In The Grim.

I may have mentioned before how I quite like riding bikes, but always struggled to distill the why from the how. Take this morning, I haul weary arse from warm bed before the cock* has struck six, peer out into the gloomy, wet and general filthy conditions thinking “Yup, looks perfect conditions for a ride

A sidebar here: At work, I castigate all and sundry for over-designing stuff, building in layers of redundancy and pointless planning for the extremely unlikely. And yet, so terrified of missing my train, I buffer 20 minutes when I should still be sleeping in case of punctures, mechanical disasters or badger attack. Which in eighteen months of commuting has happened exactly once**, and I still missed my train. Meaning I had to wait almost twenty minutes for the next one. Bonkers.

As you were, anyway there is something righteous about riding this time of the year, as so many treat cycling as a three season activity. Instead of keeping calm and carrying on , they worry away at escalating girth, nibble on ugly looking food and – most of all – miss the hidden joy of two wheels always good.

I see them – more so in London – choosing a commuting alternative which includes compression tubes, grimy pavements, multiple delays and frustrations all to be borne in a suit. Then these very same people disappear into the Gym at lunchtime oblivious to the superb cycling facilities right next door. I can’t quite work that out.

I don’t miss riding in London though, except for the odd bout of commuter racing. Too bloody dangerous – whereas now I have the roads to myself and some rather fetching moving pictures as the sun struggles over the horizon. This does not appear to be the happy experience of uber-obsessive cyclist Samuri who seems to be conducting his own daily “DeathWish survey.

And while the weather may be filthy, I am dry in breathable fabric, layered in warmth and driven on by the shuffle of a thousand tunes. I arrive at the station, smiling and ready to cash in some hard yards at the bank of the Bacon Butty, while my fellow commuters shiver, snivel and stamp. They are adding clothes as I’m stripping off, breathing in big lungfuls and assuming this is the best part of my day.

It’s always a bit less enthralling heading home, tired, lacking the energy of twelve hours before, but still content to be sandwiching my day doing the stuff I love. Even when bits of that stuff are attempting to blow me off my bike, rip traction from my wheels and blow hard rain into my face. Most of the time, I find myself laughing, I’ve no idea why. Probably early onset dementia.

Tomorrow we’re nightriding in conditions that trigger multiple weather warnings depicting diaster and travel chaos. Not for me, no roads where I’m going. Saturday and Sunday I’ll be out again under thunderous skies and lashing rain although that has more to do with the onset of multiple in-laws. And today was a marker for at least one commute a week until the onset of BST.

I’m starting to think November is the new July.

* Lazy sod seems to be having a lie in. I’m going to get him a new watch.
** Those Badgers are nasty bastards. Lie in wait and then “mwwwaaaaah, eat the human

2 thoughts on “In The Grim.

  1. Alex

    I would point you in the direction of the name of this blog. Badgers eat hedgehogs apparently. And even if they don’t, any animal wandering aimlessly onto the road in the shape and colouration of a small zebra crossing gets exactly what it deserves 🙂

    I like Badgerist tho. Sounds properly rude.

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