Week 30 – Slow News Week

In which I Cycle 287k, Run 27k and Swim 0k

This week has mainly been about keeping on top of my cycling schedule after the sluggish start to the year. Summer has given way to windy, showery and cool-ish weather which has deterred me from taking any long or interesting rides. Each day I have been out for a couple of hours, whittling slowly away at my daily quota without really making much of an impression. Swimming hasn’t featured this week but I’ve tried to get a little bit ahead of my running target to compensate for not being able to do much next month. Really, not much material to pad out a blog post with.

So,,,,,,I’ll have a little rant about cars instead. Here are two pictures of small cars in my street – one a classic Mini and the other a contemporary Smart car.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMini – weight c 650 kg

Next to my bike they are comparable in scale – the Mini’s wheelbase is about one-and-a-half times that of a bike and the Smart a little less.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASmart Car – weight c750 kg

That’s all you really need in a car unless you regularly have to drive long distances or transport materials. These are the sorts of vehicles that can appropriately be put on a thoroughfare with bicycles as they are comparably scaled. Most cars are excessive in size and power for the driver’s needs and inappropriate to combine on the road with their smaller, more elegant, efficient, cleaner and quieter forerunners (yes, we were here first!). A civilised country would not foist buses, lorries, vans, SUVs and the oversized ego-extensions onto the rightful domain of the humble pedaller. I dream of cycle superhighways that are more than a bit of blue paint on an urban racetrack or a pitted glass-bestrewn and branch-overhung sliver of neglected tarmac that ends abruptly at a right angle to a stream of speeding two-ton metal boxes.


Diary

Thursday 23rd July. A busy day sorting things out in the house, but not a very sporty one. A long morning ride and various trips during the day allowed me to post 41k by bike.

Friday. Rain – the garden needs it, but I don’t. I managed a 4k run before it set in and a rather soggy 13k cycle in the park. I’m starting to get that feeling that the best of summer is behind us, the days are shortening, and that I need to take advantage of the season to get plenty of runs and rides now in so I don’t have to drag myself out in winter weather.

Saturday. Parkrun day – and no run in Finsbury Park because of an event there. My neighbours and I all decided to transfer to the run at Highbury Fields instead – a 5-lap course over gentler gradients but feeling more crowded on the narrow pavements, with people both lapping and being lapped. We agreed that it was probably a faster course, but less fun than Finsbury Park and in spite of being boxed on occasion, my time was faster than all but one of my runs at Finsbury Park (note: first in age category hem, hem).

Parkrun16

Sunday. A showery day which rather put the dampers on my efforts to clock up cycle-miles. A slightly soggy 44k ridden and a late 3k run in the last of the daylight at about 9pm.

Monday. Once more unto the park for a 6k run and, thanks to many little errands and a training ride, another 41k cycled.

Tuesday. An early 3k run. Then by bike to Decathlon, south of the river, to buy paraphernalia for my holiday. Thanks to a navigation error this added 17 miles to my total and I returned with new cycling togs, glasses, handlebar bag and various spares. 44k for the day.

Wednesday. I’m a regular now around the park – seeing people I now know almost every day. The  baristas af the cafe all know by now that mine’s a soya latte in a mug, piece of flapjack and a glass of water. 6k running, 41k riding and a bit of building and painting work around the house makes a full day.

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