Last week was a week of 2 halves. I had smashed 80km for the week by Tuesday evening but was feeling tired and had that feeling that I could be coming down with something. Master 15 had a dreadful head cold with full sinuses and, as showers and colder weather was forecast I decided to drive to work. Which was a good decision. While we were sure that this wasn’t the C word invading our house, we took the pragmatic view to get him tested-if he was well enough to go to school, they would have sent him home with the cough caused by the postnasal drip, such is the world that we live in. I left work at 10.30 pm with plans to get him tested on Thursday morning through Occupational Health, hopeful of getting the result in 24hrs so we only had to isolate for 1 day. Nothing is ever straight forward, more so now so we were well into the weekend before our suspicions were confirmed. Just a nasty head cold. I kissed my aspirations of 4th 200km week dunning goodbye but a least I delayed riding in the cold rain by another week.
House cleaning, Scrabble and a boxset later over a monster mountain of ironing and we are now back to the normal of remembering a mask wherever we go, but the abnormal of having an ironing box that closes without employing a sumo wrestler to sit on it. What else has become normal again is the second skin of a merino base layer. After a the welcome visit by summer a couple of weeks ago the warmth has all but disappeared for 6 months so I’ve made a plan to climb into the remaining miles and get to 5000 for the year ASAP. Then I’ll take a holiday from riding. I am beginning to like winter bike commuting about as much as the C word.
So it was with renewed motivation that I hauled the 29er out of the van and exited the supermarket car park at 06.15. I was tired after yesterday’s 50km start to the week and the drizzle coating my jacket in the dark quickly dried up my enthusiasm. The blinkies are good enough on the quiet roads to be seen without affecting my vision at so I didn’t need the full beam unless I was in the dark of the woods. At least the wet stuff falling from the sky filled the troughs and pot holes of the trails, way marking my lines along the off road route. It was a reasonably smooth ride as my balding tyres struggled with any grip in the muddy bits but these, although few and far between, sprayed me with a fine speckled shower of brown camo. The grit grinding on my rear cog announced that riding these trails will soon be replaced with the smooth surface of roads until April. All good things must come to an end eventually I guess.
Work stole my time. Sure, working remotely had bought me some but I was still nearly an hour late in leaving, frustrated about things beyond my control. As we enter autumn with the Covid threat on health on all fronts, I was deeply resentful of it adding more layers of bureaucracy to my life. I texted ahead to meet the boys in the supermarket to choose a desert for dinner by way of placating my guilt at being late to meet them. I should have enjoyed the sun and lack of wind on the ride along the quiet country roads but a sense of urgency and the unfair nature of having my time stolen by the organisation grated on my sense of well being.
When I got there, my mood had lightened. Happy to see the boys? Happy that the work day was finally over? Whatever it was, the ride did the trick to change the negativity so I rode with it and took the dog out for a sunset stroll to end the day.