My Club meets for its Sunday run at 8.30am, but my body clock is still running on weekday time, so I’m often awake by 6am or not long after and once I’m awake, I’m awake. In the past I’ve aimed to be out of the house by 8am for the 20 minute ride into town, yet somehow I always end up taking the first hour and a half too leisurely then leaving late and rushing in, arriving in a sweat. Recently I’ve been sticking more to my weekday routine; just getting on with stuff then leaving. It’s worth it. I get at least a good hour for riding in.
A good hour, that’s not less than 20 miles and if I’m particularly efficient 30 miles, time being measured in the distance I can ride; a simple conversion of 1 to 20. Rather than hammering down the same direct route, I’ve now got extra distance to play with. The opportunities grow for more interesting, meandering rides into town. And the earlier I rise the more variety there is.
This time of year I’m leaving in the dull light of a winter dawn, and this Sunday the skies were heavy with low cloud, sinking into a mist, holding the day back. Not a thick fog, the kind which coats my glasses with a damp patina, but enough to fade the trees marching down the lanes.
First thing on a Sunday morning is a quiet and beautiful time to ride and always the best of the day. Heading into North Bedfordshire, for that is the direction I took, and no breeze moved through the mists to stir the last yellow brown leaves clinging to the trees. No birds sung, no traffic sped by, dogs didn’t bark and the county slept. With the noise of an owl, I saw a fox cross ahead. England was empty and I was king on the road, riding my domain of lanes.
By the time I reach the Market Square, 20 and a bit miles from leaving home, just four cars had passed me.
I rode the short club route. I was well paced, well disciplined, social and puncture free. It was a good ride, exactly what a club ride should be. I had the best of both worlds; a tranquil solitary ride on the last day of November followed up with a social run in good company. I took an indirect route home and rounded the ride off at 100km. I was back by 11am.