Done. That was it. The last proper ride of the year. It had everything: glowing early morning fog, burnt through in places by a magical sunrise, coffee and a bacon sandwich in G!ro (Esher), a straight line blast through the reservoir and a taxi driver reversing into me less than a mile from home. A fitting way to end my cycling year.
I’m out with Big CJ. Except he’s not so big anymore. He’s started cycling to work and the KGs have melted off him. He’s looking good for it. It’s looking ominous for me. I wish I hadn’t given him a hard time about letting his mileage slip as now I’m struggling to hold his back wheel.
Worse I can’t stick with him on the hills (not even big ones) – he whips me 3 out of 3. 3.0. It’s my own fault, I asked for it, I woke the beast. I’m facing the consequences now.
This Thursday I’ve got my second hand operation, right hand this time. I’m not just stopping cycling just because it’s cold. Honest. It will put me out of action until 2017. This time I know what to expect, which makes it worse, there should be no surprises – that large needle going deep into the palm of my hand. Am I going to approach things differently this time? Probably not, if anything I’m more casual, more complacent (apart from the prospect of that needle).
I’ll be happy to hang up my bike as Big CJ really ramps it up past Hampton Court Palace on through to Kingston. He’s in his sweet spot, the long, straight, flat road. I’m hanging on, just, the balance of power has shifted.
2017 is going to be a tough year as I struggle to get back on terms with the new order.