As I’ve said before, I don’t mind the rain and I can just about cope with the cold, but wind; well that’s another matter entirely. I utterly detest it; much, much more than I hate hills, punctures and even forcing energy gels down my throat while trying not to gag.
So, having successfully avoided cycling in last week’s gale-force winds, Sunday’s continued blustery conditions were the sort of thing I don’t usually look forward to. When you’re riding in a gorup it’s usually OK. You tuck in on someone’s wheel, take your turn on the front when you can and generally get round with a bit of banter about the conditions. Everyone looks out for each other and it becomes a bearable experience.
Which is why it was realy blasted stupid of me to miss the meet for the 9am ride by getting out of bed late. I was only a bit late and thought I’d catch them before the possible route split, just past Ockham. As I turned off the road out of Cobham and down Ockham Lane I was certain I could see the blue, black and orange London Dynamo jerseys through the hedges. So I put my head down, got on the drops and put a bit of effort in to see if I could catch them.
About ten minutes later, and with them still not in sight, I noticed the sweat dripping off the peak of my cap as I powered weakly on into the constantly-changing headwind in an ever-changing gear. I kept on going past the possible split, guessing at what was probably the wrong way. When I finally sat up for a drink and some food I didn’t feel so good.
I’d gone flat out for an hour and a half out trying to get to the meet and then catch the group. I was gasping for water, low on energy and a long way from home. So I made the decision to turn around and head back towards Richmond Park to put a few laps in. At which point the headwind turned against me again…
One of those days. Next week I’ll probably remember to get out of bed on time, and I might have the new Merckx to take for a spin.