So as I cycled in this morning – it was a nice day – sunny but with a chill in the air so I didn’t get too hot. I had gone for a longer ride yesterday 18 miles in one go, now this may not seem like a lot to many of you but normally I cycle 22 miles a day into and back from work, but to do 18 miles in one go was longer than I normally do and I had chosen a route that included a killer hill in the 2nd to last mile. I didn’t want to push it too hard on the distance because I knew I had a week of cycling into work ahead of me.
Anyway I digress, I was feeling no ill effects from the ride yesterday and was rolling into work at a reasonable nick. As I approached some red lights at a cross road (and yes I do stop at red lights like this) it was time for me to unclip me left foot to stop and rest – just as I was trying to unclip I hit a pothole, this totally screwed up everything, my foot “bounced” back into the clip and mild panic ensued. Fortunately yesterday I had been practising getting my right foot unclipped (I normally only bother doing this when I am stopping to get off the bike) and this practise paid off, I was just able to get my right foot out in time, stopping me from doing a comedy dismount and crashing down sideways on the car to my right or the pavement to my left – either way my shoulder was not looking forward to another bashing.
After a minute or so I regained my composure and my mind started to wander – this time I went to thinking about the bike race in the Olympics. Are these guys really going to be racing along the same pot holed dangerous roads I have to? I can see it now – only in the UK Olympics will there a reasonable chance of seeing the headline “150KM Race decided in final 400 meters by a Pot Hole” with a following sub title about how some talented French Riders was killed by a 6 foot pothole left by Thames Water the day before.
Or maybe (just maybe) those cyclist in Surrey are going to see a real and tangible benefit of the Olympics when they have their roads resurfaced and made safe? Oh lucky lucky them.
So I am still sitting on my uber article about how to progress cycling in the UK (you know segregation / integration and all that stuff). I am changing my opinion after this weekend through – I saw the blue route along the embankment and I was impressed. I tend to fall into the integration category but when I saw the Blue Route I was so jealous – all those cyclist enjoying a Sunday ride, able to ride side by side with their partners and chatting away – not worrying about having to keep their eyes fixed the road surface looking out for pot holes. I still believe in integration but if the only way we are going to get a decent road surface is to have special routes them bring it on (or at least until Centrica or Thames water start digging them up and leaving them like no-man’s land in 1917 at the end).