Last night I ventured out on Major Tom for about 5.5 miles. The cool thing is that while I grew up in Stafford and know it pretty well, particularly my own estate, I hardly know Leamington at all. I get to do all that exploring all over again!
I rode down the cycle paths to the railway station. It’s a lovely 1920s building, all Art Deco like something off Poirot or Jeeves and Wooster. The route there and back was straightforward enough, although the paths are noticeably less well thought out than Stafford’s, particularly in terms of hedges causing blind spots on side roads.
I found an industrial estate with some nice wide, billiard-table-smooth and quiet roads. Perfect. When I have the time it’s just the place for me to practise gear changes and standing up to pedal and so on. I’m getting a lot more familiar with the bike now, I’ve covered 30 miles so far, and I think I’m getting a hang of controlling it. It just requires a much much more gentle touch than Crichton. Something to do with the slimmer tyres maybe, or the multiplying effect of having much more weight resting on the handlebars.
I’ve got used to the saddle now, although I suppose 5 miles isn’t really enough for a proper test. Still, if it’s comfortable in jeans then for longer rides in some proper kit it should be fine. It suits the bike really well too. My housemate doesn’t like the red/black colour scheme of my bike as it reminds him of Manchester United. It reminds me of AC Milan, my favourite foreign football team. So there.
I’ve had so much on lately, everything all piled up in one hideous month. It is SO nice to go on a bike ride right now, and so necessary. They ought to make it available on prescription!