It's been a long week, with Thurday and Friday seeing me depart in the dark of the Autumnal evenings, makine it feel like the nights are drawing in faster than they maybe are. Friday I decided to leave early, I left at five and what a difference a few hours make.
I wasn't expecting anything special from my ride home, except to surprise the kids and the Good Lady by actually seeing them at a resonable hour. Sometimes when you are not looking for something that is when it finds you, a ride filled with joy, questions and answers.
The weather was perfect, and this is the reason why this (and Spring) are my favourite times of the year to ride. Mother Nature is trying one final push to throw out some colour and varity before the dull months of Winter set in. There are lots of berries on the bushes, which normally means a harsh season ahead (spiked tyres anyone). The dark moody skies of the last few days had been replaced by glorious sunshine and the Met Office had got it slightly wrong on the forecast, result.
Like many people I use my ride home to unwind and leave work at work and it is also a time of reflection and lamentation for me. Many things crop into my head on the ride today's was the following.
- My family are awesome. I'm so blessed to be involved in my kids lives. I've never really understood the Public School thing, pack them off at 8 and see you at 18. i've had friends who have been through that system and they definately think diferently about relationships and life. So with great joy I was told stories of their days at school. Theres no sound better to coming hime to a house full of laughter.
- I had a ride home which lifted my spirits and reminded me firmly of why I work in the industry. A road I have travelled hundreds of times rose up to greet me in a new way yesterday. It greeted me as a friend and encouraged me to leave the problems and stresses of the week on each tuen or rise in the road. The baggage I'd had at the beginning of the ride was lost and I felt kilos lighter, not actually unfortunately (although I've had two people say I'm looking slimer this week). It's a great way to end the week, leaving work at work.
- I also spent a fair chunk of time thinking about a Winter Bike, which is perverse since it was glorious weather yesterday! What I became blissfully aware of last year was that my curent Winter bike, although bombproof and reliable, was a beast and weighed too much, It's ironic as the kit on it is a mix of 10spd Ultegra old Dura Ace and old Kysrium Elites, so not heavy kit but the frame and fork, being a Surly is where the weight comes from. Thoughts of trying to save up for another frame kept cropping up and the internal debate of what I could/should buy came up. Currently I don't have the cash to throw at anything, so it will require some budget cuts to fuel the next purchase. I've planty of odds and sods of kit around to throw something together (I've got some Microshift shifters and deraileurs which I'd like to give a go), but the question buzzing around my head was what.
My FELT F1 has become a firm friend and I realy enjoy riding it as a machine, no matter what wheels I've chucked at it. But I have wondered a lot about trying to get a cheap Z bike (or frame) as basically the geometry is the same (well the seat/head angle and top tube), although the rake of the fork is longer that's no bad thing as it will make the handling more stable over shit roads. I could switch the fork out for a F series one and get the same wheelbase. The higher front end provided by the Z series is no bad thing either as it would negate the use of some spaces. I'd like to try and get some regualr riding through the week in through Winter as three days provides me with 150 km in the bank which is all required if I am going to hit my objectives come the Spring and Summer.
So I hope you all manage to bag a ride this weekend, I'll be up and out early tomorrow. Today I'll say good bye to a friend as I don't know when I'll see him next as he's off to live in the States, So a day filled with joy and saddness, but they are important chapters in our life as they put full stops to periods and allow us to start a new adventure.