Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Getting back on form....

I took the dog out early over the fields on Sunday morning. I had arranged to meet up with Gary at 9.30am and didn't want to be rushing around at the last minute. As we meandered down past the allotments and a small copse of trees I could hear machinery. As we climbed over the next stile I saw a cloud of debris being thrown up by a combine harvester mowing a field in the dip ahead.

I wandered down to get a closer look - it was an impressive sight. But then I got to thinking about a book I'd been reading. One of the characters mentioned mowing a five acre field by hand with a scythe - I got to thinking how much more impressive that would be.

Gaz and I were riding one of our usual and favourite routes today. It had been a while since I had ridden my Madone with Gary; the last few times out I've been on my Trek FX - a good bike but heavier and nowhere near as fast as a carbon racing bike. Hence, combining my lack of riding of late with the bike issue I had been struggling to keep up. But not today - today I was back and I felt good; strong and energetic. Of course I should point out that Gary had drunk a couple of bottles of red wine the previous evening - he wasn't feeling too sharp!

We rode at a brisk pace, eating up the miles. Everything clicked together for me, it was one of those days that I felt fast and tireless - I zipped away and met up with Gary at the bench we use for a welcome drink from our bidons. There were lots of cyclists out today - really lots - fast, club riders, older touring riders, families, couples - it seemed there was someone else at every turn. We turned down one lane and saw a couple of riders up ahead and a vehicle stopped in the road. As we got nearer the driver of the vehicle signalled to us to stop and we duly pulled over. The two other riders there were both girls; one in full club kit and looking fit and the other a Sunday morning rider in a tee shirt - then we saw why we'd been stopped. Lumbering up the road came a combine harvester, straddling not only the road but the verges on both sides too. It heaved and jerked its way past trees and walls, breaking branches and flattening flowers - a man carrying a scythe wouldn't cause this problem.

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