Cycling to work via Whitwell, Herts

Pashley tricycle

Pashley tricycle

Must tell you about my ride to work on Monday, it poured with rain both ways but a great ride nevertheless.  Came back from work via Whitwell, in Herts. I even tweeted about it using my corporate account when I got to the office saying “Rainy soggy drippy cycle ride to office with big grin…..”

With the novelty of the new cycle track nearing its official opening, and knowing it knocks off a few miles, I decided to give it a go once again.  While I still hate the roughness of all those loose stones which threaten to send me flying (disadvantage of skinny tyres) the wet conditions did seem to help on my way through to Luton.  Mind you, the Hatters Way section is fast with its smooth tarmac, still has me feeling perplexed about the design issues around the bridge by the football stadium.  Once again cycles draw the short straw and I bet it has not been designed by a regular cyclist.

The nice thing about heading into Luton on Hatters Way is hitting 25-30mph without too much difficulty – the look on the faces of the car drivers – ha!  Soon I was past the airport and into the countryside, heading over to Stevenage.  That’s when the route becomes nice with such scenic and quiet roads, all very Hertfordshire.

That was all fine until some idiot-of-a-motorist was trying to get passed me and not waiting patiently as almost everyone else does.  No he (and it was a “he”, wasn’t it) had to get passed me as soon as he could.  He missed me by 10cm as he zoomed by.  The car?  It was a gleaming black Jaguar which was brand new; a 63 registration plate (just so you know, this means it was only a few days old).  The car accelerated at an astonishing rate, quite reckless, pointless and very aggressive.

This got me thinking as I pedalled away.  I was reflecting on how fortunate I was to be enjoying such a nice ride into work, through some beautiful countryside.  The bike was running well, so was I in maintaining an average speed of 16mph.  There I was, feeling totally free, fit, able and on my way to work without a care in the world.  The fellow in the Jaguar on the other hand was fat and impatient.  If it was his car, he is probably rich.  Often rich people are anxious people, worried about keeping their wealth in tact and concerned about their material things (like cars) are giving out the right signals.  I couldn’t care less about that kind of thing and just thanked the Lord I have enough, but not too much or too little.

My colleagues normally think I’m daft for cycling all that way, especially in the rain but they are getting used to me nowadays.  One day I’ll tell you a little more about the frustrations of having to keep my bicycle locked up outside because of “healf n safety” reasons, but not now.

Cycling home

Yep the ride home way a joy.  I decided to go back through Whitwell as I’d seen this old Pashley tricycle a few times through the summer, all covered in flowers.  It just looked kinda quaint and so I had to stop and photograph it.

As I pressed on, I could almost smell the rain coming and sure enough it did!

P1150500Strange as it seems, I found myself enjoying the ride all the more once the rain was truly falling.  It seemed to make everything seem so fresh and clean.  I loved it!

Less good was the drab ride dropping down into Luton, through those seriously ugly streets and onto the Bus Way cycle track and the home straight.  Another brilliant ride to work, another brilliant way of de-stressing myself and burning a few more calories.  Another brilliant way of feeling liberated, free, independent and thoroughly alive!

Related: My cycling in the rain guide


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