05 March 2011

I threw it all away

I wrote in my notebook - with some irony - "another great day". Rushing to catch an early (for me) train, to make a client meeting, I begin by taking a slice out of my ear while shaving. I staunch the flow of blood then hurry to collect together what I need for a day in London with a cycle ride at each end, then head off to Didcot on my bike.

The sky is clear and the sun bright enough to make me think that I will need to get my shades out soon - but the temperature has plunged, no doubt because of the clear skies, and there's a slight headwind, so the weather might look nice but it's not great for cycling. I wonder whether I will be able to climb Hagbourne Hill without changing down a gear or few - such a hit-and-miss affair, especially under load, that gear-changing is best avoided. By dint of getting up out of the saddle earlier than usual, I struggle to the summit, speculating about what I might do if the handlebars break as I pull against them.

Turning right towards Upton, a Citroen Picasso passes me where the driver has an inadequate view of the road ahead, and oncoming traffic forces him to cut in sharply. I shake  my fist at him but I guess he's oblivious.

Passing through the Orchard Centre car park, I am balked by a middle-aged couple (much older than me, that means) strolling down the cycle path, stopping to talk to someone. My horn has become too feeble to attract anyone's attention - perhaps time to invest in a whistle.

At the station it takes me precious minutes to free the lock I leave there and secure my bike (I forget to pass a lock through my helmet, and leave that just fastened round the cross-bar) while I listen anxiously to the announcement which concerns my train but of which I can only hear part. Buying a ticket from the machine, I dash for the platform and discover that the announcer was telling of a delay, putting my 11 o'clock in considerable doubt (I eventually make it just a few minutes late).

When I get out my BlackBerry to call the client, it immediately dies through lack of juice, and I have to travel to London without telecommunications. But, on points, it's still not a bad day ...

The day remains OK throughout my time in the office, though there are a few stressful moments: the good vibes even survive my attempt to run back to Paddington. Feeling confident that my plantar fascia would cope for at least a few miles, I remained ready to dive into one of the several tube stations on my route should the need arise. At Temple, although there have only been a few twinges, I decide enough is probably enough, and it would be prudent to let the train take the strain from here. In any event it will get me to Paddington in time for the 1930, which running won't - but it doesn't anyway, so the tube fare was a bit of a waste.

By the time I reach Didcot and unlock my bike it's freezing cold again - probably literally. I ram my helmet over the famous green hat and pedal hard - but the fantastic number of stars visible as I ride home mean there's nothing to keep any heat from escaping - from me as well as from the world at large.

I ice my foot as I eat dinner, as the effects of the run are beginning to make themselves felt, but when I wake after a fitful night's sleep the PF is really painful. Back to square one - all that tedious rest and the attendant cabin fever thrown away - though that was never previously what I thought of when I heard this song. Sorry the fantastic Dylan rendition from the Rolling Thunder tour isn't on YouTube, but Elvis is a pretty good substitute - maybe even better than the man himself on a Johnny Cash TV show which is on YouTube.

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