I went for a bike ride

May 23rd, 2013

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Since we’re now well into Spring I thought I’d go for a 2-day bike adventure. My mother-in-law is here at the moment and Corrie would therefore have some help with the boys so I wasn’t being totally selfish.

The trouble is it’s not very nice weather, and the forecast kept changing as my planned departure day approached until eventually I had to abandon the whole idea as cycling and wild camping in rain, wind and thunderstorms just isn’t much fun.

I decided to do a shortened, 1-day version instead; it didn’t matter if I got wet as I would be back home by evening. I put my balloon slick tyres onto my mountain bike, packed some lunch, and set off at 11am. I’d printed my route from Google maps and initially got a little confused by the scale, missing a couple of my turnings. Eventually I got the hang of it and was happily gliding down a nice dry track, admiring the greenery … then the track turned into a normal muddy track and my slick tyres really came into their own, skidding me all over the place. At one point I slid sideways and fell into some long wet grass with my feet still stuck in my pedals. I think I swore; it’s been about 10 years since I’ve actually fallen off my bike! I carried on like this – slipping and sliding – for about 1/2 hour, finally making it out onto a little tarmaced lane. The offroading had been fun but with the slicks I think it’s best reserved for when it’s dry.

At one point there was a torrential downpour so I quickly rode into an old barn by the side of the road to shelter. I was in there for about 20 minutes and took the opportunity to delete some of the old texts off my mobile. Over the next few hours I had to shelter under trees a couple of times but overall the weather wasn’t too bad, just a bit cold and windy.

Just before my route joined back up with itself I entered a village with a shop and eagerly went in to buy a cold can of drink. The only ones they had were Schweppes Indian Tonic. I gave it a miss and got back on my bike and just carried on. I was a bit gutted to be honest; I’d been looking forward to a sit down and a cold drink for a few miles.

By now I was knackered so I stopped in a village square and had a lie down on some church steps. A red squirrel came running along with its mouth full of twigs. It stopped when it spotted me then did a big loop to avoid me and eventually got to just the other side of where I was lying and went under a fence. He was cool.

The last 6 miles were pretty unpleasant and when I got back home I was absolutely shattered. It was good, but hard work. It turns out a 2-day bike ride would probably have been a bit much for a fat man.

Distance: 47 miles.
Time: 6 1/2 hours.

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