Dr Matt and Dr Doug decided to ride some pre-work laps of good old Regent's Park this morning. The meeting time was 7:45, the meeting place was the Meeting Place. It was one of those mornings on which it's impossible to figure out how to dress; it wasn't warm, but wasn't cold and it was threatening to rain but might hold off long enough to get the laps in...
...It did not "hold off long enough to get the laps in," although it did "hold off long enough to get a lap in," before a spit turned to a drizzle turned to a downpour, before letting up a little, before pouring even harder. "Shades of Wessex," we told ourselves, fondly remembering a day of broken derailleurs, torrential rain, meager snacks, Cheddar Gorge and Alfred's Tower. There's some sort of "eat foods of London" event going on in the park this weekend, and preparations for the preparations were underway, which meant vans and vans and trucks and trucks parked along the stretch of the inner circle that we use for the RP Sprint Series. So it was a handful of lackluster laps. At the start the final lap, the water started to trickle down to my foot, and by the halfway mark, my feet were completely waterlogged. Then it was off for home, where Dr Matt planned to shower, dry, and then get on a bike and cycle to work in the rain. For Dr Doug, it meant up to Swain's Lane and then home, to shower, dry and not leave the house at all because term has ended. I hasten to add that I am actually doing work today (albeit procrastinating at the moment).
Anyway, up Swain's Lane, in a dark downpour. It was an odd sensation, with the streetlights on and the sound of rain pounding the leaves overhead, but very little water filtering through. Near the top, the driver of a large white van parked near the top looked out his window and said, "Almost there, mate!" I sputtered by reply; it was the end of the steepest section of the climb.
But I love it when people shout or speak encouragement, which happens regularly but not what I'd call often, when I'm climbing Swain's Lane. I love it for two reasons: one, the friendliness is nice, as friendliness usually (always?) is; two, it makes me feel a little smug, because I ride up Swain's Lane regularly and what I'd call often.
Anyway, today was one of those days on which you have to keep reminding yourself that all the kilometers count.