I really haven’t been getting out cycling as much as I’d hoped I would be by now. It’s less than three weeks until I ride to Paris. So I planned to get out twice over the weekend.
This is what I rode on Friday evening:
It was a lovely evening, and the ride was notable for a couple of reasons. Usually it takes me a few miles to get ‘warmed up’ and the beginning feels like a bit of a slog, but for some reason that simply didn’t happen this time. I headed over to Hitchin, found myself cycling right through and out the other side, and before realising where I was heading, found myself in Henlow. That was nine miles. And I felt great. I’d not planned for this to be an especially long ride (not wanting to still be out once it got dark) but it was going well, so I turned west and explored rural roads I’d driven occasionally but never before cycled.
Now, I can’t deny that the second half of the ride did feel a bit more of a slog. I’d gone out with a metronome again, and was trying to ride to the beat, but not doing so consistently. It wasn’t until I got home and plotted out this route map that I realised the route was pretty much downhill all the way out and uphill all the way back again, which may go some way to explaining the contrast!
Some of these roads I’d driven along many times, and for years have seen a sign that I’d been meaning to photograph. But shooting past in a car doesn’t really lend itself to stopping and whipping out the camera. Cycling makes it much easier. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present The Best Road Name in the History of Roads:
Why oh why did they change it? (See update below!) Well, rather than just stop and take a photo, I figured I really had to take the detour as well and see if it lived up to its (former) name.
Hmm. Well, maybe, I can see why the renamed it. It’s not wibbly at all. Nor wobbly, for that matter. In fact it’s rather dull. Look:
Carters Lane. Neither Wibbly nor Wobbly. (But look! Until I pasted this map in I’d not noticed possibly the best named farm ever!)
At the other end of the disappointingly unwibbly unwobbly road, I was faced with another disappointment. I’d discovered that it led to a very unwelcome stretch of duel carriageway with no cycle-friendliness whatsoever. A nasty bit of the A505 from Luton to Hitchin. Again, a road I’ve driven on many a time, and never cycled — but this time one I would never choose to tackle on a bike. Thankfully, it was not too busy, and passing cars all moved across to the offside lane (thank you drivers).
And then back through Hitchin and home.
So what of my second ride of the weekend?
Ah, yes, that.
Well, on Saturday, I fell over.
Merrily walking to the car after delivering something, I slipped on a bit of clear perspex hiding on the road. My foot shot out from underneath me like I’d stepped onto black ice. Somehow, I fell forwards rather than back, and took all my weight quite evenly on both hands. My hands were a bit grazed and bruised, but the main impact seems to have been my neck, which I guess got a bit of whiplash. Clearly not the sort of whiplash you’d get in a car accident, but as Saturday evening progressed my neck was getting stiffer and stiffer, and overnight I could hardly get any sleep as it was so sore and I couldn’t lie comfortably.
In fact, come Sunday morning I thought I was going to have to take myself off to A&E as I could barely move my head.
Thankfully, once I got up and about, and filled myself with ibuprofen and paracetamol it began to ease, but cycling was going to be neither comfortable nor safe, so I had to give Sunday’s planned ride a miss.
It’s still stiff now. Not sure when I’ll get out next, but hopefully before the weekend; next Sunday I’m meeting up with some other Arch to Arc riders to do a practice ride of the “getting out of London” stretch of the route.
UPDATE: 6 January 2012
I’ve heard this morning that the reason they changed the road name was simply because the signs kept on getting nicked!