As the rain battered the bedroom window forcing me to wake earlier than usual this morning, for the first time this winter I felt a sense of dread. Not another ride like yesterday’s…rain, cold, mild hyperthermia!
My Sunday ride was pretty grim. I was down south, but up north, north of England and as Bolton’s Peter Kay once joked, the rain was that fine type that soaks you through. I’d forgotten about the rain in Northwest England. I had plans to visit my youngest sister, Aunty Val/Uncle Joe and even a quick blether with Budge from Team JMC, but as I put on the waterproof, curiously stopping outside the tiny village of, yes, Entwistle, I had one thing in my mind…survival, which meant home and ASAP as I was shivering uncontrollably.
I don’t remember anything after that apart from a couple of landmarks, Bolton town hall and a church in Walkden where my youngest sister and Aunty Veronica used to live that brought back childhood memories. Somehow I got home. I’ve no idea how. I must have spent about half an hour in the shower, which is rare for me (I’m a 30 second guy not 30 minutes), followed by some of Mum’s tasty fare – spicy Thai curry. Though I was still shivering after the curry! Though strange as it may seem I needed that ride. It’s character building and we’ve been let off the hook this winter with some incredibly good weather and I concerned I was starting to get soft.
But back to today. Thankfully the intense rain band passed though quickly and with the sun already beating me out of bed, the roads were dry by the time I met my eldest daughter, Katie, at the red phone box outside Torphins as agreed. She seemed quite pleased with herself. “7:43am Dad; two minutes early!”.
And off we went, to school, via the back roads and the Deeside Way to Aboyne. I was totally made up. Re-united again after her Strathpuffer efforts, just Dad and daughter spinning the cranks. We don’t say much, there’s no need. She’s generally quite quiet and only speaks when she has something to say. But for me, it was back to bonding again, like on her first day when the surgeons stuck Katie up my theatre gown and she just lay on my chest totally chilled out, making the occasional squeak. She’s a happy little egg, quietly confident with a sunny disposition. And with the sun now higher in the sky, freewheeling downhill towards Lochnagar plastered with snow in the distance and my eldest doing non-handed, I hit a wave of euphoria. It was spiritual. Does cycling really get any better than this?
Best ride of the year so far and there’s been many already. So why am I cycling to school with my daughter? Well it’s a school’s initiative called The Big Pedal. Read all about it, join in if you can, contribute in any way necessary. If not this year then there’s always next year.
As for me, well, my week’s already mapped out with the highlight, being 7:45am this Thursday as I’ll be waiting for Katie at the red telephone box outside Torphins again. Another Dad-daughter-date on bikes.
It’s addictive this cycling thing!