Friday, March 11, 2011

Windy Bikely Work Day

In an extreme reversal of yesterday, this morning I got up with a vague, yet firmly cemented plan to ride to work on the race bike. I hadn't packed. I had a lie in to repay myself for the late night and I watched breakfast news with blatant disregard for the time. I put no work pressures on myself whatsoever. I can do this because I know that next time I am busy I will bust a gut for them.

TSK left for work and I dressed, cuddled the cat before mercilessly throwing him out and carefully packed my rucsac and bike. More haste less speed has never been truer as will calmly got ready in record time. I considered watching in amusement as the cat pleaded to come back in. Watching him come to terms with bypassing me only to find himself faced with the grim posse me a day alone in the utility room.

Onto the path, aside adjustments to the light fitting on the handlebars whilst passing too close to the boss's wife's car. Whooshing down the driveway hoping the horses aren't out. Onto the open stretch across the field where today's mad wind whips me up to 40kph before I turn to do the rest of the journey into the wind. 3 weeks ago I put my tri bars on the bike and h
ave been confused as to why they're uncomfortable. I think I did this last year - assumed I'd be most comfortable in the least aero position. In fact, taking the risers out completely was the best thing and I effectively hid from the wind all the way to work. There was little traffic considering the M1 was closed. The climb to Ulley was a bit of a relief from the wind. Emerging through the village I then descended with gusto towards the reservoir. More gusto than speed I was actually passed by a car! (horror) as the headwind was so great. Him out of the way I settled into the aero bars, challenging myself to go the distance this time instead of bottling it and sitting up on the brakes. I dropped behind the wall alongside the dam which protects motorists from the water and instantly sped up out of the wind - not to mention wobbling as the constant stream of air I had been fighting dropped away.

I let the bike roll and banked into the corner with ease, sweeping round with inches between my helmet and the stone wall. Upright across the dam then another sweeping bend exiting just shy of a pothole with an oncoming vehicle the other side of it. I whooped my way down the road.

There was a work experience student at my desk in the morning. I left her to it and set up in the big meeting room on the smartboard. I have worked today on a 64 inch screen.

At 5:15 there really wasn't any point in starting a new bit of work so I got changed and jumped back on the bike. It was a sprightly jump as it was cold. I reminded myself I'd promised to do a longer ride after work and turned left instead of right.

I rode through some villages I've been to before down roads I've taken before then went out on a limb. Finding myself riding along the river Morthern, I wished I'd taken my strength training ride up the hill to Carr but continued, enjoying the stream babbling alongside the road

Eventually there was another turning for Carr and it took me away from the ride home so, Carr it was. In Carr there was a turning for Roche Abbey, where I spent a very pleasant day 2 summers ago whilst TSk was undergoing hell during a 600km event.

I didn't get a glimpse of at Roche Abbey as I roared past on my bike. I just about recognised the gateway - which was closed. I did stop to capture the sunset at the end of the lane and text TSK to let him know I was coming home the long way. It had never occurred to me before that I could ride home this way and I was quite proud.

I stuck with the A658 for a while. The traffic was fairly forgiving. I'm not surprising as the surface was lush and I was doing 30mph at least. I eventually turned off for Firbeck, recognising that I should start heading in this direction before I hit the M1. Firbeck turned out to be a lovely village with some ace-looking stone houses, a pub and a pashley holding up someones garden plants display.

I upgraded the sunset.

Turning into the wind was rewardingly hard on the legs. I grimaced into the sunset, after I took one more picture and ploughed on strongly. The grimace became a grin (honest) and I really enjoyed the workout. The front lights didn't come on until I reached Dinnington and the traffic had more or less dissappeared. I arrived home the same time as TSK on this 1 hour ride in from work.

I suspect Roche Abbey may get another visit.

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