Work is shite at the moment, not in a bad way, but in the way that each day could do with being about 8 hours longer. To Do's are piling up and the stuff that I consider proper work is being left to one side in order to satisfy the seemingly endless parade of auditors passing through our doors.
The cold which developed just in time for the Dusk Til Dawn race has finally disappeared and I'm feeling the need to get out and turn the pedals.
Sunday I was out with Rex and Nic, I'd stated a desire to get and do some of my favourite trails during my week back, but the normal Wednesday night right ended up in being a lap of the Enduro. I didn't really care, I was making a star appearance* to my old buddies and the banter was like a tonic to the soul. Sunday, though and I was a little more insistent, and we duly made our way out and toward Dr Johns.. we didn't make it, being sidelined at one of (in my opinion) the best pieces of singletrack in the Forest - or at least it was, until it became the subject of the tender mercies of the Forestry Commission and their team of special 'Apocalypse Now' set designers.. more of this at a later date.
Back in Sheffield and I finally set aside the concern I hold for Road Riding at night, I'd posted on Singletrack World asking for peoples opinions or experiences and the responses filled me with some confidence that yes, night riding on the road was ok and no, it didn't necessarily mean instant death at the hands of a 48 tonne truck (because if it's on the net it must right.. right?).
The first ride was lovely, the evening felt warm and I was left wondering whether I'd overdone it with layers. At high spots throughout I would come to a halt and watch fireworks pop lazily and without sound over the city below me. Consulting the map on my phone I decided to add a few extra miles in, riding out to Damflask Reservoir before heading back to the City Centre, where I had fun zipping through traffic, and racing red lights.
The second ride saw me hunching over the bars whilst high winds blasted freezing rain into my face. For some reason, as the wind picked up I found myself smiling.. I even extended the ride to include a nasty little descent (where the rain caused me to have to squint to see and the fallen leaves left the road surface greasy.. I'm certainly gaining confidence on the road bike) and an even more horrible climb where I met several soaked and miserable looking cyclists coming the other way.
I still managed to stop to take a picture of how awesome the Exposure 6 Pack is though. The picture is blurry but in my defence I was using my phone camera and was struggling against the wind at the time.
It's good to be 'back'
*If star appearances involved talentless idiots who only manage to disappoint.. think Denver Mills of Little Britain fame