Cloud Cycle - Cycling Aviator

1st Nov 2016

We had very fitting conditions for Halloween this year, with banks of fog rolling on up from the sea. Very James Herbert. A yawning, bottomless crack spreads through the earth, out of which creeps a fog that resembles no other. Whatever it is, it must be controlled…..sorry, sidetracked there with memories of a book that scared the crap out of a teenage me that really shouldn’t have read it.

On the subject of things one shouldn’t do, flying into cloud in an aircraft ill-equipped for it is right up there, but you should also seriously question cycling in it too. Images of werewolves, vampires & zombies, oh my, appearing out of it or the photographic opportunities it presents aside, it’s just plain nasty riding conditions. Fog and mist are the same thing, cloud, very low cloud. If the forward visibility is less than 1000m, it’s fog, otherwise it’s mist, but it’s still just cloud and cloud is made up of water. There is no better way to prove that than cycling through one.

Rain gets you wet, but there can be a certain sense of adventure in defying it. Getting caught in the rain can, apparently, be as romantic as Pina Coladas or making love at midnight in the dunes of the cape, however fog and mist just sort of penetrates not just through your clothing, but your skin too. They say water takes the path of least resistance, well I’m having none of that, if that were true it would just run off and not find it’s way through clothing that even light cannot get through. To continue the creepy theme, it’s like an elemental Eugene Tooms. I know this to be true because in the few fog bound miles I cycled down to the seafront on Monday it went from atmospheric to miserable real fast.

Fortunately it started to lift once I got past the pier and everything became more pleasant because of it. This was a ride with no training agenda, just a roster day off from work and absolutely not a flying day ride. Once the initial misery had lifted it was very enjoyable to not be operating within zones or bettering segment times although I couldn’t help but try and better my Belton Way climb, which I did by 9 seconds. I am now sub 2 minutes which is good, but 22 seconds slower than the mate I’m blaming for my rash London Revolution sign up. Something my cycle computer likes to remind me as approach certain segments we have both logged times for. It’s apparently meant to be motivating and I guess it is, I feel very motivated to turn that function off.

Later that afternoon I returned to my very wet state when trying to fix the shower and wondering if the thermostatic capsule is fitted before or after the tap. It is very much before.




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