22 August 2011

Obscured by Clouds


 A cloud of cold mist had descended on Hagbourne Hill this morning, and it seemed to get thicker and thicker as I cycled into it. I reached behind the saddle and switched on the rear light, then the front light, as I began the climb, getting up early out of the saddle to power my way up the hill without changing down. It's the only way.

By the time I reached the top, oncoming vehicles without lights were emerging suddenly from the fog, until I realised that it was almost entirely on my glasses. After my right turn into the downhill stretch towards Upton – the point at which the GPS told me I had done a mile – I pulled over and wiped them thoroughly on my tee shirt. The improvement was enormous, and very temporary – I had to repeat the exercise quarter of a mile later. Autumn is definitely coming (though as I write this, trundling slowly through Old Oak Common, the sun is bright), winter probably not far behind. My birthday has always marked a watershed in the seasons, and it comes up on Friday.


The ride took only about 25 minutes, which may or may not have something to do with the time I spent adjusting the brakes to ensure they did not bind as the wheels rotated, and perhaps getting the wheels to track more accurately. But there's still some wobble in the wheels which might require some more technical adjustment – I wonder whether I will be able to find the tool for doing that, which I bought years ago when the wheels on my racing bike were bent out of shape at the merest hint of an Oxfordshire road surface?