Now don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy my job. It gives me loads of time off and this means I can relax and take proper holidays. However when your partner also has a job that gives loads of time off and you have kids who get loads of time off in the summer from school then a dark side appears. That dark side is the family holiday and ours lasted a month, which meant a month without the bike. Luckily that is all over now and today I blew the cobwebs away and managed to do 50 miles to go and get a red pepper that we desperately needed.
It's amazing how many good ideas start here.
Strangely enough, while we were away, we met up with some friends and while enjoying a beer in the square of a little French village, basking in the sunshine, my mates and I hatched a plan to go for a ride for a few days before the weather turns for the worse. We have about a month left to do this and so we have to get our asses in gear to succeed in our attempt to prolong the summer.
A Belgian brewery!
Going for a long ride with friends needs quite a bit of thinking about. The fact that you have to find a date that suits all is the obvious thing but there is more than that. Before the ride you have to take into account what everyone wants to do. Some people might want to just go from bar to bar, others to look at renaissance painters, and take it from me, finding bars filled with old masters is not an easy thing to do. Luckily for us, one of the guys has just caught religion and decided he would like to tour some Abbeys in Belgium. Why lucky? Well the Abbeys in Belgium are famous for one thing, beer, and so we do have our suspicions about our mates sudden spiritual awakening...it is just a little too convenient.
Also when riding you have to be flexible, you might have a route planned out but that doesn’t mean you are going to end up taking it. Mechanicals can happen any time and in a group the likely hood of them happening obviously goes up. Also you might just happen to pass by something you would really like to see, on our route it will probably be a museum to one of the two world wars. Always be prepared to alter and adjust, after you are out for a fun ride, not on a mission. It’s easy to get fixated on the miles you have to do or the next place you have to be. Chill, have a look around listen to what the others suggestions; you’ll enjoy the ride a lot more if you do.
Finally another thing that is really important is to make sure you get breakfast in the mornings, and make sure that you fill up when everyone else does. There is nothing more annoying than having to stop after half an hour because someone is hungry or they thought that they wouldn’t fill up because they still had half a tank; that is even worse than cigarette stops!
So while there is still time, get out there for one last fling, oh and don’t forget the most important thing, a sense of humor….oh and cycling shorts, surprisingly good at stopping a numb bum.