More blue skies, more sunshine, more reasons to ride… Due to the nature of the childcare juggling beast, today was a divide and conquer day. Youngest and Daddy went off to kick bouncing butt in Bath. Which left MaxiMe and I home alone. In an attempt to be a parent, I decided we’d go for a ride together, all bonding like, rather than hit the hills by myself and leave him to his choice of electronic entertainment. Besides, just like me, he’s not going to get any better at riding the bike unless he actually does some riding on it! I can’t say as he was thrilled by the idea, but he came around soon enough…
MaxiMe was not having one of his better days. Not to start with anyway. Not only is he not used to the fact that you feel crap for the first half an hour or so until you’ve warmed up properly, he was also not having a lot of fun fighting the headwind that he had insisted we go out into so as to have it behind us on the way home. A good theory I grant you, but there was rather more of the blowy stuff than predicted, and it did turn the exposed flat roads of the Levels into somewhat of a slog.
When we reached Mark, me having gotten a little tired of having to continually encourage, coax, nag, tow, jolly along…we had a chat. I gave him two options, go left, head directly for home, do not pass GO, do not collect £200, and more importantly, do not eat cake at Sweets. Or MTFU and go and eat cake. He was clearly torn, and the decision making process took a while…but cake is a strong motivator…and even knowing that would mean returning via Mudgeley Hill, he opted for the first option. Who’s a good boy then? ;).
And it was beautiful out there. There were herons, and swans, and unidentified wading over-wintering ducks, and geese, buzzards, crows, magpies… All these things we observed whilst trying to ignore the fact that the headwind hadn’t gone away and there really isn’t anywhere to hide out there. On days like these that long straight road seems to go on and on forever…at least MaxiMe thought it did!
But this too shall pass…and it did…and we made it to Sweets. Although it wasn’t empty, it was quiet and we were the only cyclists there….bizarre for a sunny Sunday! Although judging by the number of cyclists we passed on the way home afterwards, they were going to be busy later…
See how much happier he looks now? I told you cake works wonders… It even got him up Mudgeley Hill with the minimum of complaint. I had forgotten it’s possibly to go up hill so slowly…! I guess hills always feel hard because I’m trying to get up them the best I can? Maybe I should just pootle more often ;). However bad it may sound, it is nice to be reminded that I’m not the slowest cyclist out there sometimes *grin*.
The ride back was more pleasant. The wind was, as hoped, behind us. However every cyclist in Somerset was out there, in dribs, drabs, and quite a lot of large groups. The local traffic had clearly had enough of this, what with Sunday driving to be done, and pub lunches and garden centres to get to, and there was quite a lot of cars squeezing through gaps that didn’t really exist just to navigate us all. Not entirely pleasant, so on the busier roads I took up my usual rearguard position on the basis that if they’re going to hit someone, I’d rather it was me! We finally escaped after a little sprint down the bypass, and got back into town with smiles on our faces. In the (not so) long run, the boy done good :).
Cycling time: 1:30:39 hrs
Distance: 21.36 miles
Avs: 14.1 mph.
ODO: 15946.79 miles