A little ride with big results
It’s Sunday; it’s summer and it’s a good day for a bike ride. Aiming to get back on his wheels after 6 weeks of essential family duties, Daddy Cool (DC) returns with a vengeance!
Accompanied with Mark, we organise a quick ride to Box, but start the day with some gentle laps with lots of sunshine. We return to our starting point and sneak behind the fence as we see DC approach. My phone rings and he’s wondering where we are. I reply with an apology and say that that we couldn’t wait any longer. Terrible, when you realise that I’m the worse offender for punctual starts.
We jump out to greet DC and quickly get back on the bikes. It’s important to see what condition our legs are in after not riding together regularly. It soon becomes apparent that DC means business. As we approach Sandown race-course, DC kicks and quickly shoots several bike lengths ahead. We catch up and grin. It’s going to be like this all day long.
It’s Crazy! It’s Mental!
After several punchy hills, Critten Lane offers a different scenario altogether. Not too dissimilar to the surface of the moon, it gobbles up riders with it’s narrow run and deep potholes, that eventually opens up to a smooth climb to the junction. Once again, DC takes this as an opportunity to attack.
Both of us shuttle along, overtaking the other, only to be overtaken a split-second later. DC admits later that he targets the rough surfaces to lure me into his trap. It works. As we clear the rough stuff, DC digs again and manages to pull away. I’m done.
Then his gears trip. It looks like this morning’s oil change on his chain isn’t quite good enough, and I catch him. We both grin, but really we’re sussing each other out. I do a cheeky grab on DC’s shoulder as he goes up a gear, but he’s too strong and he tears away. It’s going to go primal. We shout at each other and eventually the legs do what they’re meant to.
We regroup at the top and chuckle.
It looks like we’ve got time on our hands. DC suggests we descend and climb Ranmore a couple of times. Then in the middle of it he exclaims, “PB’s! PB’s! I want to see you get sick at the top!”
This may not work for everyone, and as crude as this might seem, this kind of motivational talk seems to work for me. This is why I like riding with DC, he’s always got something up his sleeve to make you to do better.
Hats off to Mike. He says he won’t do this again, but moments later he’s joined us for the second time round. He makes it and we make our final run for Box together.
The Other Side of Riding
Our fairytale day goes on, and we find ourselves on top of Box enjoying the rays with a cold drink.
The hubs make a sweet tune as we make our return journey. Our climbs are rewarded by downhill chases, and these three amigos make it back easily before lunch time.
On the approach to the final roundabout and we spot a rider down. He’s in a bad way. Pedestrians stop and quickly come to his aid. His bike is needing some TLC too. We pullover to see if we can help and give the fellow rider the company he deserves. Thankfully, we hear the ambulance is on it’s way. Both rider and driver are civilised as you could hope: driver calls for aid and waits patiently. Every now again, he asks if the fallen man is okay, and apologises. The rider is clearly in shock, but he’ll live to ride again.
The police arrive to provide assistance, our fallen rider thanks us for helping and lets us go. Before doing so, we exchange details in case he needs our help. This isn’t a great way for our fairytale to end, but it’s a real part of cycling.
We try not to linger on it, and make the most of the ride home. Mark’s had an incredible day on the saddle: he’s by far stronger and more able than before. DC is DC, and it’s good to have the man back, no matter how much my legs hurt!