I’m grumpy and lacking direction which means culling my stuff and focusing. Decided my mountain bike is going to get sold. I might pick up a mountain bike again sometime but as fun as full rigid no suspension was I think I’m done with it for now. I’ve got to be honest and admit I just plain prefer road riding.
I’m going to start putting together funds for a hand made road frame from Feather Cycles hopefully to build up ready for next summer. Winter project of my touring frame needs to be sorted too ready for next year. Everything else that’s not complete is going to get ‘Bayed I think. Even the Raleigh Burner, maybe…
I’m going to try and be productive tonight. Spent most of today (this week) being in a really awful mood and it’s getting too much so I’m forcing myself to cook awesome home made onion soup and I’m going to spend the rest of the evening with my heads in books on pinhole photography and old illustrations for tattoo ideas. I’m really not impressed with my moods and need to do something about it. I’m not normally this rubbish.
One thing I feel like I’ve really missed out on this year is a really really long ride like the Dunwich Dynamo me and some friends did last year. For those not familiar with it, it’s a pretty loosely organised ride from Hackney in London to Dunwich in Suffolk starting mid evening and hitting the coast of Suffolk in the morning. I’d been cycling for 6 months before we did it and was no where near ready for the 120 miles of riding in the dark that I ended up doing.
We started off down the pub after a gentlemanly spin across London and around 9 in the evening we all started setting off but quickly groups formed and people drifted apart. After a few hours you suddenly realise you’re on your or spinning along with a group jumping from one to the next or falling behind. It’s pretty much each for their own. The solitude is pretty immense.
Moments included getting lost with no map, no phone gps, no friends, in the middle of no where in pitch black at 1am weighing up the options of sleeping in a ditch till sunrise. Thankfully two old men, who to this day will be appreciated like they wouldn’t believe, came past out the dark and let a very shattered me ride on their wheel (drafting for those who don’t cycle) to the half way point where I swore at my friend who took the map. Forty five minutes of swearing.
We pushed on and hit the beach of Dunwich at 5am and I was an absolute wreck. I was regretting doing it, my knee was ruined (and two days later wouldn’t even let me walk on it) but part of me was stoked to have done it.
7 hours of riding all told, overnight, mostly on my own, following a lot of red lights, and feeling lucky to see wild bats flying past. I miss not having done it this year or something similar. The idea of doing something you know isn’t pleasant but still finding a pleasure in it is an odd thing but we all do it.
I want to plan something big. Not this year but maybe next or the one after. I’m hoping to do Brighton to Newquay or the other way round in one go. 350 miles of riding. Over 24 hours I reckon. It’s going to be brutal and I won’t be able to do it yet but think it might be achievable in a year or two.
This has mostly come about after being inspired by the Paris-Brest-Paris recently which has some interesting stories: http://www.rapha.cc/pbp-2011-four-journeys-1. 750 miles of riding over 50 hours for some of the riders with as little as 50 minutes sleep. Unreal. It’s not just cycling or exercise regimes at that point although it’s pretty much a necessity. It’s about not giving up and just pressing on. I have to tip my hat to them for finishing.