One of my yearly goals has been realised. 118 commutes for 2020 means that I have officially averaged 100 commutes every year for the last 5 years. I can thank the C word for this. With lock down in spring and early summer, cricket cancelled and less traffic on the roads the stars aligned to get me out more than I usually could. On the flip side, if it wasn’t for the resurge of the C word, I would have achieved this earlier in the year. Self iso x 2 (despite not testing positive once either on the swab or antibody test) has meant less opportunity to ride to work in October/November.
Latterly master13s entire year having an enforced 14 day “break” has meant that one of us has to stay at home if only to ensure a live class streaming habit instead of the dreaded Fortnite one. We learnt from lock down 1.0 that social iso for teens is not good for anyone’s health when parents are required to be elsewhere. We made the easy decision that work could function without one of us and if it happened, the boys were more important than whatever work needed us to do. So instead of commuting the past few days I’ve had to make do with replacement loops and excuses to do errands to keep my mileage up as well as providing supervision of learning. Consequently my sanity which given last week at work and working from home remains just on right side of the precipice. The excessive demands at work pushes me closer so this edge so I’m taking leave when I can and avoiding my in-box when I do.
This week, some days are sunny and cold, some misty and cold, some wet and cold. Cold. Less than 5°C is my threshold to pull the bib tights out of the drawer and yesterday was the first that we had seen each other since early March. This morning was cold and thankfully it was a short one due to a late finish. It was perhaps fitting that this ride started at the supermarket car park, a regular on Thursdays but the one that marked commute #118 for the year. Its a convenient go to whatever day it is now that winter has come to stay for a while. I haven’t got my merino lined inner gloves yet but at 1°C this morning I sure needed them.
I took my crosser, Doris. We have been together for nearly 7 years but due to a preference to riding off road and exploring traffic free routes, she has only been out occasionally in the last 2 years. Before you say it, she has Marathon Plus tyres as the tread wears out on the gravel tyres too quick going by road. Besides, without trying to summon the puncture demon, those tyres are so good, I can only remember 2 punctures using them. Which is just as well-they’re a B@$T@®d to get back on, especially in the cold. Compared to the 29er on the roads, she is zippy and I feel like a pro with my head down busting down hills.
I arrived at work but forgot to pause Strava on my phone and after walking around at work for another 500 metres, my speed had slipped from an epic average of 22.5km/hr. It was thankfully my only day this week as taking a study day tomorrow, watching a couple of webinars and if that gets boring, there is always wallpaper to strip.
I got out by 21.15 with the usual moaning from my legs that they weren’t really up for even a short ride. But it was my lower back that gave me hell. After 3 rides on Doris, I think that I have to tinker a bit with the seating arrangements. And restart my stretches-has been so easy to get out of that habit with the distraction of moving house.
Onwards to my next goal, 8048km for the year (that’s 5000 miles) which is now < 400km away. On paper, I should cruise it but the opportunity and motivation is now less so that distance feels more like 10 times that. We’ll see…