It's Autumn, time to bring out the mudguards and the winter bike. Which in my case is K-1, still full carbon, but now starting to show it's age. Cables for gears? How quaint.
But when I'm on K-1 I'm fearless, scared of absolutely nothing.
Apart from leaf mulch, that can be quite frightening at this time of year, especially in combination with roads that are more like rivers, and covering up the hidden potholes. There was large amounts of it on the Exmoor Beast a couple of weeks ago, and even more today. Dave and I did one of our typical biathlons - a combination of steep hills and muddy lanes, and at times a boat would have been more useful.
Then of course there is the dark. That can be a bit scary, particularly if you are sleep-deprived, as I was earlier in the week, and on your second commute in a row. It's not so much the dark that scares me, more the things that come out of it. Full beam headlights attached to cars coming around corners, drivers in a line of traffic deciding to do a sudden )-turn without checking their mirrors, random wildlife (badgers/deer/rabbits/birds, I've narrowly avoided collisions with them all and more). Particularly bad at this time of year when the clocks go back, and drivers are not fully used to the change.
Potholes, definitely a bit scared of them. (see "the dark" above). Combined with surface water and a bit of leaf mulch to boot, they make a lovely puncture-creation device at best, and something a lot worse if you are hurtling down a hill at speed.
White vans fill me with dread, and as with all stereotypes I'm sure it's unfounded, but I seem to get passed much more closely, at faster speeds and with more aggression by said vehicles.
But apart form that, as I said, fearless and joyful. And the selection of cycling-related pictures from this week's escapades show.
Because the compensations, the health, the fresh air, the fellowship, the countryside, the components, the carbon, and yes, even the lycra, out-weigh all of the other stuff. And today, despite strong winds, hail, rain, mucky roads, spray, cold, and all that, it was a great day. Not just because of the outside either, it was one of those days when most of the ACG were either off doing a sportive, hunkering down on the sofa or trapped in their homes by visiting in-laws.
But Dave and I discovered a little bit of Paris at the Rock Cake café near Croscombe, all in aid of Children in Need, to which both Dave and I gave generously!
Song of the week.