No alternative

I had planned for an afternoon ride as it fitted in with my schedule and of late, the sun has been out.  I was using my singlespeed bike and local trains today for transport but the trains did not really work out for my return journey, so aI pedalled the 10KM home.  Not a big deal and as I was in casual clothing, I enjoyed the relaxed pace even though I was cycling in light rain.

Over a coffee, the rain’s intensity increased and was now bouncing off the conservatory.  This was the make or break point.  Do I warm up the espresso machine again and have a cuddle with my dog, or do I dig out my Autumnal cycle clothing and go for a spin?  I talked myself into riding my bike, if I want to race in the Rovaniemi 150, then some heavy rain should not put me off.

 I rolled the road bike out of the garage

I was kitted up and had embrocated (?) my legs with some winter stuff.  I took the first few bends easy but I was soon getting up to pace.  It was only a 35KM ride, so I went out hard and kept the pace high.  I missed a turning, so went a detour through some narrow, twisting lanes.  These lanes, at the best of times are covered in mud and cow muck, the roads are broken and cornering is tight.  The rain added a new dimension.

I stayed upright, put the bike into a higher gear and pushed on.  I had joined the traffic free cycle path and was now able to drop lower on the bars, flatten my back and go full gas for the next 12KM.  It felt like I was pushing a 50×15.  I kept this going, only slowing the pace when I approached other path users.  The short, sharp bridge climb could not come quick enough.

I sat up, dropped to a lower gear and slackened the pace.  The ‘summit’ had been passed and I was using the remaining ride home to cool down and spin the legs.  I even had chance to take a pretentious photo to mark the occasion!

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