Sunday morning 16th February and Nature offered a truce in the wild weather of recent weeks. The sun shone and the raging wind became a light breeze. To be sure, it was chilly at 8 a.m, but we were all technofibred up to the hilt.
Only four turned turned up at the meeting spot, maybe it was something to do with the half-term holidays, and unusually, we were all over 50 years old. So, linked by age and ability, talisman Mike, Miguel, Pete and I set off for a 65km ride out through Barnet into Hertfordshire.
The route was vaguely designed to avoid shady, and potentially icy lanes, so we stuck to slightly bigger roads. It’s almost compulsory for us to climb Barnet Hill as we head North, and today was no exception.
Pete has had a cold for as long as I have known him. Mike is recovering from a bout of influenza. Miguel has been worn down by board meetings and I have no honest excuse to offer, but I always claim to have a hangover. Can’t stand being the odd one out.
Despite these ailments our mature and compact group smashed out 65 kms in just over two hours, an average speed of 29 km ph with 700 metres of vertical climb, this equates to about two thirds of the ascent of mighty Alpe D’Huez.
As we returned via Tylers Causeway towards Potters Bar, we encountered many large pelotons of riders heading out towards Brickendon and Bayford from whence we had just come, a testament to the rising popularity of cycling and probably also something to do with the fine weather.
It is hard to articulate the combined feeling of physical and mental well-being derived from cycling, but the added dimension of friendship generated by our little group is a bonus.
As great a pleasure as it is to cycle with a mixed age and gender group, this morning was one for the old boys.