The warm weather has paid us another visit but I could only commute twice this week due to school hols and an after work appointment. Still, it isn’t bad for only 3 working days. On Monday I rode an extended errand to the supermarket to replace the usual from/to school run. Tuesday was spent at work on a day off to part cover sick leave and to make sure that a course went ahead but I was time pressured so couldn’t ride.
Wednesday was 23°C at 6 a.m. and I kitted out in my training shorts over the bib shorts and went sleeveless on top wearing my supporters training vest. No one can really call me a MAMIL. I rode the country trails, avoiding traffic and soaking in the early morning sights and sounds while my clothes soaked up the sweat. The temperature was ramping up quickly. By the time I arrived at the supermarket near work at 20km, I was saturated. I spent a leisurely 10 minutes wandering around the chiller aisles cooling off while I browsed for milk. I arrived at work, feeling epic and half filled my water bottle and put it in the freezer ready to top up for later so as to have a cool drink on the return journey.
The UK really doesn’t have good infrastructure for extremes in temperature. The whole place seems to fail when it happens. Trains were running slow because of the heat effect on the rails, people were late for work or failing to cope. Swap heat for snow or leaves in the winter. My building has no AC and everyone (the same people who moan at the rain or the cold) was berating the heat. Except me. Clever use of science and scant resources meant that my part of the building was bearable. Closed blinds, open windows and open teaching room doors with the strategic use of a fan creates a soothing draft. I am the envy of my colleagues in our Victorian building.
I snuck away early. By now it was 30°C & my trousers had to be peeled off when I got changed. “You’re riding your bike home in this? OMG you’re mad!” Was a comment. Not mad, just committed is the reply. Besides, hauling the bike onto a packed, slow hot train is not my idea of fun. Riding along the river? Now that’s fun.
After 5km, the ice had melted in my bottle. But it didn’t feel that much warmer than the morning as I bumped my way along the unpaved path avoiding over hanging branches and bugs. I had thoughts of a pub stop but resisted by taking a couple of quiet lanes and bridleways. I finished off riding through the forrest followed by a shady blast down the Flitch way.
I was greeted with a tall glass of icy cold water and an excited dog, ready to lick the sweat from my pate. Tomorrow is forecast to be warmer. Please stay a while longer summer, I’ve missed you…