Saturday, 7 November 2015

Riding to mum's in the rain...

It's been a mixed bag on the weather front. While the temperatures have been mild, there has been rain and, as I walked home, without an umbrella, on a rainy Guy Fawkes night last week, wet leaves underfoot resembling soggy cornflakes, I began to wonder how the year has flown by. It's November, we're a month away from Christmas and I've still got loads of annual leave to take. It might have something to do with being constantly broke and in debt. In a sense I can't afford to take any time off as I don't have the money to spend on teashops and restaurants, and I have little in the way of motivation to 'do things around the house'. Besides, doing anything will require money that I simply don't have. So I work, I come home, I go to bed, I get up, I go to work, I come home, I go to bed... you get the general picture.

Cycling keeps me sane. Even though I only ride twice a week, I look forward to hitting the road and 'zoning out'. I've said it before: there's much more to cycling than pure exercise, which in many ways is the added bonus.

Mum on the doorstep...
The mild weather is strange. I have a Californian lilac in the garden in full bloom – in November! It normally flowers briefly in May and that's it, but mine is in full bloom. As I write this it's still dark outside so I can't see it, but I know it's there and when things brighten up it'll be good to see it. I've always admired the Californian lilac; I just wish I'd bought the one with the darker purple flowers, but it's a minor complaint.

When I woke up and looked out there was a puddle of water on the roof of next door's side extension, meaning it had been raining during the night. The lack of raindrops disturbing the puddle's mirror-like surface, however, was good news as it meant a dry ride bar the wetness kicked up from the road on my bike without mudguards.

Bare trees on Purley Recreation Ground, Saturday morning
Neither Andy nor Phil were riding today. Phil was shrugging off his sore throat while Andy had things to do. I could have simply stayed in bed, but there's never been any point in lying in and invariably I'm up by 0600hrs and sitting here writing something. Having switched off the alarm last night, I didn't get up until an hour later than usual and having peered out of the window I drifted downstairs, made some tea and continued to look out of the window at a rain-soaked garden, looking for signs of raindrops and finding none, although the potential was always there.

At one point I considered not going at all, based purely on the fact that it could rain at any time, but I had to get out of the house and by around 0800hrs I was in the open air, freewheeling down West Hill in what can only be described as a warm breeze. I was heading for mum's and enjoyed a very pleasant ride, which remained dry all the way.

Breakfast at mum's
After a boiled egg, some sliced bread and a cup of tea for breakfast I headed back. At first all was fine, but soon the heavens opened and within a short space of time I was soaked through. But I persevered, just like Mark Beaumont in The Man Who Cycled the World and eventually it didn't matter. It never does once you're out in it.

I reached home around 1000hrs or thereabouts. To be honest, I wasn't really minding the time as I usually do, I was simply riding, and whenever I leave the house later than usual, I tend to lose track of time. As I say, it didn't matter as the rest of the day was spent sitting around doing nothing and then driving aimlessly all the way to Horsted Keynes and back in the rain.

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