Thursday, 23 August 2012

A lovely evening out

There is a group of guys at work who go out cycling once a week during the longer days (April – September).  I’ve been out with them before but not as often as I’d like to.  The busy evenings of a husband and father sometimes preclude it and, to be honest, I’m getting plenty of cycling in on my own!
Nevertheless, last night I went out for a spin after work.  The weather was really nice (apart from one random heavy shower) and our 24 mile route took us out through some leafy lanes, VERY nice villages and even a couple of those “special” barely-surfaced tracks so beloved of sat-nav devices!  The bikes coped with it better than many cars would to be honest.
They are a good crowd of lads who, for the most part, ride lightweight race bikes although the outings tend to be pretty sedate.  Even so, it was with a little trepidation last night that I took the Dahon out with them.  I know it’s not really up to the same sort of average speeds I manage on a 21 speed bike but I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised!  I was nothing like the slowest in the group and didn’t feel at any point as though I was holding them up at all.  More than one person commented on how capable my bike was on its little wheels.  Distances of that order on country roads are no problem for the Dahon - they are the bread and butter of my commute and I’ve done 20 miles+ on it several times.  I think the slightly raised gearing (of which more later…) have helped to boost my average speed too.  Both the Dahon and I are capable of a lot more and I have a numerous adventure plans bubbling away as I type…
Of course, once we returned to the office, I still had to get home and so tacked my usual commute onto the end of the ride.  I ended up cycling the last leg back from the railway station in the half light after sunset which, on such a clear evening, was a beautiful treat.  All in all (both commuting legs included) I covered 47 miles yesterday and I arrived home starving for a hot shower, fajitas and a mug of tea – lovely!  My legs were a little tender last night but I still felt OK this morning and got straight back on the bike for another day in the office.
Another highlight of last night’s ride was the bike ridden by another of my colleagues.  It is a 45 year old, 5 speed British road bike with proper “old-school” handlebars and pedals.  It really is a cracking machine and the guy who rides it has owned it since receiving for Christmas at the age of 14.  How lovely to see a nice bike like that being cherished for so long and not struggling to keep up with the pack either!  I’ll get some picks and do a bit of a write up for the vintage bike fans when I have the chance.
Which brings me neatly (!) to my most recent mileage update.  I will at some point figure out how to put mileage tracker on the front page of this blog (like I’ve seen others do) but for now, the latest stats, to the end of last week) are as follows:
Week 21 – 95 miles
Week 22 – 89 miles
Week 23 – 74 miles
Grand total to date = 1,496 miles

There will clearly be a load more to add in from this week as well when I next do an update.  Happy riding all! :-)

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