Let’s Open This Baby Up & See What She’ll Do!
So for my Important Presentation this morning, I had to go in looking like I meant business - suit, tie, shiny shoes. You know the drill. It was also kinda important to ride there, as I knew this was the sort of thing that would go down well with the audience. This wasn’t a problem on Siegfried, who really is a bike for everyday use.
- Bikes and suits do mix. Though I’ve no idea what’s going on in that van behind me!
Anyway, the people I was supposed to be presenting to got a bit held up by about half an hour, so I didn’t get the stage ’till about 11:55. This wouldn’t be a problem, except I’d scheduled the first part of a BikeAbility course at Daughter’s school for about 1:30.
By the time I’d made my pitch, we’d done Q&A, and I’d got by bike out of the building, it was nearly 12:50, which left me 40 minutes to get from the centre of Newcastle to Whitley Bay - somewhere around 11 miles. While riding a bike that’s distinctly civilised in looks. While wearing a suit. And carrying around 15lbs of extra stuff.
I took the direct route - straight up the hill to the city centre, and then out through Jesmond, and along the cycle path that’s parallel the the arrow-straight Coast Road. And I rode the bike like I was in a triathlon again - hands down on the centre part of the handlebars, elbows in, and keep the cadence up. If I’d had a pair of cleated shoes & pedals to match, I’d have put them on, along with a set of tri-bars. But that would have looked silly of course.
Anyway, I made it, with two minutes to spare, which even gave me time for the T2 routine, changing from Scary Man In Suit outfit to something a little more school-friendly.
That means an average speed of 17.3mph. So much for the Slow Bike Movement.
OK - time to ‘fess up. I did have some help from a tailwind. But other than that, it was all my own work. And in case anyone’s gives you the “I would ride my bike to work, except I don’t want to get sweaty” excuse for not riding, I can confirm that riding at this sort of speed does help you develop a bit of a glow. But on the ride in (for which I’d had plenty of time) I’d taken it easy, and arrived cool as a cuecumber despite the headwind that I’d had to contend with going in that direction.