The stretching regime is starting to have an impact to repair my aging, inflexible muscles and back. It was no more sore than yesterday this morning and that was without the Naproxen. I had to stop that because of the massive ulcer on my bottom lip. Only the Lord knows what it has done to my guts. I read that doing core exercises before a ride helps things so did a set of 3 x 25sec planks waiting for the coffee to brew before making the most of 18°C at 6 a.m. Not a cloud in the sky or a hint of wind-perfect. After 17km, with my back starting to ache, I stopped for a much awaited trail brekkie of overnight oats, yoghurt and fruit on the side of a trail-perfect.
If I had more time, it would have included coffee from my flask but I had to make an appearance at work at a reasonable time despite not having much on apart from running mandated PPE refresher sessions. I went to shower in the accommodation block to find a beast in the foyer. A folding e assist bike with fat tyres, 6in fat tyres! I had a look on the Internet for reviews and specs. Some sites describe these as a “snow bike” while others advertise the tyres as “moped” tyres. At 55lb/24kg I wouldn’t like to carry that big boy onto a train and with it being so heavy, I would need a motor to help me too. Some even have an accelerator throttle. Kind of like a motorbike without the fossil fuel and deadly silent, another potential road hazard. I have already encountered e scooters and even e skateboards about and these things look like they are here to stay. Not for my type of commute though
The first consultants to turn up were microbiologists. Not intimidating at all! Being lab based but providing ward outreach, they wanted to practice and all the while we chatted about the C word, public health, the latest evidence and Ebola. It was fun and I probably learnt more than they did. Enjoyable as everyday being a school day is, I was keen to get back out into what was now a hot blue day.
I may have acclimatised because it didn’t feel that hot. I did however prepare, half filling 2 bottles with water and freezing them for the day. One of them is my insulated bidon that is guaranteed to hold the temperature for up to 2 hrs. So with over a litre of water packed, I was all set for an enjoyable country ride home. Today was the type of day that was advertised in my minds eye during the desolate winter commutes in the cold and wet of November through March. Need a rest? Sure! why not lean the bike against that fence and sit under the oak tree and slurp on your bottle for a while. Feeling hungry? Great! let’s stop by that church yard and hoover that energy bar-eating while riding is for when it’s too cold to stop…).
Like a couple of weeks ago, the cloud joined me and things felt a little fresher as if rain was on the way. I more or less went where the wheels wanted to go, loosely following a longer route that I had in my head if my back felt OK.
Which it did although by coincidence gave it a rest stopping to transfer water from my bag to the bidon. So much for the guarantee-the ice had melted though the water was still cool. The roads were quiet for rush hour, a post Covid/school holiday phenomenon I think. With school planned to be back in September, I’m bracing myself for a return to chaos following the relative absence of the usual car traffic on the roads. There was more harvesting action going on in the fields as clouds of straw coloured dust were thrown up into the sky. It was a peaceful commuting summer ride, free from hassle, punctuated with a couple of stops.
I detoured to the shop to get some end of week lager and stopped near the Flitch to reacquaint myself with a can of Aunty Stella (Artois) & listen to TMS. The 1st Test is boiling up to quite an exciting finish. Pakistan zindabad!*
* I thought that I had posted this only to find that 2 days later, it was still in the drafts folder. It wasn’t quite Pakistan forever and a poorly led young team probably deserved better. But it was an exciting test all the same for myself as a neutral.