Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Riding to work

I decided to ride to work today, there had been no banter about night riding and the forecast looked not too bad today. I also want a rest day in my legs before racing on Saturday.

The forecast was for light wind and possibly some rain in the morning with the wind picking up to around 25mph gusts etc and heavier rain for the ride home. The wind was due to be coming from a South Easterly direction which as Jez pointed out would make for hard work on the ride home. I said "that's not too bad and I have my waterproofs anyway".

Ride in was fine, a little cold to start with but nice and warm in my full paclite bin bag ensemble. I took a pretty steady pace to work with no dramas. It took 1:09 minutes to do the 17.5 miles for the particular route I took and it was a really, really enjoyable "I love my bike" ride. Particularly enjoyable was switching the main light off for the last three miles or so as it was so light (spring is coming!!! slowly).

For the ride home my words came back to haunt me! The rain started as soon as I got up from my desk (I laugh in the face of rain!) but the wind didn't seem to bad due to the shelter of the building. Usual faff getting ready and out the door, it wasn't until I left site and turned onto Heyhouses Lane that the wind hit me and I crawled along at 10mph!

It was hard work against the wind for the whole ride home but I can honestly say I never bothered about the rain (apart from the few times it was driving into my face), I was toasty, warm and dry. I slogged it out with my helmet peak set down against the wind for most of the way home. It was so set down that I missed the cut through to the swing bridge on the docks and ended up popping out near Morrisons. I did think of cycling along that way but when I got there it seemed jammed with cars.

I decided to head round the back of the docks as I was supposed to. As I was approaching the cinema I could see loads of tail lights queued, unusual for this bit of road. When I got to the junction to head towards Strand Road it was at a standstill. Cars were backed up, with people trying to get into the queue at random angles. It was chaos, so I rode on the pavement for a while until I got past the worst bottle neck and continued on the road, then down through quiet Avenham Park.

The last section was hard work straight into the wind and I crawled home. It took me 1:25 to do the 18 or so miles home at a snail worthy 12.9 mph. Though it turns out there were major problems on the M6/M55 anyway so I don't think I would have driven home in much less, which was why Preston was so busy. Still quite enjoyed it because I didn't end up cold and wet.


  1. I was stuck in that M55/M6 traffic, a car transporter lorry had crashed across the central reservation, lane closures galore. Good choice to commute by bike!

  2. They can be fun when you are on a bike and you are the only one who can get through. I got home from blackburn once when the trains were cancelled and the a666 was blocked - due to the wind a tree had come down. I climbed across it with a nice Police man helping me with my bike!

    You commute 17.5miles that is hardcore, you are fast as well!