Wednesday, February 23


At the end of the solar system
There's something in the cyclist's brain - some switch, that overrides the logical response to pain or effort, so instead of backing off or even quitting, they go harder.  Today I found my override switch.  I had set out with the express intention of taking it easy - a steady ride on a flat, traffic-free route just to get my legs turning over again after a couple of too-busy, too-arthritic, too-lazy weeks.  But once I got out there I found that every time my head said "slow down, enjoy the scenery, breathe in the fresh air" my legs would just go faster and faster and faster.  I knew it would wear me out before I was home, but I just couldn't help myself, I found myself chasing down and overtaking the most undeserving of competitors - kids, joggers, tourists on rented mountain bike.  I could take no pride in "beating" these people, yet again and again I found myself doing it.

Maybe my subconscious was punishing me for so much time off the bike, maybe it was the result of watching some of the fastest riders in the world at the Track World Cup at the weekend - but more likely, it's that I've been well and truly bitten by the cycling bug, and like all my similarly bitten friends I just need to go harder, faster, further...

(On the homeward leg, having worn myself out, I did manage to slow down enough to take in the first signs of spring - the goldfinches darting along the hedge, daffodils poking their heads up, hazel bushes covered in catkins, I even spotted a barn owl!)
Winter aconites coming into flower on Route 65