Spring is unofficially here. The birds are tweeting, the thick gloves are off and wobbly cyclists everywhere have ditched their static turbo trainers and are remembering how hard it is to cycle in a straight line, never mind uphill.
After a long winter of cycling less than I had wanted, I am rediscovering the joys of cycling on dry roads and in daylight. The potential for hidden potholes, roadkill and ice appearing out of the darkness is not particularly safe or enjoyable and consequently resulted in cycling at a slow speed. But this week I cycle-commuted on three days and in quicker time than at any point over the last few months. Rather than the hour each way it is back down to a 50 minute ride.
The local farmers seem to have been active over the last week with plenty of mud splattered over the roads, but also giving me the frivolous opportunity to race a tractor or two. I believe tractors are restricted to 20mph on the public roads, which is a speed I couldn’t have contemplated last month but am now finding enough fitness to outpace a tractor over a short distance. Yesterday on my commute I had the competition of a tractor breathing down my neck for just over a mile. I never looked back as could judge his distance by the noises of the engine. Any time I did break away I then heard his terrifying engines bearing back down on me on any incline. Despite the cold temperatures I could feel sweat pouring off my face and was on the point of exploding when I heard him slow down and turn off into a field. These are the sorts of games I introduce to my ride to work, and the little things I miss when I have to drive the car.