this bike ride of yours in a nice bit?" "Tuscany" i say "is one of the most beautiful places in the world let alone in italy, yes it is a nice bit" she says "why don't we all go and make a family holiday of it" i nearly crap myself with excitement and say "ok"....................double Woohoo...........she was partly persuaded by the fact that my accumulation of airmiles means we can get there cheap as chips.........the kids are home so i refrain from doing a stupid dance around the kitchen and just play it cool whilst inside i am woohooing big time.

That night i stayed up late looking at pictures and videos of past L'Eroica's which meant i was too tired to get up early and cycle to work Thursday

Friday was rock and roll to work day again, the fog was unbelievable, poor visibility it certainly was. Based on Monday being dawn as i went through Windsor great park i ignored the fact that due to the fog is was really dark and proceeded through it anyway.
it was a lovely and uneventful commute both to and from work, the beautiful sunshine of the journey home was a great reward to what had been a polarising week of happiness and deep concentration on work stuff. 
Despite other plans to raid the local trails and roads on 2 wheels over the weekend, the sunshine called me to the garden for home improvement.

total distance for the week 112.4K
total distance for the year 919.7K

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