Despite the fact this month’s mileage total was ten shy of February’s, it’s easily been the best month’s cycling so far, thanks to the arrival of Spring.
At the start of March, that seemed a long way off. It was still really cold and grey, spitting rain and headwind which caused my front lights to break. Motivation was hard to come by; I try tinkering around with my commuting route; the Greenwich Foot Tunnel is open (sometimes), so I try using that to cut across into the Isle of Dogs and then take one of Boris’ Cycle Superhighways into the city.
A trip to the US in the middle of the month – to Austin, Texas for SXSW, all superhuge blue skies, inspiration and connection – is brilliant, a welcome change from London and the slow haul out of Winter. In terms of the BHAG though, SXSW punches a huge hole in the middle of the month, as I’m away for a week, and then wiped out for four days afterwards, staying up far too late and sleeping in and just generally feeling knocked sideways.
Getting back on the bike was a bit of a trudge at first but then there was a ride where from the first moment I just knew it was going to be great: the bike felt light, taught, ready to roll as soon as I pulled it away from the rack, and the whole cycle home was just fast, smooth, fun and warm.
And then the clocks go back, and all of a sudden it’s easy. On a Sunday, I cycle out to Biggin Hill, the best day’s cycling so far, guided by a brilliant route. It’s Spring everywhere I look, the scenery rushing past packed with budding blossom and magnolia petals, everything heavy with colour and feeling. It’s a half day 40 mile route, out into Kent, to the famous old RAF airfield, and then the huge drop down Westerham hill, the fastest I’ve ever gone on the bike – 37.4mph – an incredible road that twists and turns and sends you rolling out beyond the M25. My legs ache as I cycle back via Orpington, but everything else feels great.
Total miles: 140
Total to cycle: 1,633