Riding bikes and making friends

I ride bikes. I think people are aware of that. This week has been pretty good for riding bikes.  It’s been fairly sunny this week, so after the deep dark gloom of never-ending winter I definitely felt that the summer was here. This made me realise that rather than moaning about not being able to ride my bike on Sunday mornings, I COULD RIDE IT ON SUNDAY NIGHTS INSTEAD.

Game changing! Thinking outside the box! EMPLOY ME to make changes in YOUR ORGANISATION!

Anyway.

On Saturday I had family plans and had to ensure I was back in sufficient time to be able to go out again. Yet also be satisfied with my bike ride, and suitably tired. But not so tired that I couldn’t speak. This meant that Bash Club was not an option, too late a start, far too likely to leave me unable/unwilling to do anything but grunt at my family.

I could do (epic) laps of Richmond Park! No. That’s just not even an option. It was slightly sunny, I wouldn’t get there until just before 8 probably. Team Sky would be holding auditions for domestiques and alpine specialists from 830 onwards. I would hate to have to turn down an offer of riding the cobbles, smashing the Tour of Britain, or working hard at the front in the Giro because I’ve already made a commitment to my club mates for this season. So, no, Richmond Park would not be an option.

I could turbo. No. Not an option. NOT EVEN FOR A SECOND. The sun is shining. I am not wasting this opportunity for two hours of bike for one hour of bike going nowhere. Sort of fast. Listening to this.

A victim.

Again.

So. That really only left this.

It was on this ride that I realised, the shop had been right when they said I needed a new cassette. Not being able to use the lower range of the cassette was quite problematic. And is my excuse for not doing better on some of these highly desired Strava sections.

After a particularly crazy couple of weeks with Alex working on at least 212 projects all requiring silk sheets, hand crafted buttons made from butter, and the ability for the project owners to fly without feeling sick, there’s been a brief respite from it all and life has now moved to the the other extreme. Everyone is at home, Alex is able to take Miriam to the childminder and collect her as well. Which meant that Tuesday could be a day for riding a bike again. Tuesday nights are off the cards for a long time. But Tuesday mornings? That could work right?

Which meant, what could I do before going to work? EPIC LAPS OF REGENT’S PARK!

Even stuck going round and round in circles feels different, when the sun is shining and the roads are empty. Watching people as I was going around and around was interesting. There was a clear change in the people present in the park as time progressed, initially the population was predominantly joggers and runners. Then people walking to work. The bike users of the park increased as it got to 8 am, mostly commuters, then weirdly as I was finishing more people in lycra. Avoiding the rush and going to work late? Taking time off work? Either way,  the park in the morning was more enjoyable than the park in the evening. My last experience was of someone tagging on to me and then not doing a turn that was helpful to me. AND THEY HAD A POSH BIKE.

And finally, Thursday night. Thursdays are the new Tuesdays. FACT!

I spent £8.60 to go on another brilliant night ride out in Kent. With the two Sams.

That’s all I kept seeing last night. Oast houses everywhere. And Exedown radio mast.

There were barely any cars out on the lanes, the moon was huge, pink and there was a partial eclipse. We got to the station with 7 minutes to spare, and one of the Sam’s cheekily stole the victory sprint to the station.  The last time I caught the train home from this station I was in bits. It was windy, I’d been on TT route, the final hill destroyed me, I was seeing stars, there were some kids smoking weed on the station. I was in a weird place without taking any drugs.  This time, I felt alright. We all had a chat and then two of us went home.

And that’s when we started making friends with Sasha. A slightly sunburnt, fully inebriated, 21 year old. It wasn’t so much a chat, more an open mic comedy night audition. Topics covered included racing bikes, self harm, parenting, drinking, fun fairs in Kent, the other youths on the train, value for money in Kent vs London (“£8.40 for 4 of these (Union black cider (8.4%) and 10 fags”), the fact you couldn’t buy strong booze in London (I had to disagree and tried to point him towards Okacim, although to be honest I don’t think Sasha was a listener).

Tomorrow, is Bash Club. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to avoid Anerley on the way home this time.

 

Last night’s song seems obvious now.

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Riding bikes and making friends

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