Tuesday 15th Jan 2008
Unfortunately the weather forecast was accurate, very wet and windy. However I’d told my potential team mates I would try and qualify within the week so I started my extended commute.
The first 7km were to take me away from work over the largest local hill. The country lanes were quiet but covered in standing water. I arrived at Nine Mile Ride, an ancient road through the local forests and a shortcut to my warm office. However I needed the additional mileage so turned round and re-traced my route over the hill.
Shortly after descending the hill I passed two dog walkers, they just stood still with gaping jaws, obviously not used to unicyclists commuting this early on wet days!
It was time to join my normal bike commute mostly on reasonable cycle paths until turning onto Devil’s Highway, an old Roman Road crossing Swinley Forest. The recent wet weather had generated a lot of mud on the normally reasonable by-way and turned it into a quagmire. Through the forest the puddles completely covered the fire road. I took my normal bike lines and hoped for the best. Eventually my luck ran out as the wheel hit a submerged rock, my saddle ended up in the water, trousers and shoes drenched. I thankfully remained on two feet!
After running across the busy dual carriageway I re-entered the forest. Tree felling was in progress and the path was littered with debris. I exited the forest and after a section of busy road arrived at work, only a few minutes later than normal, the early start was worthwhile.
Shortly afterwards the rain stopped, resulting in a lovely sunny day. However whilst preparing to ride home in the still damp riding gear the rain re-started.
Due to the mud on Devil’s Highway I left the forest early and joined the cycle path, a few kilometres later the rain stopped. On the cycle path I passed 1km of stationary traffic due to some new roadwork’s, maybe I had chosen a good day not to drive!
Day Rating: 187
Soft gravel: 7km
Light Rain: 35km
Night Riding 42km
Wednesday 16th Jan 2008
Time to repeat the previous day’s ride, although this time it was cold and dry. I again joined my normal bike commute, taking the road route to avoid the worst of the mud.
Arriving at work my knee was sore, I’d strained it somewhere earlier in today’s ride. During the day the pain increased, I therefore worked out the shortest road route home which would get me qualified.
Leaving work I took the same road route as the previous day until close to home, from there I added an extra loop around town to boost my distance and height before completing the ride.
Day Rating: 152
Soft gravel: 5km
Night Riding 48km