Monday, 8 September 2008

Sod's law proved wrong

Contrary to popular belief, working for myself, from home, is no panacea for achieving a sensible work-life balance. In theory it promises more flexible working hours, but in practice, 30 years of corporate habits are hard to throw off.

However, several days of crummy weather, and various domestic comings and goings meant that by this morning I hadn't been on the bike all week, and I was beginning to pace up and down like an animal in an old-fashioned zoo.

So this morning I decided to bunk off work for the day, and get out for a decent ride.

I headed over Winter Hill to Marlow, then up into Buckinghamshire.

The first few miles were the same route that I use to race Walter Y'Geaux, my alter ego, on the GPS; and it was a pleasant change to take it a bit more slowly. Then I negotiated Marlow, and started the long climb up to Frieth. The first part, to Marlow Common is quite challenging and I was puffing and panting a bit, but quite pleased to be keeping up a decent pace, until a gentleman, who must have been at least ten years older than me, passed at about twice the speed, with a cheery "good morning", and little sign of effort. You can't get too complacent on a bike.

From Frieth I made my way to Fingest, which is mostly downhill. I stopped to look at the church, which has an impressive 12th century tower. Apparently there is only one bell, although there is space for a whole peal. According to the leaflet in the church, local tradition holds that a previous rector lost the rest of the peal in a bet with a neighbouring parish.

After Fingest, I went on to Turville. For anyone who doesn't know, this is all very pleasant countryside, and Turville was the location used for recording the Vicar of Dibley. Then I headed south again, towards Hambleden to join the main road back to Marlow and then home.

After last week's puncture, I had made a special trip to the bike shop to stock up on patches and a new inner tube. Sod's law dictates that if I hadn't done this, then without the means to repair it, a puncture would have been almost inevitable; and because I was well prepared another puncture was highly unlikely.

Well Sod is wrong.

Just after Turville the back tyre went again; and out came the new repair kit. While I was fixing it, another cyclist stoppped to check that I had everything I needed, which was nice of him, but I'm beginning to get quite practiced at this now. Somebody is bound to ask the question I asked myself - "did you make sure the nail wasn't left in the tyre?". And the answer is, yes, and the new hole was in a different place - it was definitely a different nail this time.

All in all, though, it was a lovely day for bunking off, and a very pleasant outing. The weather was mostly overcast, veering between "almost raining" to "almost sunshine". In all I covered just over 40 miles, which isn't too shabby, and logged a few minor roads that haven't appeared on Open Street Map yet. There were also a number of signs for local cycle routes that I don't remember seeing before, so there is a decent excuse for going back to do some more exploring.

Tomorrow, though, I will have to do some real work.

1 comment:

Gregory Marler said...

Ah but I think there must be a clause in Sod's law that if you know about it or are thinking about it, then it can bite back and reverse itself (so long as the reverse is the disliked situation).