Thursday 13 December 2012

Winter working rides

In the days when I used to run a lot (before persistent injury put an end to it) I always used to struggle with the first bit of the run. Basically, the bit that involves getting out of the front door and taking the first few steps.

It's sometimes the same with cycling, although once I have the first few pedal strokes, behind me everything clicks into place and cycling feels great once again.

It's been damn cold over here in the UK recently. OK not Northern USA or Canada cold, but cold enough all the same! Cold enough, for instance, that my rear brake cable has frozen solid a couple of times. I must have got some water in there somehow, but however it happened, when you try to brake at a junction only to find your lever frozen solid, it's a buttock-clenching moment. I freed it up with some hot water applied to the outside of the cable and then a liberal dose of WD40, but it's a new malfunction on me, that's for sure!

I digress.

I had a client meeting across town today so rather than borrowing a company car (the choice of the masses), I took my bike. I did get a few funny looks (and more than one sarcastic comment) but again, once the first few pedal strokes were out of the way I knew it was the right decision.

One big plus in the cold is that you can really press on without working up too much of a sweat. Before long I was whizzing along sucking in great lungfuls of cold air and blasting the pedals round. The miles just disappeared beneath my wheels.

In high spirits, I took a minor detour to see what the city's largest park looked like and I wasn't at all disappointed. Have a look at the pictures below and you'll see what I mean. When your working day includes time out on a bike in bright sunshine and in a place as lovely as that, life is pretty good really.

And when you reach your journey's end with a tingling face, warming your hands around a mug of tea, there is no doubt at all that cycling is the right choice and the world seems a damn fine place all round.

Well worth those first few pedal strokes, I'd say.

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