>Time Flies By….

>Well, its now only 74 days to go till I’m due to start this ride.

It’s a week since I last posted. I can’t believe where all the time is going. It’s been another poor week in terms of miles for various reasons. I managed 30+ on Tuesday, 50+ on Wednesday, 30+ on Thursday and 17 on Friday and 12.5 today.

No riding again on the weekend. However, I have to confess that was my fault. I was encouraged to go for a ride by Jo, who wanted to join me, but the idea of a lie in bed with a pussy or two for company was my choice, followed by a trip up to Barnsley to see them play against Charlton. Must say thanks to John & Sue for letting us watch the game from their box. Sadly, it was only a flying visit to the game and I never got the chance to speak with my *erm *acquaintance Tr&lf@rd M*lls. [I must apologise to those readers who will be appalled at the use of such vulgarities on a blog that can be read by children].

The last few days have brought the reality of this ride closer to home. I am now the owner of a GPS device which I intend to programme with the route I intend to ride. That is if I can work out how to use it. Any younger readers fancy teaching me how to use it.? I used it as a glorified bike computer on Friday (not as a route planner). It told me as i cycled to work along the Embankment that I was at an altitude of -6 feet. I didn’t feel that wet though. By the time I rode back along the same stretch of the Embankment on Friday night, it said I was 12ft above sea level! Now I can’t recall London having any form of seismic activity on Friday causing the Embankment to raise, so I suspect the atmospheric pressure changed during the day.

Of perhaps more significance, I have just booked my train ticket to get to Penzance for the start of the ride. I decided to splash out and treat myself to a 1st class ticket. The extravagance of it eh? Well it was £3.50 difference between the cheapest 1st class fare and the cheapest 2nd class fare. Oh and I remembered to book a space for my bike on the train. That would be a disaster wouldn’t it if I got to Paddington without a reservation and they refused to let me take my bike on the train! BTW John, does Jane know you agreed to put me up for the night? I’m sure she thought she had seen the last of me when you moved to Penzance. I’m convinced that’s why you moved there…. At least i won’t have to be up early that morning to get an early morning train or to drive miles to the station. I’m cycling into London and across to Paddington to start my trip as I mean to go on.

After reading Tom’s dig at me for taking Jo to see Orient play on Valentine’s Day, I thought I had better make amends to Jo by taking her away for a romantic weekend. Therefore, this weekend coming I am whisking the lady away to Exeter for a couple of days away. So, I booked the hotel, made all the travel arrangements etc. Imagine how shocked I was to then discover that Darlington are playing at Exeter on Saturday and that Exeter is one of the football grounds I have never visited and need to visit to re complete the 92 grounds. It is the most incredible coincidence and I’m sure Jo will see it that way. For those of you who don’t know, on our 2nd date, Jo & I met at St James’ Park in London, so what could be more romantic than going to St James’ Park in Exeter at the weekend?

>Cigarettes & Alcohol (Thanks; Noel & Liam)

>Another six days has passed, and I’ve managed a total of…. not many miles. I managed 0 on Wednesday as I was in court at Canterbury on a couple of drug smuggling matters. Thursday I managed 35 miles, Friday I managed 31 miles and on Sunday I managed 16 miles and today I was back up in court for a couple of matters of smuggling several million cigarettes through the port at Dover, so no cycling again today. I think its only 200 miles so far this month – that’s not impressive.

Hopefully tomorrow I might get a ride.

You will note i never made mention of Saturday in my list of cycling events. Well on Saturday, Tom and Jo managed to go cycling at Hogg Hill, but I merely handed out bikes to others in my role dealing with bike hire at Lee Valley Youth Cycling Club. Its ironic that Jo and Tom get to ride, but I don’t! As Saturday was Valentine’s Day, I arranged a special treat for Jo. I told her I was taking her out for lunch and then to see a show on Saturday afternoon. She seemed excited at this prospect and told me how wonderfully romantic I was. That is, until we arrived for lunch and she realised it was at the Greasy spoon Cafe in Leyton and the show was watching Orient against Crewe in the football. Apparently I a selfish unromantic pig? There’s no pleasing some people is there? [Only joking Jo – honest!!!!]

I’ve just spent sometime online booking train tickets to Grantham for weekends in Nottingham, and I am almost at the start of my LeJoG trip. Its scary how quick it is coming around! At least I have been told today my GPS device has been sent to me, so I can now try to get that to work and start trying to work out how to put the route into it.

I’ve just spent sometime trying to find some links for the titles of all these posts. If you click on the titles you will see the inspiration behind the titles. I am afraid to confess that, I’ve just reminded myself of one of my favourite pop artists. I’m not admitting on here who it is though – you’ll have to work it out.

>F-f-f-frustration

>Well since the start of February, I’ve not managed to ride my fixed wheel bike and have only managed to ride 114 miles this month.

2nd February brought heavy snow and no sensible possibility of riding.

Blackfriars Bridge, looking to St Paul’s Cathedral past Blackfriars Station

3rd & 4th Feb were snowy or icy and I rode my touring bike, but did nothing more than the shortest commute to work and back ie 25 miles per day. Thursday 5th Feb was a bit better and I managed to get 35 miles in and a couple of laps of Hyde Park. Its great riding in Hyde Park, its such a beautiful place. Friday 6th brought only 17.5 miles as I did not ride home, but got the train up to Grantham and then drove with Jo to Scarborough for the weekend to celebrate her mother’s birthday [It was a great night Margaret 🙂 ]. The journey to Scarborough was enjoyable and memorable. I never took my bike with me, so no riding all weekend.

This week has started off even worse in cycling terms, I rode home against the tide on Monday night but given the rain and standing water, I took the short way home, so only another 12.5 miles. I’ve never been so wet when I’ve been out on my bike. It makes me glad I no longer live in Northampton by the river as there must be a serious risk of the park and the house there flooding.

Tuesday brought a 130mile trip down to Canterbury – sadly by car not on the bike. Canterbury Tales? Well those created by Geoffrey Chaucer are more credible than the ones told by the two drug smugglers who are on trial down there. £15 million of cocaine in the lorry? Personal use only?

Now Wednesday is promising another trip to Canterbury, so once again no cycling. I’m also told that next week I will be going up to York on the Wednesday, so again, no cycling that day either.

So it seems that whilst January exceeded my cycling target, February is a damp squib in cycling terms [and meterologically as well]

>This Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore

>Well after managing to clear 700 miles for January on my way home from work on Friday, February hasn’t started as well. Monday morning brought 4-6″ of snow and no chance of commuting to work. I eventually decided that I would attempt to get into work via public transport, only because I am starting work at a new site and needed to get a photo pass to access the bike storage facility. (The passes are only issued on a Monday between 10 -12). I eventually getting to the new site shortly after 11am, only to find those responsible for the photo passes had not made it in. Grrrr all that effort to get in, paying for public transport and still no photo pass.

I spent Monday evening, fitting new mudguards to my touring bike and fitting 35mm tyres, instead of the previous 28mm ones. I thought that the touring bike with wider tyres would be a better bet in poor road conditions than my usual fixie (fixed wheel bike).

Waking up to an icy morning, I decided to brave cycling in on Tuesday, but had to walk the bike from my house to the main road as it was far too icy to ride the side street. I had a good ride in as there was virtually no traffic. I think London had paid attention to the hysterical media the day before and took the view they could not get to work. However as it was so cold and icy, I only cycled the direct route to my office and left the bike there and got tube to the new site. I did however manage to get a photo pass. So on Wednesday, I took my suit etc to the new site so that I can start cycling directly (or eventually) to the new site instead of going via my office. I’ll still try to fit in a ride through Hyde Park though as it is stunningly beautiful going via there, Green Park & St James’ Park before or after work.

Wednesday was another day cycling the direct route to the office and back, so only 50 miles done so far this week by Wednesday night. I’ll see what tomorrow brings and try to do a longer commute in and out now most of the snow has melted. Sadly & happily, Friday will only be a one way commute. Sadly that is on the mileage front, but happily because I am off to Grantham on the train to meet up with Jo and then on to Scarborough for the weekend. I told Jo that I’ve cycled enough miles this year to have cycled to her house (Nottingham) and back twice and still have enough miles left over to cycle up to Nottingham again and probably get back as far as Milton Keynes or Cambridge.

The only good thing about this weather is that it means I have been riding my touring bike which is the one I intend to ride LEJoG on. So it meant I have fitted the new mudguards and can check what else needs doing to it before the ride.