Back in 2011.. as part of a cycle distance judgment exercise i cycled to Cambridge.. i had an intention to go for a cycle in Europe later that year and needed to know exactly how to space out the days, stopping point wise. A couple of weeks ago, after around about a 1.5 years of unplanned tardiness i played my first game of football, it did not go well, worse than i thought it might. My right thigh had been struggling when ever i ran for a train, it buckled and as i attempted to move about the astro-turf it gave way, over and over it struggled and failed all to often to retain me upright. So before the next game i stretched and squatted, within those free moments that fill a day and a week later i played again. Rather pleased was i to see that while fatigue and speed remained an issue, already my leg had held up throughout. It had been Mitch’s advise to attempt these, what with his propensity to run around Marathon circuits in all together inexplicably swift times, he’d seemed like the logical person to query on such matters. The other advise was to cycle… For over a year id been contemplating revisiting the cycle to Cambridge but it wasn’t pleasant back in 2011, it hurt on the mountain bike and i just didn’t really think i could muster it any more.
It was a warm day and the the none main road route was a confusing manglement of country lanes, which when caught out by they’re 2 house village sized direction signs and intersections can lead to places which are anything other than on route.
Any surprise twist in the story arc such that there isn’t – may be lost buy the evidence of photography but i went and made it. Its not a massive achievement, having done it before and by the simple fact it just isnt so very far… the questions now were, how long to rest up in the park, cycle back or get the train as id offered to myself earlier as an option and how to relax while keeping contact with all the most needed thing id brought with me … phone.. keys.. wallet etc.. while resting up and shielding key parts from hot hot rays from above.
As i’d arrived there had been a lot of people… i rather hoped Harrie wasn’t among them, an old friend who now live up here, but we hadn’t spoken properly for quite some time and running into a person like this well that would be rather awkward. An effort though small was made not too look around overly, just in case, but there was the water, the punting people, the park dwellers and the touristic slow wonderers.. odds had to be on my side, like a modillo puzzle.. even if people did happen to be in the same area the swarm would act as cover enough … its not the sort of thing you ought to concern yourself with either.
Meanwhile the thunder flies seemed to have become convinced a large and most once in a lifetime butter cup had shown up and they were flocking…. pilgrimaging .. swarming my specially traffic notifying yellow self…
How i like Cambridge, i knew this, but not being here i forget, since those three years of University when i came to know it well enough. Cambridge, this would be a good choice of places to live, were it not for the commuting time to London… and the prices, the expensive property prices… apparently an unfortunate effect of supply and demand… if only other people were not of the same mind on such matters
The train seemed like opting out, i was hungry, there was little drink left in the rucksack as well… but for some reason id opted out of bringing any sort of lock…i’d looked at it and positively discounted the idea.. and here i was in the known… famously known.. bike theft ca[ital of the world… only a matter of meters away from the only place ive ever witnessed in person what was surely a most brazen theft effort, lockless and need of visiting a shop, or not … was there something on the way back perhaps…. not that i could remember… choices needed to be made…
I could plop the bike along side a bunch of locked up bikes and hope that the masses would disguise its locklessness…or i could place it somewhere in less plain sight and make a rush for it in the shop… i did the latter… the self checkout had gone into error mode almost immediately having detected that someone was attempting to use it for the act of purchasing items, that was the quick in quick out idea scuppered.
After delayed assistance was not given by the shops assistance, but rather by a friendly outsourced security personnel, who thankfully took pity on a sweaty alumnus yellow, person in emergency red faced need for some chocolate biscuits and flavored water.
Glancing round the corner there were wheels… the bike remained
The wind was clearly in my favour on the way here, i hadn’t noticed earlier but now as i headed the other way in hope of mustering a return it was there to greet me .. wind and what seemed like an increased amount of adverse undulations, i set to wondering whether there was some difference in altitude, perhaps cambridge was beneath sea level and had therefore been relatively readily reached due to being blown downhill which was all now set against me as i struggled to return…. focusing on one next train station option town at a time.. roads which dedicate a focal point of their naming to the word ‘hill’ those are not the types of roads you welcome… and the bike it had forgotten how to change to the uphill gear some years past… i’d not fixed it, didnt know how and had never taken it to someone who did … so that added to the fun.. manual unhooking time had come if this was going to be attempted.