Look outside – it’s not dark :)

This winter, I have mainly been method acting “Lithuanian Lesbian” when faced with any of the following – Dark, Cold, Wet, Injury or Apathy. Last year, the joy of spring was almost unconfined as after five months of misery, warm light evenings were a welcome reward for slogging through a globally unwarmed season. I was fit, fast and generally miserable whereas this year I’ve ensued the first two and instead spent many dark hours channeling just the latter.

But having given myself a stern talking too, my lethargy is at an end and, assuming that my bikes don’t degrade into swarf or great floods don’t start a run on build-your-own-arks, I shall be making up for lost time, lost fitness and – in the case of mountain biking – lost smiles. It would be fantastic to add lost beers to that list but frankly these past few months have introduced hops and barley as a staple diet. Although properly balanced with chocolate and milkshakes so that’s most of the nutritional bases covered.

So taking Spring at it’s word, I uncoiled from a warm bed this morning to be immediately tested with freezing fog and a light drizzle. And regardless of the clock of lies, my body was sulkily explaining it was really 5:45am. I bypassed an instinctive grab for the car keys and clipped into unfamiliar pedals so annoying my semi sleeping form even more. Instead of the motorised route hard wired into cossetted muscles, I headed out in the opposite direction to a station alternate that offered more trains and – more importantly – a far superior coffee shop.

Three things immediately occured to me me – firstly I didn’t know what time the train went, secondly the current time was hidden under three layers of fuckmeitscold layers and finally the distance was nothing more than a vague memory. Visibility of thirty feet or less hardly helped as cold lungs bitched about the yomping pace demanded by an anxious brain. But the five and a half miles were dispatched in a chilly sixteen minutes, which expanded past twenty as unfamiliar cycle facilities befuddled my sleepy and un-caffeined self.

But time was well on my side and clutching a rather lovely large Latte and pristine newspaper, I strode righteously onto the platform agog at unfamiliar commuters and the odd hated folder. Still they hardly slowed the train down when dispatched onto the line with nothing more than an evil grin and muttered “get a proper bike, you trouser clipped gaylord“. Important to make the right impression I’ve always thought.

The train was lovely – all civilised tables and empty seats. The experience was further enhanced as it failed to stop at stations separated by a short dog walk or the cheery thirty minute halts that pass for an on time service on the Amersham line. Early days though, it’s still Chiltern Railways who have a hidden charter to drive all but the most sanguine passengers to suicide attempts.

So far so good but my childish anticipation of riding home in daylight were scuppered by an impromptu meeting in an off site location serving cool beverages. And the mad dash to catch the seven pm train was compromised attempting to hustle while in receipt of the weighty laptop of doom. Next time I’ll be a little more careful which box I tick when ordering said Windoze brick because the battery alone weighs the same as Croydon and could power said town for about it a week.

And because the railway company has abandoned its’ commitment to green issues, we cyclists now have around 20{45ac9c3234d371044e23e276755ef3a4dde8f1068375defba7d385ca3cd4deb2} less bike racks to save the planet with. So while my train was serenely steaming out of the station, I was running up and down the platform in a frustrated doubletake attempting to find a slot to safely abandon the bike. The satisfaction of finally crafting a coveted wall spot was somewhat mitigated by the next four departures heading off only to my old station.

But finally, I’m heading home in non sardined comfort watching the day turn to night hoping against hope that I remembered to charge my lights.

2 thoughts on “Look outside – it’s not dark :)

  1. this story suggests to me something that I’m sure I suspected for a while but now have absolute confirmation of.

    [i]You have a bike stored permanently at the far end?[/i] And it’s just been sat there for months without being used? I couldn’t imagine taking such a risk, even with a bike that I’d carefully boobytrapped by fitting it with a fixed wheel.

  2. Alex

    I do Jon but it is a piece of shit. Well it was when I bought it, and after a year of abuse, it really is just held together by tape and habit.

    There are around 300 bikes parked at Marylebone and I reckon mine is close to being the shonkiest. It also has “the loose rear wheel of certain death” that only a skilled pilot can make turn right.

    Leaving my nice bike at the local station is more of a concern. But I’ve befriended the taxi firm who have a small shack and a big dog next to the bike racks.

    I’ve told them not to feed the dog 😉

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