Started the week with a commute home off road stylee on Monday, plan was to mountain bike from work to home all the way, taking in Swinley forest on route, well I was delayed leaving the office and I knew "her in doors" was going out so it all got a bit tight for time.
Nothing to do but go for it and hope I didn't get too much of a telling off for getting back late.
I absolutely rode the wheels off my Genesis, the route slightly differed to usual on the run up to Swinley forest which came and went in a flash. Other side of Swinley I made a mistake and went off course missing a road out which was no bother, bizarrely the road I missed was called "Hodge Lane" what are the chances of that......well just as bizarrely the road i ended up on had house off it called "Christopher cottage"...spooky i thought.
Usual time for mountain bike commute is 2hrs 15 mins to 2 hrs 30 mins, not today, just under 1hr 53 mins, absolutely smashed it, didn't get told off by the misses either, just a mild heart attack, having pedaled as hard as I could, constantly, all the way, chuffed just the same.
Tuesday heralded a return to commuting on my DIY bike, still adorned with it's winter snow tyres, the plus side being i could go cross country on my usual single speed cyclocross route.
It was a bit strange having gears to change, I kept forgetting to change up or down. nice and quick though and great to be back on it.
Wednesday I was working from home which permitted a long lunch, bike ride. I had plotted a route which followed the Burnham Beeches Cycle Way and home again which I thought could have made a nice ride out for my ickle girl.
Considering it is "sold" as a family route, I wasn't impressed, for the first half I largely knew the roads, none of which would I choose to be on and I certainly wouldn't have chosen to be on with my 10 year old.
As I neared Burnham Beeches, the roads opened up a bit and quietened down, knowing that there are some beautiful traffic free roads through the Beeches I was expecting a nice section ahead. This was not to be, the route taking me on a short sharp road straight accross via a massive dip which would have been terrifying for little tot on the way down and unrideable on the way up, not impressed so far!.
Burnham Beeches behind me, the route continued on to Black Park. The roads much nicer for this part but more akin to nice audax roads than family riding roads.
Some confusion as I got to Black Park itself, then through the park, past the pushchairs and bewildered looking mum's and I was on the return route home following Sustrans cycle network route 61, this I had ridden before and except for having to ride past a school as they kicked out for lunch is a nice quiet ride. Route 61 goes through Upton Park in Slough, somewhere I rarely venture, this time with some time in my back pocket I thought I would see if a couple of places from my childhood had changed in 25 years. Both were next to each other.
The first was Remote World Model Car Club, back when i were a lad i was into radio control cars and race at this track frequently, it used to cater for electric cars rather than purely IC cars as it does today. It looked a bit posher and more permanent than i remember despite that it once held a round of the world chamionships. Someone was testing their car, the familar sound of a glowfuel engine flat out was a nice blast from the past.
The next location to visit and ever so slightly more topical was Slough BMX track. 1986 Slough hosted the World BMX Championships, that's right folks, 2 world class venues 50ft apart and in Slough. It was sad to see it had deteriorated significantly, though testament to how well it must have been built, it was still rideable, just not 4 abreast. For old times sake I rode around breathing in the dust of my childhood, and the M4 fumes, remembering the camel humps and the banked corners, I was 10 all over again.
For the remainder of my journey home I wafted along feeling both nostalgic and a little melancholy but the sun was shining and my lunch break nearly over. I arrived home with very much mixed feelings about this route, one thing I was certain of was that the Beeches Cycleway is not a great route to take your kiddiewinks on.
Friday I was back in the office and decided to bike and train it. Uneventful as it was, it was nice to have pedaled all the same.
No cycling at the weekend, though I was satisfied with my varied cycling exploits giving me encouragement for the 200K planned for next week.
Total distance for the week 161.6K
Total distance for the year 1277.4K