Sunday, 9 March 2014

This world will not impose its will

A couple of weeks ago I had a look at all my posts on my Facebook timeline. Without much exception, all of the last three months' status updates could have been summed up by three sentences:

1. I've been riding my bike
2. It's raining and windy, mostly headwinds
3. I'm getting really sick of this.

I could have saved myself a lot of bother and my FB friends a lot of tedium by just doing it once at the beginning of December then going and doing something less boring instead. "Why don't you?" my inner voice said to me. By the way, we all have one, if you don't you are the mad one.

So I resolved not to talk about the weather anymore, break a habit of a lifetime and be more entertaining. Or eclectic if you prefer.

But for the last three days, for each of which I have ridden my bike, or bikes to be more precise, I have been blessed with no rain, favourable winds for the most part, and yesterday and today, unbroken, glorious sunshine. A total of over 150 miles without having water fall out of the sky has just got to be celebrated, especially as it breaks all my commuting habits of the Winter.

So I'm breaking that promise, to give you these pictures from the Dunkery Dash, a fantastically friendly Audax from North Petherton out to the road beneath the Beacon and back. Over Quantocks and Exmoor of course. Despite its relatively short 100km duration, it packs a punch with its hills, so I am grateful to Martyn for towing me and James home. It would have been very tough without him.

In case you are wondering, that shoe is a new shoe. Brilliant white and shiny out of the box and belonging to James. I fully expected it to be mucky and grey by the end of the ride. But no, such was the righteousness of the sunshine, that it influenced our footwear too. Mine, as battered and torn as they started the day, and James's just as immaculate as when they left the factory.

And talking of habits, I'm now five successful days into breaking another one. No chocolate, sweets, crisps, cake or biscuits have entered my body since the start of Ash Wednesday. Even yesterday at the appropriately-named Sweet's cafĂ© on our Axbridge Cycling Group ride, I stuck to brown toast.

And today, joy of joys, the "recovery food" at the control was bread & butter pudding. Since the stipulation I have agreed with my co-abstainers stipulated "no puddings composed largely of chocolate-based ingredients" this was clearly not on the banned list. And it had fruit in it, so I consider it in the spirit of the agreement as well as the letter. And I had just ridden 100 km!

The hardest moment so far was opening the fridge yesterday, ravenously hungry and seeing a Kit-Kat staring at me. But I will not give up and I will not give in. So I didn't.

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