The only thing going for me this morning was a mild-for-December ride this morning. No fumbling with tights at 6 a.m, no layering hand wear and no trying to talk myself out of riding because it was too cold during the process. The forecast had a “real feel” of 5°C. After a day of riding in 8-11°C there was NO WAY that I was missing out on continuing to experience this winter bonus. At the supermarket car park, I did err on the side of caution and wore my winter gloves. In my world, < 5°C is my threshold for climbing through the tights so today my legs could cope if it was cooler than that but my fingers certainly would not.
Although I was apparently heading into a sort of a head breeze at 10mph, I felt zippy, one of those effortless days of feeling powerful with little energy expended. The threatening roar of rush hour was shut out as I guided Doris on her line, avoiding puddles and pot holes, cracks and crevasses on the scarred roads of East Hertfordshire. Soon, I entered newly announced Tier 3 West Essex, equally the same only apparently more threatening in terms of droplets and aerosol spread.
I made it to work in an endorphin glow, fresh and sweaty, having overdressed for what was a mid autumn ride. Still, rather too hot than too cold, I say. I showered and had a (half) day of hell. Distractions and bureaucracy left me far short of my best, by a long way. The less said, the better.
By 13.00, the light showers had passed and it was sunny and like late September again. I confidently swapped my winter gloves for the thermal fingerless gloves looking forward to more of the morning’s glory. If November was attritional, today was anything but. Again, the rises up a busy road, usually a b@$T@®D after a busy day seemed to be non existent or at least not painful. I stopped at Cycle King to collect a couple of spare tubes, a necessary break. I had repaired punctures on both bikes front tyres yesterday and did not want to be fixing a puncture in the cold when replacing the tube out on the road will be easier. I remember summoning the puncture demon last week and was dreading the battle with the Marathon Plus tyre. There was a leak around the patch that I put on years ago so I just swapped the tube over. The tyre was surprisingly easy to get back on.
Today on the commute, everything fell into place. It was good, damned good…