"It will be fun" I said. To Kaz. Following the warmest weeks in October on earth. So I booked the Wiggle bike ride for Sunday 6 November.
The day dawned misty and very cold. I had been staying at the van. It was so cold I had the heating and the fire on for a while. I had set the heating to come on at 6am on Sunday but had woken up at 5.30am feeling a bit cold. Thankfully I had the foresight to take the fan heater's remote to bed with me. So I switched that on. A caravan after all is just a tin can in a field.
I had emptied the car the night before so it was easy to load up. I had optimistically brought 3/4 length cycle trousers but wore these with Ron Hills on top.
At 6am I decided to risk getting out of bed for a shower. I put the kettle on and was just about to get in the shower when the electric blew. I had to put on my dressing gown and go outside to the fuse box. It was freezing. The car was covered in ice and the decking was slippy. It was not light enough to cope and in any event, when the electric goes, the shower runs cold (even though it is powered by the gas)
I get into the shower only to discover that the thermostatic bar has jammed and it is too hot for me! I dance around underneath but know that I will have to replace it.
I have a temperature gauge in the car. I love it. When I had eventually scrapped and got in it read as 1 degree. It warned of possible ice on the road. Wohooo. Great for cycling along country lanes.
I had arranged to pick Kaz up at 745 but arrived early as I was ready and she is notoriously late for most things. She will deny this. But I know. Time is a guide anyway. She was in fact ready when I called. She had been to the Channel Swim dinner the night before. Having not got to bed till 2am she was less than raring to go. Particularly as it was so cold. Still, as we faffed abit at her house, the sun came out. This doubled the temperature to 2 degrees.
We drove to Folkestone racecourse where we could park and register. I had already done this on line but the system had not saved the details so we both had to fill in emergency contact numbers. In the unlikely event of anything happening we used each others!
I have to say that Wiggle events are supremely well organised. We were set off in waves. We found ourselves at the front of ours so we hung back to let the others go before us.
It was a great ride. Kaz did great as she has not been on her bike for most of the year. I have been commuting and doing a few rides here and there. (including a 50 miler with my friend Emma a few weeks before) It was cold and we both had very cold feet. We had wrapped up warm and the layers stayed on.
Kaz had gone for the eyes only exposed look. Whilst we did warm up and we did become aware that our feet were no longer blocks of ice, it did not really ever get warm in spite of the sun.
Commuting on my heavy steel touring bike, laden with panniers and cycling up my hill has put me in good stead for this type of ride. The bike felt light and it was easy
The ride was 24 miles and it took us about 2 hours. Kaz averted catastrophe when her shoe lace somehow came undone, escaped from under the Velcro safety catch and caught within her chain. I missed this excitement as I had gone ahead. I waited at a turn for Kaz to catch up. She was some way behind and this was the reason why. How she did not fall off? It can only be described as good luck. We both managed the hills (slopes).
We have some other cycle events to look forward to next year. We are doing a hilly Bala cycle with our friend Emma next May and have decided to do another Wiggle event next September.
So nowt to do with swimming. Except we did have views of the English Channel on a number of occasions. I do see it and want to get in. But alas there was no time for such activity today.