We have had other things on our minds for the past couple of weeks, so cycling was rather neglected apart from or maiden voyage on Madge (Mrs. Wow chose this name: Claud Butler Madg-estic geddit??).
Today was the hottest June day for almost a year, so as the cool shades of evening spread their mantle, off we rode towards the sunset.
We headed towards the sea front along what should have been peaceful residential roads, but at one point it became clear that there was a car approaching from behind at too high a speed. I looked over my shoulder to see this oik give far too little room for Jan as he squeezed past, so I took the primary riding position just to show him who was boss, until a sufficient gap in the parked cars allowed me to pull in and let him pass. To my surprise, no fewer than 4 chavmobiles zoomed past, pretty much bumper to bumper, in a road allowing little more than one car’s width between the parked cars on opposite sides.
After that the ride was fairly uneventful, apart from finding our path blocked by a parked car just where a (reasonably sensibly designed) cycle lane rejoins the road. Then to the sea front and, ignoring the NO CYCLING signs, we kept on the almost deserted promenade as far as Chalkwell Station.
Jan cycles pretty well. She could probably do with her saddle raised a little, but given that her starting technique is still a little suspect, she could really do with more confidence before that happens. This is the perenniel chicken and egg. She needs to ride more to get the confidence, but generally she lacks the confidence to ride alone. (Actually, she did have a solo ride this week: she went to the doctor’s to collect the prescription I had ordered more than a week previously.)
We returned in an easterly direction, and when we were close to the pier, we sat on a wall looking at the rising tide and gibbous moon. It was an idyllic scene of peace and tranquillity broken only by the occasional curse and slap as another mosquito bit the dust. We were then joined by two other cyclists and conversed about the history of Southend, speculated about ithe pier’s status as the longest pleasure pier in the world, and about the three fires and one ship which have damaged it in the past 30 years or so.
We continued east along purpose built cycle track for another couple of miles until we were in Fatbloke country and then took the option with the most gradual ascent returning to Chateau Wowbagger. Just short of 11 miles, total time 1 hours 50 minutes, total riding time about 50 minutes less than that.