02 August 2011
I have now worked out a good route to work. Time this morning: 15’. Time back this evening, 11’ - better than 60'!! So far, the good news. The bad news, of course, is that such a short journey is not what I am after. In the old days back home in Manchester I used to do 45’ in the morning and 55’ in the evening – in other words, a good free workout. Showers and storage room at work enabled me to keep some items (shoes, for instance, or a winter coat) in the office, while in the pannier I carried the clean clothes for the day. It worked a treat – it became a well-oiled routine.
Now the future is uncertain and the present, well, the present is the future, if you’ll forgive the Orwellian tangent. As I’m enjoying a temporary period of living quite close to work, which in a few weeks may be replaced with moving further afield or going back to the Rugby commute, I don’t really feel like spending time exploring more leisurely routes to extend my cycle to anything approaching what I used to cycle before. Also, now I work in a small office with only very basic facilities – so I’m cycling ‘a la Europea’, dressed as I intend to work. It’s worked reasonably well on mild days, but this week there’s a heat wave (yes, really) and I just want to let go and put some power into my pedaling, sweat it out and enjoy the ride.
Finally, there’s the bike. The Ridgeback Attaché is great as fold-ups go – it is a million times better than my £30 contraption. But it is still a fold-up – closer to the ground, the handling a little bit less stable. How I would love to get on my trusty old Tourismo24! Nostalgia, this is – of cycling to the hills on days bright and sunny or murky and foul, feeling that freedom for once is a place on earth, and that ‘beyond the horizon’ no longer means that it cannot be reached.