International Women’s Day marked my first ever pre-breakfast training ride.
Today I went for a ride before work – for the first time ever. In my life. Like, ever. Incidentally, it was also International Women’s Day. And so, I decided to make this an annual thing, to celebrate women on bikes in Bristol, and mark the beginning of Spring – along with the joyful riding days that it’ll bring with it.It wasn’t easy getting up at 6am though to go for a ride in the cold morning air, in fact, I almost didn’t. But I did – and it turned out to be a jolly good decision.
I woke At 5am today to the sound of coffee being ground by Matthew, one of the amazing two guys I’m currently staying with. 5am folks, that’s the time that Matthew grinds coffee before the gym on a Tuesday morning! So there I am, laying half asleep on just five and a bit hours sleep, wondering if it’s too early to message Hana and tell her that I’m bailing out on our freezing cold early morning ride. I decide it is, in fact, too early, and fall asleep again, ear plugs now nestled firmly to drown out coffee grinding.
6am. Smell of freshly made coffee greets my nostrils, along with a track from the White Lies’ latest album – which was average at best with a couple of corkers. My plan to message Hana and tell her that I’m bailing was replaced by a trickle of excitement for the ride, but mainly, if I’m honest – for that coffee and the corker. And thus, coffee-bound I went, with one eye open.
6.30am. I was on my bike with the lady from the Google app telling me how to get to Brislington. (This needs addressing.) As I crossed Jail Ferry bridge from south Bristol the red ember glow of the morning sky greeted me. It looked painterly – beautiful and magical all at once. Immediately I felt very lucky to have made this decision. Morning riding, I had decided at that moment, was going to be a good addition to my life.
7am. Waiting for Hana on the wall outside Lidl.
7.10am. Waiting for Hannah on the wall outside Lidl now eating a Nakd bar and scrolling through Instagram with my nose (gloves issue).
7.15 am. Hana arrives really super low to the ground on her delicious new carbon Liv bike (ladies road bikes from Giant). ‘I just started getting lower!’ She said. And so, together we went back to hers to find a spesh Allen key. Damn Alan for making so many types of key.
But by 7.30am we were cooking on gas. And by that I mean cycling into air that felt like it was preparing to receive snow.
We undulated our way towards Bath and back, navigating through morning commuters, glasses occasionally steaming up. A couple of lovely descents and a view of some countryside. 22 miles, a good match pace-wise, a hug and a photo, work-bound with legs feeling dutifully tired, hot shower, and at my desk by 9am, feeling well smug.
Same time next year!