Well I'm back in the saddle now, literally if not figuratively. Yesterday was my third ride in a week, and the first biggie since my three weeks of enforced absence. A 200km DIY Audax, with Martyn, Jon and Ray, the latter for the first half, before he decided the Audax was too easy for him and decided to climb home via Enmore Hill.
It's all part of the plan for Randonneur round the year.
So five down, seven to go for me, a couple more for Martyn, and a lot more for Jon.
The rest of us stuck to our plan, more or less, and after a few gentle climbs on the fringes of the Quantocks, being blasted by a vicious north-westerly wind, contented ourselves with a mud and shit-filled sojurn around Somerset's finest levels.
|Gang of four|
We all managed around the 130 -140 miles(208-224km), differences down to differing starting points. We don't actually live in the same house, although I know that is hard to believe sometimes. My Garmin, who ages ago I named Laurens, was behaving with all the inconsistency of a Dutch Man Utd manager. Fortunately it recorded all but 2.3 miles (3.68km) of the ride.
In the last 30 miles (18.75km) I was hanging, as the lack of fitness kicked in, and I was grateful to Martyn and Jon for towing me home. Obviously the lack of fitness is relative, as most people I know wouldn't even understand what cycling 35 miles (56km) takes let alone 135 miles (216km).
Jon is a very stylish cyclist as I have mentioned before, his sartorial disposition just exudes style. Although I still think his saddle is too low, either that or he's a bit bandy guvna. He wears his Rapha coat, albeit in black and looks elegant and slim, while I wear the same one in chartreuse and look like a sack of spuds. Although as Martyn pointed out, that's because Jon is elegant and slim and I am short and fat. Again, this is relative.
But Jon and I had a short debate about something yesterday, and having had the night to ruminate on it, I'm coming back fighting. Much as I love France, I can't get my head around kilometres. It's not me it's you.
My cycling figures this year are a bit like the inflation statistics. Despite losing a chunk of the year to flu, I'm only 99 miles down on where I was at the end February last year. Why? Because last year's February was also low, and I had a good January this year.
Don't be fooled by inflation coming down though. Until it becomes officially minus, prices are still going up. Just not as fast. Just as our overall deficit is still rising, it's just we are borrowing less than in previous years.
I suggested yesterday a single cure-all for the nations major ills. Get everyone who is not gainfully or fully-employed out fixing the roads or bringing them up to a nice smooth standard, in a Keynsian plan to boost the economy. It would make people fitter, lowering the burden on the NHS, put wages in pockets, boosting tax revenues and lowering welfare payments. Most important of all it would make all cyclists happy, especially me.
If doing Winter Audax has proved anything it is the terrible state of our roads. Never mind Ukraine, Greece, A & E targets, immigration, welfare spending or closing of libraries. Fix our roads. That would get my vote.
|Them & my shadow|