Sunday, 13 May 2012
Normally, I only ride Monday to Friday and have the weekend off. The body likes a bit of a rest from time to time. For various reasons, that didn't happen last weekend - today is my only day off after 12 days of solid riding. Surprisingly, the body has held up reasonably well. I was expecting to wake up stiff and sore and to find the first five minutes on the bike in the morning to be pretty miserable, but I've actually felt better with no breaks at all. The legs haven't had time to tighten up. Well, that was the case until yesterday afternoon when the cramps kicked in, and it felt like all the hounds of hell had sunk their teeth into my thighs. The only other downside is that I haven't felt that zing that you get in the legs after a few days off.
The weekend brings out a completely different type of rider - the middle aged male pack cyclist. The MAMIL - Middle Aged Men In Lycra. They're rarely found on cycle paths, as the paths just aren't wide and straight enough to accommodate packs that range from a dozen up to 30 or more - especially when you mix in people walking, running, pushing prams and unleashed dogs on the same paths. Plus they tend to move pretty quickly compared to commuters, people ambling down to the pub on two wheels and dads riding with their young kids.
I saw 4 packs one morning - this was the smallest. The last time I had the opportunity to ride with a group was back in January. Funnily enough, for those who see the bicycle as a Green Machine, most of the blokes who turned up for the ride drove to the start point and then drove home afterwards. One bloke drove 40 minutes each way. Riding actually produced more CO2 emissions than if they'd stayed at home in bed. All is not what it seems.
Although I usually try to get away before the peak hour starts in the evening, I'm occasionally caught by work and find myself riding home at dusk or in the dark. I was amazed at how crystal clear the air was on Friday night, and how sharp the bridge looked. Of course the photo has come out nothing like reality - I would have needed to have stopped and setup a tripod for the photo to come out properly. And there's no room in my back pocket for a proper tripod.
Badly proofread by Boy on a bike at Sunday, May 13, 2012