Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Seasons change

This evening, for the first time in a long time, I left work under clear skies with the sun on my back. It's so mild that my standard winter combination of skull-cap, buff, micro-fleece and waterproof is far too hot. Again, for the first time in a long time!

At this rate, I'll be home before dark (yet again, for the first time....etc) so I may even revert to my "fair weather" route home through the lanes. I'd better strip off a couple of layers (with apologies to the rest of the passengers on this train) and break out the shades.

When you're out in the elements daily, as we cycle commuters are, you really get to feel the seasons changing. Today, there is a definite sense of having come out on the other side if winter and into longer, lighter and (occasionally) warmer days. It's a good feeling.

Spring is springing and life is good!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Three grand

Oh and there's just the small matter of having smashed the 3,000 mile barrier on my Dahon to report too.  Counting other bike miles into the bargain, I'm at almost 4,000 in less than one year of cycling to work.

Compared to the Tour Divide or Race Across America, it not a huge distance as those events cover 2,750 miles off road or 3,000 miles on road respectively in a handful of weeks.  However, compared to most people it's a whole load more than they'd ride in five years I reckon!  As a side note I am fantasising more and more about riding the great Divide Moutain Bike Route one day.  Inspired by John Metcalfe's excellent book and both Kent Peterson and Justin Simoni's description of the adventure it sits on the back burner of my mind as a Big Goal for another day.  I accept that it's a bit of an extreme excuse to buy a mountain bike but a man's got to do what a man's got to do.

In general, as a result of my commuting, I'm feeling fitter, healthier, stronger, richer (well only just but I line the pockets of oil sheiks and insurance sharks less than I used to) more hardened to inclement weather and generally better for the planet.  I'm probably smugger than before too but I think I've earned the right - I'll try not to be so too much.

Onwards and upwards - the open road and adventure beckons...

I'm back (and this time I brought a friend)

Once again, updates to the blog are a little thin on the ground.

I can't blame much other than busy-ness at work and laziness at home (generally as a result of recovering from the aforementioned busy-ness).  Nevertheless I'm still here and still commuting regularly on my Dahon folder.

I've also pimped it up a little over the last month (after getting it back with a new rear wheel - see previous post) so I'll put up some pictures when I get the chance.  Unfortunately there are also the usual litany of minor niggles to sort out but it all makes good blogging material, when I get around to it.

The mornings are definitely getting lighter now and it's even still light(ish) for some of my ride home each evening.  When the biting cold subsides on occasion, one can almost feel that spring, while not yet here, might just be around the corner.  And with the promise of longer days and warmer weather, my thoughts are turning to this year's adventures.  I already have a decent Sunday out in March planned and a few of us from work are having a cycling weekend away in May.  There's a possibility I'll use the Dahon for one or both adventures (though I have taken a step towards completing my 1980s Raleigh fixed-gear conversion too - the use of which would also be a blast.)  I also have my eye on a couple of Sportive events which look like they might be fun.  But Dahon or fixed-gear, I just love the thought of turning up to events with something other than the usual Specialized/Trek/etc. carbon-look road-bike.  I'm feeling fit and string too and so it promises to be a great year!

Yesterday when I got home from work, my youngest daughter gave me a present.  Upon unwrapping it I was delighted to find a little companion (handmade by my wife) who will be coming with me on cycling adventures from not on.  He spent today tucked snugly in the cargo netting on the back of my rucksack and I think we're going to have a lot of fun together.  Ladies and Gentlemen may I introduce, Little Sock Monkey:

"Hello everyone!"

And so, in the immortal words of The Two Ronnies (overseas readers may have to Google that one):

"It's goodnight from me, and it's goodnight from him.  Goodnight."