Paid to Cycle

This afternoon, four of the five teachers that have opted to take ‘social cycling’ this term gathered at the school sports centre. I was one of their number. The leader is Al, mid-30s wiry, outdoorsy. The alpha male is Steve, late-40s, lean and muscular, with all of the gear but, annoyingly, all the ideas too. There’s Charles, late-40s, small, squat, a bundle of energy always on the verge of an argument with other cyclists/motorists/human beings. And there’s me.

We do a 22 mile loop that takes in the 15%, cat 4, 2-mile climb up Exedown and it is here that I’m comprehensively ‘dropped’ by the bunch although I wasn’t able to change down to the smaller gear on the crank, a possible legacy of the collision with a Mercedes last Saturday. There was also the annoyance of a slow puncture on the rear wheel (again) that necessitated stopping to pump the tyre back up several times over the last 6 miles. The rear tyre is now paper thin – practically ‘slick’ – but also more prone to punctures so some new tyres are on order. I’ve made it sound grim, but it was a beautiful afternoon with the prospect of several more to come over the next few weeks. Is that going to be long enough to prepare me for the Ventoux? Is anything??

Paid to Cycle

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