This week was return to school week and a return in part to the familiar commuting routine. School wasn’t back until Wednesday but I rode in to work to cover for 2 hours on Tuesday. I began to test out the tail bag and stuffed a new pair of shoes and a couple of shirts into it for the trip. The shirts came out crumpled but they’re only for work; it’s not like I am taking tea with HRM or anything like that…
On the way home, I stopped off to collect a tool keg to complete the set up and passed 4,000km for the year. On target for 6,000km for the year if I average 128km a week from here on in.
Locked and loaded. Maybe even for a short tour in the future on the crosser.
Wednesday, I drove in due to rain and a sore shoulder. Thursday saw the return of the school run/park and ride combo commute. I took my time negotiating the bumpy trails and kept off road for around 80% of the route to work. It was familiar but novel after a couple of weeks of driving and sharing other routes on roads with cars. I more or less followed the same route back in the evening just because I love the solitary escapade from a busy life that this route affords.
Commuting in the car, I am detached from my surroundings, listening to current events on the radio, competing on the road to get somewhere ASAP like an automaton. Devoid of pleasure. On the bike on these quiet routes, I am the outside, accompanying my surroundings. Startling a red kite gorging on a snack on a newly ploughed field, attending the early morning avian chorus in the trees; this is how I like to commute. Although cooler, it’s still dry. I have to make the most of this while the days draw in. Riding in the winter is no longer the novelty it once was. I am over the layers, the ice, the rain and the frigidity. I don’t think that I can face another 6 months in the changing area at work without heating. At least I think so right now.
So on Friday I was a bit time pressured and couldn’t really get a full commute in. So I made use of free parking at the cricket club and rode the short distance to work. It wasn’t long enough but was good enough for another 16km. I spent the saved £2.50 parking fee on a pint of Wiley Old Fox later that evening, a much better use of my salary.