Tiny Moments #121 – with love and squalor

I’m glad my new bike is in the bike shop. This means I am on my old Madone, which is as well because this morning’s weather forecast turns out to be not entirely accurate. Admittedly it is dry leaving the house and it is only by the approaches to Bickleigh that some faint mizzle starts. On the ride to Ashley however it has strengthened to heavy rain. By Tiverton it is a deluge. Salinger was certainly right on the money when he suggested that it seems to rain heaviest in the centre of town. 


Tiny Moments #120 – not very sticky bottle

There is a head/side wind as I roll down Green Lane but nevertheless I make a bit of an effort and am happy for most of its length to be within a whisker of my new best time. As the landscape opens up however the wind whips up and my legs ease back. Sitting up, I grab my bidon for a drink only to see it promptly and inexplicably tumble from my grip. Laughing at my clumsiness I can’t help but think about how my average speed will tumble from having to stop and turn around to retrieve it. But it is a Rapha bidon, after all.


Tiny Moments #116 – nose and tail

As we ride out of Keynsham I’m hooked up initially with a sizeable group of locals from what appears to be a club. Onto narrower roads and a short descent I’m riding three back from the front when suddenly everyone in the group appears to holler “car up” at almost exactly the same instant. I’m bemused and frustrated in almost equal measure, especially when the riders in front of me haul on the anchors. Shimmying to the right I’m through and safely past the car in a moment. Pushing on, I never see the club riders for the remainder of the ride.
Conscious of my age and awkward cussedness, I nevertheless can’t help but ponder how when I was growing up our group rides had a language of the road that I always assumed was universal. Whenever a vehicle approached on a narrow road the lead rider would call out ‘nose’ and when a vehicle came up behind the rider on the back would call ‘tail’. If it was a larger group then maybe a rider in the middle of the group might repeat the warning. As I progress around the Bristol Belter short course in glorious sunshine I use this approach whenever I’m with groups of other cyclists. I’m convinced they realise that my language of the road is the right one.