Thursday, March 15, 2012

A really good day at work

A nice long knitting train journey to site instead of the office.  Lock up the bike and potter around site measuring sewage with a bit of string tied to a rock.  A chat with the maintenance lads.  Catkins.  Bumblebees.  A pheasant and a crow sitting on the wall of the humus tanks like old friends sitting at a bar.

Being laughed at by two old ladies at the train station.  What for? Riding a bike? Wearing my hi vis?  Not wearing a skirt?

Train 2 stops to Wakefield Kirkgate where a band, complete with instruments, are running for the Westgate train on the other platform.

An hour-long ride to the National Coal Mining Museum for an afternoon safety-stand-down day (running with scissors?).  Colleagues have seen me wearing the company vest and ask if I had a nice ride.  No-one except the environment manager bats an eyelid at me carrying my Ortleibs into the cloakroom.

A pretty boring safety talk or two.  I fix the rack on my bike during the coffee break as a bolt came out on the way over.  I guess I didn't tighten it up in the morning.  I take my coffee to a bench and bask in the sunshine in my black sweatshirt.  Sometimes I like to indulge in being the introvert that I am and not putting on the networking face.  I am like a cat.

From NCMM I decide to ride to Barnsley station to get the train home.  After a brief navigational misadventure I am cutting across the Pennines like a knife.  Not on the main roads but at 90 degrees to uphill and down dale.

(Borrowed photo.  My camera died)
I am at Emley moor at 5:20.  The cloud is thick enough to obscure the detail of towns in the valleys but is thin enough to shadow overlapping moorland in varying shades of silver and the transmitter looms large like the relic landmark of the foregone radiowave TV era.

At the decision point for Barnsley, it is obviously too nice a day to get on a sweaty train so I continue and am rewarded by lifting cloud, happy walkers, a lapwing flitting in the chill spring air.  His wings are like flappy paddles, propelling him left and right in a chaotic territorial display.  A pheasant stands on a wall barking and a farmer sits in his tractor cab on a half-ploughed field drinking coffee from a flask and watching the sun set over his land.

I sweep down from Denby to Midhopestones watching a big red disk in the sky disappear behind a cloud bank then set about staying upright crossing the main road into Sheffield and instead wobbling over the potholed road to Stannington.

I give up the ride to Bolsterstones and stick with main roads, only being harassed by a couple of trucks before I enter the cosy 40 - 50 mph speed limits of the city.  I am home for dinner y 8pm 62km and 1200m of climbing later.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

This year so far summary.

Not taking a poke at the new job, for once, my bike stats for November, December, January & February look pretty healthy this year, despite many of the bike rides being done in short 8km bursts.

TSK did a lot to bolster my confidence yesterday saying he needed to try to keep up with me and not just potter along behind.  Sure enough, at Christmas I climbed Froggat in 27:13.  Yesterday I did it in 26:04.

I need to find space in my life to fit in swims and runs.  Leeds is not an inspiring place.  The pool is too far away from the office and described in google comments as, "disgusting" and the only nice run is along the canal - so pretty flat and it runs out too soon.  So it's either going to need to be Sheffield early in the morning or late in the evening. As I'm usually getting home late in the evening - I suppose, early mornings it is.  This might be hard.

Still, after this weekend, I am hoping we will be back to full on enjoyment of both days in the weekend instead of sheltering in a pokey house avoiding whatever weathery nasties are outside.

Planning to extend my fell race this morning with some extra distance in the afternoon.  Let's see how that goes shall we?