There’s something about the first weekend of March. Somehow common sense goes out of the window and the best bike just has to make its appearance. A few days before, I start to tinker with the brakes, check the chain and pump up the tyres. After doing this even a bad forecast is not enough to put me off.
For once, Sunday morning dawned fair, with white clouds and a light wind. I met up with the regular crowd who had independently had the same idea as me, everyone quietly hoping to get one over on the others in terms of bike choice.
Every year there’s always a niggling concern in the back of the mind that perhaps the best bike will not feel several hundred pounds better than the winter hack. Every year it’s always a relief to feel the difference. The blue winter bike feels like various components bolted to a frame on which I sit, but the red bike feels as if it’s all one entity of which I become a part.
It’s been one hell of a winter, with snow for weeks on end followed by a bruised rib, then a cold which stretched on for weeks and then played hide and seek with my immune system. There was a brief respite before I came off my bike, was concussed and was unable to remember who or what caused the crash.
This Sunday was when I became a cyclist again. Good bike, clouds which gave way to Spring sunshine, an undulating ride through the lanes to Scorton and then a climb up to Jubilee Tower where all the world seemed blue, green and bracken red. The ride home was exhilarating for all of us. Not because we were riding quickly, but because of a shared delight in being cyclists again.
This week the hard work has to start. With a couple of sportives planned and the Raid Alpine booked for the end of July, there’s a bit of catching up to do. Isn’t it funny how a good ride can change one’s perspective?