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July 2017

Get out there anyway

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The week had passed without a bike ride.

All the calculations pointing at a ride on Wednesday, if not two, on Tuesday and Thursday, turned out to be flawed.

The most unlikely scenario was accompanying some visiting Aussies to the Timber Trail on Friday, necessitating a day out of the office: a plan I admit was as realistic as our retirement scheme of winning First Division. Attractive, but not something I would put money on.

The weather was perfect, but that ride didn’t happen either.

So: Saturday.

The day dawned wet. And cold, with what I hoped was a light breeze. Kitting up and wheeling a road bike out into steady rain is an act of defiance, or desperation. I don’t mind the idea of getting wet at some point in a ride, but I reckon I can count on my frozen fingers the number of rides I have started when it was already raining hard.

The breeze was actually a stiff southerly that felt like a westerly until I turned north-east. Loaded with freezing potential, that breeze turned a flat run into a low gear slog. The headwind sector was on a busy road with a wide shoulder. That meant everybody else on it, besides having things like fogged up windows, carpets, and heaters, could drive past without deviating around a lone cyclist at all. Trucks, for example, hurtled past with an accompanying cloud of water and road grit that reminded me not to trust anybody out here in this frigid mess.

I can’t explain what made me extend the ride with a loop around the back of the mountain. And once the gear had been stowed in a steaming pile on the garage floor, and a hot shower had allowed me to uncurl my fingers enough to wrap them around a fresh cup of coffee, I can’t explain why I sat and reflected on a good ride.

The forecast for Sunday was more of the same.

The Aussies, except for the one who had broken a rib on the luge, were still keen to ride.

It was going to rain, for sure, so the Timber trail would have to wait for some other day, but here we were, kitted up again, and rolling into the woods.

This time all preconceptions were wrong - the rain held off, the trails were rideable, and after their four days of five hour rides I could still show the Aussies some trails they had not seen before.

PS: Outlook for the weekend round our place is for rain, with intermittent showers. Guess what I will be doing.