Today could have been deemed a bit of a wasted day – only one person showed up for the planned group ride, perhaps unsurprisingly seeing as the BBC Terror Centre were predicting the end of days (or possibly just a winter storm) to blow in in the afternoon. However, he was up for a nice spin and an impeccably locally and organically sourced lunch and so was I, having done nothing more interesting than plugging back and forth to Bigtown or Papershop Village in recent weeks.
We set off, only slightly hampered by my bike continuing its negative campaign for more maintenance – despite the fact that I have actually finally oiled its chain – by developing a puncture about 3 miles in. Between us we (OK, I was mostly holding things and making helpful remarks) managed to get the tube changed and a Marathon Plus tyre wrestled into submission aided by his extremely nifty little bike pump that pulls out and turns into a tiny track pump. We set off again and made excellent time over the 10 miles or so into a headwind to the cafe, had a very convivial lunch, decided to take the long way round back to Bigtown (also, mysteriously, into a headwind), conversing all the way about bikes, hill-walking, the frustrating lack of decent tea-rooms in the region and other matters of mutual interest. I reached home – very satisfyingly just ahead of the forecasted weather apocalypse – to spend the rest of the day on the sofa recovering from the day’s efforts, with a feeling of having been thoroughly out-cycled – and definitely out-bike-maintained – by my companion for the day.
I suppose, given the well-known anti ageing effects of regular cycling, the fact that he was in his eighties should not come as any real surprise… It does give me some hope for the future however.