Both of today’s rides were opportunistic and in the Store category but for different reasons
Errand 2: Store
Destination: Anywhere with water
Rationale: It has been a while since I’ve taken master 10 to one of his football matches (that’s soccer to everyone outside of Europe). They are usually quite entertaining affairs but mainly for the opposition spectators whose children gorge themselves on the goal scoring opportunities offered to them on a regular basis. Master 10 has problems getting ready and out of the house on time to be at the ground on time. This time he couldn’t find his shorts so in the end had to borrow his older brothers pair which thankfully fitted nicely. In fact, I think the laundry staff* may have accidentally put them in the wrong pile in the frenzy of house chores. We got there on time but on the way discovered that we/I had forgotten his water bottle. Being the elite athlete that he is (he wears #10 & thinks that he’s Messi), I thought it unreasonable to punish this fundamental error by making him go without. So, with the 29er in the back of the van, dropped him off and took advantage of the balmy 7°C temperature to spin my way to Stansted Mountfitchet 3km away to a store to get him a bottle of the rehydration fluid of choice our house-water.
The ride back was a somewhat truncated affair as anything < 10km is a bit, well hardly worth it. So I used my local knowledge and decided to check out a local shared path that avoids the bicycle close pass lottery, junction 8 of the M11 motorway. This included discovering a bridalway that I had seen on the OS map but never been able to find from the opposite direction. There has been work to improve this path to firm it up and I must say that while I enjoy a rutted path like the next off roader, it was a dream to tear down. It beats the pot holed chaos that currently blights the local road network after a prolonged period of road gritting….
I puffed my way up the bridge that goes over the M11 to find that the work continues to paving (yes, PAVING!!!) the section heading towards the airport and the field where the match took place.
I got back in time to watch an entertaining match. From the warm comfort of the van while sending live text commentary back to HQ…
HQ were less than impressed with the live commentary interruptions. They were in the kitchen preparing sweet potato and tofu curry for tonight’s dinner (look away now Jim).
* that’s probably me
Errand 3: Store
On the way home, master 10 gets a text from a friend. A group of them are meeting in town and want to know if he can join them. So we get back home, have lunch and, being a most excellent Dad, drive him in to town. HQ also needed some desiccated coconut to finish off the curry. Town is safe for a bunch of 10/11 year olds but I thought that I should be local to be on call in case of emergency.
Anyone who reads this blog will appreciate that I’ll be damned if I am going to waste my hard earned on driving back home only to go back 3 hours later to collect him. So I drove up to my local park and ride, purchased the coconut and rode my bike back home to deliver it before completing the loop back to town to collect him. The money that I saved on petrol paid for the coconut twice over (I live in the UK-the price of petrol is extortionate…).