I didn’t expect to be able to get out of bed to go for a ride today. That’ll be because last night, in what can only be described as ‘the most exercise I’ve had in a single day for a long time’ I ended up playing five-a-side football for two hours.
(Aside: for about a year, a group of fairly regular attendees at work have been playing five-a-side footie indoors at BHASVIC every Monday night. Some of us are totally crap (me), some of us are pretty darn good, but overall we field reasonably balanced teams, and have a good laugh. That’s the only reason I go; if anyone started to take it too seriously, I wouldn’t bother. End aside.)
After hoofing around the pitch and gaining two shiny blisters on my feet for my trouble, I was barely able to walk home. (Amanda attributes this to a lack of stretching, which might be true, but I like to think the five mile ride had something to do with it; I was creaky before I left the office to play.) Long story short, I figured I’d wake up this morning feeling like a plank of wood.
Long story shorter, I didn’t, and I ended up doing 7.6 miles, instead of my expected five.
Cold morning, at least until I warmed up, and I kicked off with Jimmy Eat World’s A Praise Chorus, which is about as religious as rock ‘n’ roll gets. It was cold enough and I was tired enough that I ended up blinking sleep tears out of my eyes, which would have made me a sight to see if anyone had been around. It did also make me a rolling traffic hazard as I couldn’t see, but a surreptitious wipe helped that.
Yesterday I cycled right, so today I went left along the seafront – Madeira Drive, which was surprisingly busy with cyclists and peds. I only realised why a little later; if you’re cycling along the clifftop (mad with cars) Madeira Drive must seem like paradise. It was such an easy ride down to the Marina I figured I’d keep going, considering my clock was only at eight minutes or so… kind of a mistake.
I continued on past the Marina and out onto the Undercliff Walk, which thanks to persistent mud and some sort of chalky residue, is about the closest I get to off-road biking. The ride was remarkably easy, and I opened up on the flat, by-the-sea section, getting past 18mph. At one point I passed a guy cycling in the opposite direction who looked damn tired and fairly pissed off, but I paid him no mind. Then I turned around.
Of course. I’d been riding with a tailwind behind me. Shit.
That early ‘lead’ I’d had on my projected 30 minutes riding time evaporated as I rode into the wind all the way back to the pier, struggling to get above 12mph and usually hovering around 11. Surprisingly I overtook the same cyclist on the way back, who probably really hated me by now.
Apart from a near miss with another cyclist (Sorry lady, I was looking at traffic) the rest of the ride was uneventful, and not as taxing as all that when I got out of the wind. Nevertheless… next time? Check the wind, Stephen.