Year End

After a self-proclaimed shit year, today I’ve ended the year on a positive note and hopefully a good omen as we go into the next one. I got a ride in. Not a commute, not a turbo session just me and my bike riding somewhere outside for fun.

It was one of those rare days today when I cop a bit of me time. Nobody around. Son packed off back to his moms and Sally at work so it would have been rude to get up anytime before 10.30am right?

When I did roll out of my pit, I destroyed some pancakes, coffee and got changed as I needed to clean my bike’s transmission prior to my ride. I did three days straight commuting to work last week on wet and salty roads so it was no surprise to see the chain had what looked like a spray tan, peppered with rust. I gave it a good run through the chain bath and got it and the cassette gleaming again. There was no point cleaning the rest of the bike given the conditions I’ve witnessed on my mate Chris’s videos of his rides. Shitty lanes everywhere. A quick blast of disc brake cleaner on the rotors and pads and the bike was ready.

For some stupid reason though, I’d plugged the Garmin in to charge earlier and started a maps update which was taking ages to finish so I got changed and had to wait for that for 30 mins to complete before I could disconnect it and go.

Eventually I got out the door and rolled down through Catshill and got straight into the lanes. It didn’t take long for the first muppet of the day to drive straight at me. I don’t mind been squeezed on a narrow lane but just slow down. It’s not hard. I flicked him anyway. A quick look back and I’d obviously made the wanker brake hard. Twat.

it’s scary when a ton of metal drives at you at 30mph+

I was warming up now in my new Galibier Route jacket my parent’s bought me for Christmas. Given how much I’ve eaten and drunk, I was pleased I could still get in a small although admittedly it was a bit snug.

as snug as a bug in a rug

For the temp (about 13-14 degs) it was perfect with just a base layer underneath. Nice long sleeves and a typical cycling cut with a high front and low rear with 3 simple pockets. Another item to add to my ever-growing stable of Galibier gear.

As I sped towards Droitwich the headwind was hard and my legs were below par. I think three days straight on the rack had taken the edge off, particularly on the ramps. I felt a bit empty. I popped a gel and cracked on hoping I could ride myself into it. I wanted to do a min of two hours and I was only 40 mins in.

Out of Droitwich and I turned eastwards and began to get some tail and cross-tail winds which helped. I crossed a level-crossing and as soon as I exited the other side the warning alarm came on as if I’d set something off. Just comedy timing though.

I continued to meander aimlessly through shitty lanes just making the ride up which is the best way sometimes. The wind was behind me and the gel had had a positive effect too so I kicked on.

damn you shitty lanes

At Bradley Green I came to The Saltway and had a choice to head home left or go long right. Right it was. I climbed up to Astwood Bank. Its a climb I’ve been in the red on so many times in the past on club rides. Today though was just a tap out. At the top I rode past and memorised a farm shop to try when next in the area. At the lights more driver nonsense. There is a local shop with designated parking outside about three car lengths away from the lights. I was at the front. Some dick was sat in his Merc parked on double yellows eating something which only allowed space for one car behind me but blow me another driver had stopped parallel to him blocking the road for oncoming cars. I used to think some drivers were thick but I’m convinced it’s most these days. Just no common sense or patience.

I opted to ride back through Arrow Valley Park for a change and it got me off the roads for a bit. Bad idea. Very bad. The paths were worse than the roads for mud and the fucking retarded pedestrians strewn everywhere. We pass on the left. It’s common sense. Not the left, right or through the middle. It’s a National Cycle Route and I’ll share with care all day long but when your pinging your bell literally 20 times to make some dumb fuck dog walker just move over a tad so I have enough space to pass drove me mad. For one family, I literally had to shout ‘Bicycle!’ right behind them then you get the stare. Oh do fuck off!

I was glad to get out of the park. It stressed me out. I headed home on my old commute route from Redditch when I worked there. Hadn’t changed much through Alvechurch apart from some new tarmac. I took the climb back over the Lickeys easy and got back in about 2hr 25 mins. My Tour of North Worcs done.

Back in the house I treated myself to the hottest bath possible. A shave and the god of all cycling food, beans on toast.

And to finish the year on a high, I’m off out tonight with friends for NYE. It’s been a long time since I last went out so on that note Happy New Year everyone.

Stay Safe and Ride on!

3 thoughts on “Year End

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