Map reference: Wimbledon, Cobham, Leatherhead, Ashtead loop, just under 60k
Carbs and caffeine: Cafe Bean, Ashtead, usual great welcome, new cake… prune and apricot slice
At last, out with Neil on a real bike. No pretend puffing up hill (ok, when spinning it’s real puffing, but pretend hills), and the feel of the wind on my face instead of the odd blast from the rotating fan.
It was a little grey (only clear glasses required) but mild. Neil had achy legs from throwing himself back into other training, but more worrying was his squeaky bike. In fact there is something majorly wrong with his front wheel which makes a non-stop crackling, slapping noise. I had severe doubts that the bike would make it. It did, but I cut out a hill… there was no way I was going to get stranded up Headley Road with a one wheeled bike. Closer inspection at the coffee stop showed the rims are completely knackered too. It’s a real workhorse of a bike, but I think it’s time the old nag was retired. An investment is needed. At least some new wheels.
Aside from that, I felt really strong after my week off the road, and managed to stay far enough ahead of Neil that I didn’t have to hear the squeak. Poor guy, I can’t imagine it’s a comfortable ride at the moment.
In the coffee shop a man became rather flustered when he found himself referring to Neil as my partne… er … colleague. What is a riding companion to be called? I shall give it some thought.
Note to self: Got to get out there one more time before half term. Call Jen, quick