Shhhhhhhhhhhh…..the pitter patter of the Riders on the Storm intro entered my head as my custom alarm wakes me from my slumber. Hit the snooze. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….. WAKE UP!!!
Almost immediately the melon committee announces itself. “There’s a cold northerly, its a bit blowy, you were gonna go via the Sheering road; you HATE going the Sheering road, 1st league match of the season tomorrow-you’re playing last year’s champs (you don’t wanna overdo it)….”
On & on it went until they remind me- “wait, it rained last night and you HAVE just fitted new mudguards, be a shame not to try them out. It doesn’t have to be a long one, just forget the Strava segments and go a bit slower and enjoy the tailwind for a change. You won’t be able to get out until Sunday & you DID say that you wanted a 2nd imperial ton again this week”.
On I hop. Almost immediately the front tyre rubs against the new mudguard. They’re at it AGAIN-“you shouldn’t even ride the shorter route, you’ll ruin that tyre”. No, I’m out here now, lets see how it goes, it may settle down.
2.5km in scuff scuff scuff. A maroon Vauxhall hatchback ignores a Give-Way sign. Thankfully my slower pace means that we don’t collide. FFS driver! What is it about the sign, my RED top and RED pack straps that you didn’t see??!
7km in, scuff scuff scuff. A classy black VW saloon thinks about pulling ahead of me instead of waiting at a junction but doesn’t and yields. He speeds past me almost immediately giving me heaps of room. Classy manners match the classy sleek shape, thanks driver. On I plod up to the Heath.
10km in, the Sheering road, scuff scuff scuff…No hare-brained passing antics & surprisingly less cars on the road as usual. Don’t understand it- I’ve left later so the road should be busier but it isn’t. Last time I was down here I was driving and heading a long line of cars as I stayed behind a cyclist daring not to pass, hypnotised by his effortless cadence speeding down the hill. Now I was him only slower, much slower.
19.5km, scuff scuff scuff….arrive at work refreshed, not tired as per melon committee fears. Must check out that front mudguard but leave it to get to the shower. I admire my 27kph speed. Really? I didn’t even feel like I tried. Take that melon committee! They swiftly retort, “that was a tailwind tiger you’re gonna hurt on the way back AND it might rain…”
Work ends. An awful week and I’m glad to end it with 3 days off ahead. I cruise down the hill. No scuff, scuff, scuff….eh? Whats changed? Probably the wind-diffucult to hear over it when you’re riding. I stop along the river path to check it out.
Instant peace. Mudguard seems the same. 1.5km in and I sit and enjoy the silence planning the rest of the route. 3km in I leave the river.Noise and lots of it. I head into the bastard North easterly. Chugging up the Sheering road, to the Heath and home, all the way struggling into this Arctic headwind.
It didn’t kill me and made me stronger. Looking forward to Sunday’s lazy 16km spin to get to that 2nd successful imperial ton. Take THAT melon committee…