Archive for November, 2012

A windy day out

I finally got out on another 100k Audax today.

I don’t know if it was me or the 20mph+ winds from the South West, but it felt like I crawled most of the way round the course (at one point I had to stop because I got depressed going at walking pace on the flat). The worst thing was, even with the wind at my back, 10% hills seemed really hard, like the bike weighed a ton or was rolling through mud. Could just be that I got tired battling into the wind for the first 20 miles, then was shattered for the rest, or could be I’ve lost some fitness. Rather than getting depressed by my dive in fitness, I told myself that even if I’ve gotten less fit, doing the ride is what I have to do to sort it out.

I’m glad I didn’t try the 25% monsters in Surrey today, but the roads around Box hill are bad enough after a little drizzle, let alone torrential rain. As it was, I came across one entirely flooded road and had to ride through the lake very carefully.

Barclays bike fail

Going out for drinks after work, I decided to try out a Barclays / Borris bike so I didn’t have to lug the Brompton around pubs.

Picking up from Waterloo was fine and it rode nicely to my office near Westminster. It was slow yes, and the only people I could pass were fixies (how does being on a fixie help you go through red lights anyway?) but it was fun.

I decided to use my £1 to travel the 1000m to my favorite sandwich spot. All fine, apart from not understanding the system and being stuck in roadworks.

Then the trouble started. Sandwich in hand, I tried to get another bike to go back and was informed “you need to wait 5 minutes between hires” (and they mean the end of the hire, not the start as I vainly hoped). The walk is only 10 minutes, so after a few tries I gave up.

Post after work celebrations, I tried to get a bike to head back to Waterloo. After doing the necessary, the machine failed to give me a code and then told me it couldn’t deal with me anymore after inserting my card again. Again after a few tries and without much time in hand, I hoofed it to Waterloo, just in time to catch the train.

All in all, if I need reliable transport in the capital, I shall take the trusty folder (turned out there would have been plenty of space for it anyway and the lights are better).