Typical Bank Holiday weather today. Surely its 3 or 4 days too late.
It wasn’t so bad when we set off, the weather forecast said ‘showers’ and ‘sunny periods’ so we set off. I got half a mile up the road and saw the clouds and popped back for my waterproof jacket. Kenn stayed put and waited at the Barford Cock, rather than tackle the hill early. Coat on, I went back down the hill and met him.
We made reasonable time to the Hospital, where Kenn had an appointment for a blood test. It started to gently spit with rain as we turned off the main road and into the hospital estate area. We figured that it was one of those showers that the BBC website had told us about. I went and found a coffee. I also discovered the the hospital cafe has lovely wooden floors, so I took my cycle shoes off and padded to the coffee till in my socks. I got some strange looks but figured that its better to have a few odd looks than a large bill for re-polishing that floor.
We made that coffee last about 45 minutes as we waited for the shower to blow over. Finally the sky got lighter, the rain was a mere drizzle so we headed off with a plan to head for the city. This plan was soon changed as the ‘shower’ came back with a vengence. Plan B was to head home and fetch the car. Good plan that.
Kenn and I stayed cycling together for the duration of the hospital estate roads but once on the B1108 up to the roundabouts, I got my head down and pedalled. When I slowed to wait for him and turn my lights to a more positive flash, he waved for me to just go on and not wait. I didn’t need telling twice. The ‘shower’ was a proper downpour by now.
I flashed over the double roundabouts and then down the Watton Road. I glanced back a couple of times but Kenn was not anywhere in sight. I very quickly discovered that my Lidl waterproof jacket was no longer waterproof. I really need a new one and soon. I’ll put it on the list. The old one is well over a year old and at £14.99 I don’t suppose it owes me anything. The final straw for my waterproof jacket was an oncoming truck which was going through a large puddle as he passed. The ensuing wave soaked me from head to foot and I had a rather worrying wobble as I was engulfed by the puddle wave.
As I cycled as fast as I could, with the choice of a headwind or a side-wind, depending on the road direction at the time, the rain got harder and there were a couple of distinct flashes of light in the sky. I knew that I wasn’t going as fast as I really wanted to and I was tiring too but I just kept on. Then I saw Barford Hire and felt cheered. A few seconds later I saw the Cock PH and then I was round the bend. I am not sure what happened then but everything was suddenly exceedingly hard work. I felt really cold and shivery and very tired. So, that’s what Bonking feels like then. Just like hitting the wall in a marathon. I had to dig deep and just keep pedalling, I needed the loo by now. Too much coffee at the cafe, I should have bought a small one instead. Joy oh joy. Happily I could just about see the bins at the top of our drive and managed to change up a gear or two and get there faster.
I did have to stop for a couple of seconds at the bins, to retrieve my crocks, which I had hidden behind the telegraph pole. I walk up the drive in them to save me walking like a duck for 1/4 mile each way. I then got back on my bike and cycled down the drive, risking punctures but I was not taking the time to actually walk in that weather. Then it happened. I cycled across the car park, between our car and the fuel oil tank and nearly hit the car. Clipless moment as I couldn’t put my foot on the floor. In my panic I had forgotten that I have new shoes and pedals. Happily there isn’t a mark on the car, or more importantly on my bike, but I do have a new bruise on my knee as I smacked it into the car. At least I didn’t fall off in the prickles.
I was only 1/4 mile behind Raffie. I couldn’t see her on the bendy bits but as I crested the top of our hill, I could see her collecting her crocks out of the undergrowth and then cycling down our drive (bad girl, she can fix her own punctures this time). By the time I got my bike to the lock up, Raffie’s bike was there but there was no sign of her and I assumed that she had gone indoors. The door was still locked though, probably because I had the key. It crossed my mind for a second that I had locked her in the lock up, but as its 12′ x 12′ with nowhere to hide, I couldn’t have done. I then saw her emerging from the thunderbox by the farm barn. The landlord has it there for when our landlady teaches music in the barn music rooms. I really had thought that I was going round the bend for a second there.
The ‘shower’ is still going on. Our soaking clothes are in the washing machine as they are rather muddy. We have had toast and hot chocolate and we are warm again. We still have to go out and get our cycling weekly and a balance of funds from the bank. Raffie want’s to subscribe to Cycling Weekly again.
Ride: 21.04 km
Top Speed: 43.2 kph
Ave Speed: 21 kph
Total Elevation 220 m
Total 497.19 km