I finally got back out on a bike again this morning after over a week with no riding. The weather has just been far too wet, I blame the government for allowing a drought to be declared throughout the UK about three weeks ago. Since then it has hardly stopped raining.
Today though dawned sunny as forecast, which is quite an unusual occurrence! It was quite windy but warm too. I set off fairly early on a well used ride of mine through the villages around the west and south outskirts of Bedford. As I was going through Wootton I was passed by another cyclist who appeared to be on a ‘mission’. I passed the time of day as he passed me with the usual ‘Hi!’ but there was no response from him. I thought to myself ‘Miserable @%&*(+ ” and kept up my steady cadence. He stayed ahead of me at varying distances of about two to four hundred metres. As he was wearing a bright red jacket he was quite easy to spot. Every time he came to a turning I was going to take, he took it ahead of me so we were obviously on the same route, convoluted as it was..
Going through the village of Stevington there is a very tight left turn and immediately on the turn was a ‘ROAD CLOSED’ sign ( obviously didn’t apply to cyclists !! ) and a digger making a big hole in the road. I spotted my ‘friend’ on the left walking with his bike around the machinery and I headed for the right side of the very narrow road and hopped up onto the pavement and kept riding without dismounting. I was now ahead.. I kept riding and waited for him to catch me again, which he did and this time we got into conversation, apparently he came from Newport Pagnell. I asked if he was maybe doing interval training as that might explain the concertina effect of our ride. He explained that he was doing a hundred mile ride today in preparation for a similar distance in the Lake District in a few weeks time. Every time he came to a hill he was pushing on and then relaxing when he came to the flats. He knew the hills around here were nowhere near as steep or as long or as exposed the as The Lake District but it was the best he could do.
That part of the ride was hard going as I was riding at his pace but the conversation made the miles pass quickly and practically unnoticed. I am guessing he was in his mid to late thirties and he was quite surprised when he learned my age and was quite flattering with his remarks. We eventually went our separate ways in Carlton. Me to complete my 31 mile ride and him to do his 100. He was going at quite a pace and if he kept that up he must be pretty fit. I knew where he was going and the return leg was directly into a south-east wind so I forewarned him as I had been struggling against it for the first part of my ride.
I rode my Specialized bike today not sure why but it was OK.. the extra couple of pounds increased the training benefit I guess.. It was quite a hard ride anyway on a tough day but at least a brief sunny interval.
Stop Press: I just heard on the weather news that April 1st was the only day this month that we didn’t have any rain at all and it has been the wettest April on record. That should go a long way to solving our alleged drought problems !!