Having conquered my nerves and perceived danger caused by my mumbo jumbo superstitions from yesterday, it was back to my Friday routine. It was my last bike commute for work for a week. I had a break from coursework last night but made plans to do some during a quiet day at work so packed a some article copies into my bag and pedal off into the lifting mist of another mild October morning.
Lifting because of the 10mph headwind from the south. Still, if I waited for the perfect for a cycle, I would probably only ride 3 or maybe 4 days a year and the current mild temperatures are to be welcomed for sure. I went as many back roads as I could today, avoiding the A1184, going down the back of Sawbridgeworth parallel with the train line and river. I stopped at a large puddle and contemplated going back, across the river and onto the A1184. But I waited and watched some cars and vans plough through it as if it wasn’t there. Walk around it to avoid the deep parts and keep my feet dry? Nah, the edges were high and I’d get wet anyway so I decided to take a path through it and hope that it wouldn’t be as high as my bottom bracket.
I changed into the granny gears, got up enough speed to free wheel into it and pedalled though the shallowest part. My shoes got wet but not saturated and job done headed towards the temporary lights. Except there were no temporary. Bugger! I wanted to make all the waiting drivers envious as they watched me glide past them in a flame of pedal powered glory. Another time maybe…
I stopped at Aldi to get the last of the seasonal cycling special buys. I missed them last week and all the merino base layers were gone in Bishops Stortford yesterday. The Harlow branch always has more leftovers but there was only 1 left in my size so I nabbed that and some merino socks to replace my holey ones. I showered and powered through my admin and started on my coursework churning out another 300 words before I left at 3.30 taking my remaining time owing to start my annual leave early.
On the way home I discovered why there were no temporary lights. They had finished one section and moved down to start on another. The back road that I took was stationary with cars used to using it as a rat run to avoid the previous section. One clown decided that he didn’t have to give way to his right and moved his RangeRover across my path. “No matter, bump onto the footpath and beat you to the junction, see how far that gets you champ!”, I thought as I passed another 20 odd stationary vehicles. On the main road up to Sheering there was no traffic moving. I was just delighted at Mr RangeRover’s timely visit from Prof Karma. I pedalled along on the quiet, usually busy road out of Harlow content to have actualised my morning plan.
And then the steady stream of cars behind me passed as they were let out of their purgatory but not until I was well beyond my danger close passing points on the Sheering suicide. I didn’t see Mr RangeRover again to give him a wave which was a shame. Yes, I have a sad, vindictive outlook at times. I was soon home, soaking in the bath reading for my essay over an IPA.
No bike commutes next week barring a better national emergency than what we have now. Things have felt quite attritional lately so I’m hoping that the break will do me good.