Last weekend I had a break from the madness that has been end of term work, athletic, and social shenanigans, and decided to use my free afternoon to go for one last longer cycle before the year comes to an end.
I haven't cycling quite as much as I'd first imagined I would when I came to Oxford, mostly because rowing has ended up consuming
I'm also thankful for rowing because it's given a structure to my athletic schedule that I think I would have struggled to maintain otherwise. I am so good about always going out and riding, no matter what, but have always found that discipline hard to transfer over to other sports: if it's cold and wet and miserable, for example, it's pretty easy for me to talk myself out of going for a bike ride when I almost certainly would have manned up and gotten on at least one horse. So it's good to be on a team where your teammates depend on you so much (if the full boat doesn't show, you're screwed!) that it's almost impossible to flake out, even on the crappiest of fall English days.
But there is something truly lovely about getting out on one's own as well, and just feeling the hum of the road under the tires and the whip of the wind on your face. My last ride was a grey and nippy day, and one where I was thankful for my yellow-tinted 'cheer up any day!' cycling glasses:
(Seriously they are like strapping a sunny day to your face and are amazing)
I only went around 20 miles, and had a little bit of a hard time getting into a rhythm due to a mysterious noise problem that I've been experiencing for about a month now, and that I've already taken my bike in to the repair shop once to try to fix with no success. Hmph. But I still managed to cruise through my favorite birch-filled wood near Oxford and have an all around lovely day.
For the brave, here's an EXTREMELY SHAKY video from my last few miles coming home. I just recently got ballsy enough to try taking video whilst riding (to try to capture said mysterious noise, in fact, for evidential purposes), so I'm obviously still pretty terrible at it, so watch with caution:
In my first few months with Marcel, we've gone over 350 miles together and already seen some very beautiful things. I can't wait for next spring when we can start doing some longer circuits again!