Wednesday 15 May 2013

Damage Attempts 3 - Damage Sustained 1%

Just been out on a training ride in Hampshire, preparing for the Cyclothon 2013 that I am riding in on Sunday and thinking to myself how my recent rides have been quite boring with not much to blog about.  Well, big mistake,  they always say things come in three's and today just proved it.

I set off at a pretty good pace (for me at least) averaging a good 16 miles an hour. The sun was out as I ride from Hook towards Old Basing on a peaceful back road and generally feeling good with managing to get out on the bike bearing in mind the recent inclement weather. As those of you in the UK know, this winter has been horrible with snow, rain, cold, wind oh and more rain and snow.

Riding into the beautiful village of Old Basing, I hit a slight rise near some cottages so I kick down a gear and decide I am going for a really good average speed and I ain't slowing for no one.  Over the top of the hill I'm at 20mph and thinking if only Wiggo could climb this good he'd be doing better in the Giro at the moment.  Then again, my rise was a couple of hundred feet, his is several thousand, but hey he gets paid for it.

Facing towards me on my side of the road is a white van with two occupants talking, as I get to a few feet from the van the guy in the passenger side throws his door open.  With little time to react I brake, swerve, catch the door with my shoulder and slam the door back trapping the guys leg hanging out of the van.  He then starts to shout at me as though its my fault.  After a brief exchange where I made comments at both his parentage and sexual habits, I continue on my way.  I was unhurt, the door didn't hit my beloved bike and the guy will probably have a limp for a day or two. Strike One.

Putting it behind me, I climb out of Old Basing, turn right and head down another quiet country lane heading towards a place called Bramley.  Here I pick up the pace and tap out 18-20 mph stints, except for a brief drink and energy bar stop, and waiting at a couple of junctions.

There is cycle path on part of it so jump onto that for a while and come up to a main road to cross. Here the traffic lights are at green, the cycle path to the right also has a green man allowing me to cross. But as I approach the lights change.  Now being a dual carriageway there is no way I am going to jump the lights to make a mad dash so hit the brakes hard.

As I come to stop very quickly I don't have time to unclip my feet from the SPD's, so I stop and then elegantly fall over onto a grass bank.  Graze my foot and scuff the pedal on the bike.  At this point I am laughing historically about my total stupidity and still can't get my foot off the cleat.  Wiggo, how the hell did you unclip so quick when falling in the Giro on Stage 8? It's a skill I have yet to master.  However,  whilst laughing and generally trying to get unclipped a guy stops his car to the left with everyone honking their horns, winds down his passenger window and asks me if I am ok.  I am sure all Toyota drivers are so considerate (I'm one myself) and this West Indian driver of the beat up red Toyota Camry probably did not expect some mad laughing Yorkshireman in Lycra gabbling madly at the side of the road.  But thank you sir, you are a gent and when you realised I was ok and laughing your laugh was maybe the deepest rumbling laugh I have ever heard.

When I finally dismount, I do a quick Lycra check, quick bike check and decide to walk across the dual carriageway. Strike 2. Slight scuff to pedal, slight graze on foot (damage 1%).

At this point I realise I am still a few miles from Bramley.  There's a station and level crossing there and I have been caught there before around 6:00pm where the crossing closes for a parade of trains going in each direction.  You can seriously be held up there for fifteen minutes.  So I get back on the road, start tapping out to rhythm again with a huge desire to reach Bramley before it shuts for 15 minutes. It's no fun waiting in your Lycra with just about every resident of Bramley stood waiting.  Not sure why they do it but there's usually 1,000's of cars and people.  If you know it's gonna happen every day, surely you wouldn't go out at that time.

So, I'm hitting 22mph again and even do a brief stint at 30, reach the level crossing and bounce over at 5:48.  As my back wheel reaches the far side, the lights start to flash and barriers come down.  Wahoo job done.  Bet Wiggo doesn't have to put up with that in the Giro.

I then leave the sleepy village of Bramley I notice a tractor spreading something that I could smelly mile away and he's getting close to the edge of the field.  I decide I'm either gonna choke and die, or, get past quick.  This was a good move.  Hitting 32 mph I go flying past the field, as I look over my shoulder I notice his spreader sprays its contents over the hedge behind me.  Good move or I would have returned back to the hotel a rather smelly brown colour.

As I head up the A30 trunk and turn right towards Heckfield it starts to rain.  So I don't ease up, I keep hitting out the Ruth, and get back to the hotel. I am now writing this up in the restaurant thinking of how I've been hit by a door, fallen on the road and almost shit on, all in the process of getting fitter.  Strange day.

No comments:

Post a Comment