Monday morning: a rude awakening by my iPhone’s alarming alarm - it’s 6am and there’s a coffee machine across town waiting for me. Shower, tea, porridge, pants (hot off the radiator), jeans, the top t-shirt in the clean t-shirt pile. Socks. Chuck things into a musette, clip keys on to belt loop, lace up trainers, throw on jacket. Scruffle the cat’s head and yell “see you later” to the sofa, grabbing Annie by the handlebars on my way out the door.
It takes me 8 and a half minutes to get to work on this bike if I turn the corner before the number 7 bus does and time it right with the lights at the bottom of the hill. I can see my imaginary line drawn down the length of the hill, it skirts around the holes, bumps and the slippery-as-hell metal man-hole covers.
Road turns in to cycle path and every little bend is known like the back of my hand, probably better – who actually studies their hands? Avoid that pothole, go left around the tree on the bit where the lane goes narrow (otherwise you hit people going the other way), assume time trial position for 5 seconds where the low hanging leaves smack the faces of cyclists less familiar with the route.
Slow down just a tiny bit so that I catch the green man without putting my foot down.
Sharp left in to work – wave at the gardener – jump off bike – find bike lock keys.
Today Annie’s company in the staff-bike-bit is a tiny bike with stabilisers. I have no idea who it belongs to. Later there will be a fixie, a BMX and a hybrid joining the party. I wonder what they’d say if they could have a conversation.
A busy day, the happy kind of tired, weary legs. My bike is just where I left her, and she spins me back home.
It isn’t Epic – it’s barely a ride, but these moments bookend my days, and I’d go mad without them.