Away from the rat race

work, sadly for those of us without the benefit of a bottomless bank account is a necessity. The daily grind, the mill stone around our necks, to use two milling metaphors is something to endure whilst dreaming of being outside enjoying fresh air. The reality of it probably being air containing mostly rain at a sub zero temperature pales into insignificance compared to listening to your boss drone on or trying to cram 20 hours work into 8.
So when you get a chance to ride your bike on a week day when all your colleagues are slaving away you grasp it with both hands. So it was arranged, Dan and Ant were on holiday too so the three of us braved the very muddy conditions of the woods, to be honest it was a run of the mill ride. The usual trails were followed, I was on a non fat bike so was getting used to the new sensations and we visited Lizzie’s Farm cafe and indulged in Guinness and chocolate cake. We had done six miles, sat down for 30 minutes and drunk 2 cups of tea. The ride was going to be slightly more of the same and then finished. The ride needed a spark or it would end in a terrible waste of not being at work. Dan was the saviour and suggested the Waltonberg, Ant had never experienced it. Just the challenge we needed sat there fat with calories and my own personal lethargy.
We took the most direct route to Clent, by passing Waseley cafe, another stop would have been fatal to our momentum, and got to the foot of the Waltonberg in good time. The climb is as demoralising as ever but slightly easier today as the windy conditions of the last few days has dried the greasy cobble and polished brick surface so at least the rear tyre was afforded some grip. It probably would have been easier without the weight of a large amount of cake inside us but even so Dan forged ahead carrying the weight of his fat bike and making it look easy as Ant and i followed behind. I was searching for the smoothest line, swapping from one side to the other. Probably not the way to save energy for the 28% section. I ground on, turning hte pedals and trying to regulate my breathing. Stopping isn’t an option as getting going again is a near impossible feat.Eventually i caught up with Dan at the trig point and got some recovery time.
The descent from the high point was via some lovely single track lined on every side by what will. in a few months become a blanket of bluebells, one definitely to return to view and it almost ends in The Vine car park. well the combination of being off work, no need to drive later and a bench in the sunshine was too much of a temptation to miss and we didn’t. Indulging in a pint of Butty Bach and chewing the fat preceded the journey home via Pepper wood on quiet, every body is at work roads.
It’s possibly the best feeling to be off work legitimately and making the most of it, when the sun shines and the riding and company are good. it even feels a bit naughty to be enjoying oneself, but being naughty every now and again is good for you.
It’s 19 days of grind and earning money to pay the bills until my next weekday off work. i suspect the outcome may be similar to this one
ride 18
31  miles
total 362
commute 72

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