Say it quietly and be careful not to speak too soon, but we appear to be having a genuine proper summer in England this year. Sunny days, little rain and warmth on a near-enough daily basis. It’s unprecedented. I have become an accomplished picnicker by bike and with a baby, which is no mean feat. It requires quite a lot of preparation but the benefit is that there’s no kitchen floor to clear from an avalanche of food. Instead you just shake the crumbs onto the grass for the birds and head on.
I take it at an easy pace. There isn’t really much option when you have a picnic blanket hanging off one side of the bike, a full pannier bag on the other and a big baby sat directly behind you. I also just wear normal clothing, although her constant grabbing at the waistband of my boxer shorts is starting to make me consider wearing bib-shorts to prevent her mid-ride attempts at pulling a wedgie on me. If she ends up being embarrassed by her Dad cycling in Lycra then she’ll only have herself to blame.
In contrast to leisurely picnics by the lake I may be pinning a race number onto my jersey this evening and taking part in my first time-trial of the year. At 25 miles it’s much further than I’ve ever raced before, but with such beautiful weather it seems a good moment to head down to the lake for some fast fun. Hopefully there’ll be no danger of troublesome pumas when I’m kitted out in proper cycling gear.