Its funny how things turn out. In another parallel universe I am currently cycling between Moffat and Penrith as I successfully negotiate the middle section of my JOGLE. As things turned out, it's probably just as well that I'm not.
Anyone who has followed any of my ramblings over the last few months will know that my JOGLE plans were some what scuppered by a knee injury forcing a break from the bike and in turn creeping sloth and unfitness. However, two other elements have contrived to make this cancellation look fortuitous in the extreme. Firstly, it been November since April, apart from the very nice weekend I got married which was August in May. The amount of and intensity of rain over the last week means that even if I had no fitness issues, no one would have blamed me for throwing the bike in a ditch, thumbing a ride to the nearest station and heading for home and a warm pub. Secondly, I have managed to stuff my back up so that I am woken every morning at 5 with a searing pain in my rib cage. Apparently, my facet joints are "not having a good time at present". So I am at the osteopath more often than fiscally sensible, and mainly sitting on the sofa watching the TdeF with an ice pack on my upper spine.
Now a number of people have told me that adversity is a good thing as it provides a testing environment against which our achievements can be measured. All I can say is, you are welcome to the extra satisfaction of cycling in a monsoon whilst your back is in spasm and you're on your tenth puncture of the day. These are the same people who asked if I was rough camping or going soft and using camp sites. My reply, least the printable part, was that I was going to travel light, indeed the first thing I was going to pack was my credit card and the list of nice B&B's I had booked which provided drying rooms, cyxle storage and a less than 5 minute walk to a pub serving pies.
So what are my plans for a challenge now? Well, having lost a little confidence in the body to stand up to 16 days cycling in a row (well "a day" at present) I am looking at the "Side2Side". This is a ride linking St David's in Pembroke with Lowestoft in Suffolk, the longest crossing of the UK, if you ignore that pesky SW peninsula. It's 400 odd miles, doable in 7 days and gets easier the further you go. The hills in East Anglia needing a survey team to find, let alone worry about.
So finger crossed that my "sofa time" is not wasted and I recover to full fitness ASAP. Of course, anyone fancying 7 days of B&B's and pubs and pies is of course welcome to get in touch!
Cycling in the news
Oh no, it's "Cycling on the pavement" crackdown time in Wales. Apparently the Cardiff police are going to run a 7 week operation because of "concerns raised by residents"
I know I go on about this, but really, is that the worse thing that people have "concerns" about? I mean given the carnage caused on the road by drivers, I hope the Cardiff Police will be just as vigilant on drivers in the same period. I'm not holding my breath.
One comment on the BBC page said this
Sure, there are bad cyclists, bad drivers and bad pedestrians. Instead of wasting money patrolling the streets looking for cyclists that sometimes don't have any other possible way to go due to illegal parking and aggressive driving the council should apply that money to create a valid cycle network in Cardiff. That might even change the attitude of most drivers and they might even start cycling. How many people I ask why they aren't cycling and the reply is always due to the road being dangerous... Get the police to patrol the roads instead and no considered cyclist will use the pavement. It's too slow to get to places anywayThis sounds sensible and proportionate, otherwise it looks like a Police force has some KPI's to fulfil.
Read all about it Here and Here
Any in "other news" Somerton Residents were apparently "outraged" by cyclist at a charity event urinating in the bushes.......Busting for a Pee
I'm not quite sure what the great British obsession is about bodily functions, it's not like cyclists were flashing at residents, I mean, how could they be sure, were binoculars invoked, were people so outraged that needed to take several looks just to make sure?
As one commenter said
“You had better not ever visit Paris luvvies! . Your vituperative spirit would be crushed, and your poor prim hearts just would not stand it.”Which about sums it up!
I like a curry, it's been a long time obsession, which started in the 70's when my parents would go to the Taj Mahal in Staines and have a Malaya Curry or a Meat Madras and share a bottle of Black Tower. As a kid keen to eat anything, I got to go along and move on up from a korma and a coke to vindaloo and beer. not with my parents, that was with the cricket club!
One of the concerns about curry is the high fat content and consequent calorie load, not helped by your choice of "beverage". So over the years, my visits to a proper takeaway have been less regular and homemade curries have been the way to go. I particularly recommend Pataks Curry Pastes, but it's even better to make from scratch. This Low Fat veggie curry is made from scratch and takes no time at all.