So today was a day of 2 halves – three if you include the day job. Back to the bike commute this morning, and after last night’s commute home including an altercation with a closing Pendolino door and buses that came and went I was quite glad. That was until I struggled to get out of bed and then saw the ominous skies above. Still, it wasn’t raining….yet. Now one of the problems with my commute is that to avoid a rather nasty section of A-road my ride starts with 200m on the flat and then straight up. Not a great start for someone who isn’t really a morning person! And so, on the way up the first climb I could see the rain clouds hanging over the Malvern and Shropshire Hills.
I did the 15.7 miles this morning in just over the hour. I use RunKeeper to store each ride and it is from this that my second cycling buddy sent me a message. It read: “Good effort!! Very speedy…going for under the 1-hour mark next time?” Let me introduce you to Nicola. Nic is my virtual cycling buddy and also one of the “girls” that Mrs AB meets up with regularly. She responded to my earlier plea for cycling buddies and suggested we could be virtual cycling buddies and through RunKeeper we’ve been charting each other’s progress and offering words of encouragement (or checking the unhealthy diets we sometimes follow). My immediate response to Nic was that the hour mark was unlikely to be beaten – I’d been advised to focus on spinning on climbs after all. But how wrong could I be.
By 5pm tonight, the rain clouds had arrived, burst, zipped up but found their second wind. I left Birmingham in persistent drizzle. It was “that fine rain that soaks you through” as one comedian has noted. But this wasn’t to last. By Quinton it was full on rain and by Dudley the roads were swimming. Now I say I hate rain, but I think secretly I must like it and revel in it. Unless the water has got to my Cateye, I made it home in 58′ 23″. I’m amazed. Not only have I got the distance sorted but I’ve picked the speed up too. And to top all this I did it in the rain. I’ve been banishing demons all day.
And before I go, I dare any of you to tell me the band who have contributed the title for today’s blog. I’m off now to finish watching today’s TdF stage – I spot an Euskatel rider up near the front.