Monday morning ritual resumed: Retrieve bike from it’s hanging position in the hallway. Insert front wheel, check over the running gear, stopping today to adjust the chain tensioner in a bid to stop a third chain deraillment (I think I was clipping it with my heel when accelerating from a standstill). Descend with bike to the garage, inflate tyres to 120PSI. Clip in and get going.
Catch and pass two riders at the second set of lights on the way in by timing the change just right. Get into a comfortable pace on the long run past the Tesco garage. Stop at the 8 second lights and then find the right pace again for the following section to get the lights on green. Approach the penultimate set of lights and look right over my shoulder to check the traffic.
There he is. A roadie tucked into my not insignificant slipstream. The cheeky scampster, we’ll see how fit he is. I wind up the gear and put a 10m gap in almost straight away and keep building the cadence. Then checking the traffic again, swing right across into the third outside lane to be in the right one for the lights. He knows it’s over. He looks knackered even after a 50m burst of effort and I feel victorious. All I need to do is safely make it through the Bends of Fury (which will be slick with Diesel on this damp morning) and I’ll have made it into work.
It’s all fairly insignificant in the bigger picture of things. Chilly has been in France to ride the Etape du Tour and despite having a laptop with him hasn’t posted up again since his initial article on getting there. This I can assume means one of three things. One is that his room has been broken into and his laptop stolen – now being used to sell snow to Eskimos by a long lost African relative. The second is that he has succumbed to the French wine and cheese and is too chilled to care about a bike ride. Or thirdly he has paid the price for taking on Mt Ventoux and is now dead. We wait for news from the south of France.