Sunday, 14th September
Chesham – Chenies – Amersham – Dunsmore – Chartridge – Chesham. 25.41 miles
It was much the same as yesterday, insofar as the route I took today was the almost the reverse of yesterdays. Instead of pounding the same roads in both directions, as I had yesterday on the road from Amersham to Chorleywood, I kept initially to the valley road and missed Chorleywood entirely, making a circuit and having a planned route instead of ambling along like a lycra-clad daddy-long-legs.
The road along the valley was similar to riding on the face of an acne-riddled teenager, except without the grease. If it had rained, perhaps it would be identical but, as it was, the lumps and bumps were enough to contend with. With the legs that still appeared rejuvenated after the horrendous “bonking” episode on Thursday, even the awful road surface did little to slow me down, and I kept a steady pace that hovered just over the 20mph mark, until the road turned upwards through Chenies. The road then becomes a steep little bugger, but I attacked it with all the venom of Contador having a crack at Rasmussen at Plateau de Baille. Except without the speed, or the disgraced Dane chasing me down, which is just as well as he’d have spanked my arse, metaphorically speaking. Still, I reckon I was flying.
The roads through to Amersham and beyond were pleasant enough, even if the road users weren’t. If I was to be given a whole British pound for the number of buffoons that don’t know the width of their cars, nor know how much room to give a bloke in lycra on a bike, I could probably have given up working in the space of the following five miles. Even a motorcyclist, who I’d expect to know better, managed to breeze past with only enough room between us to pass a route map through. I was a little miffed, but not half as miffed as I was about to become.
On the rise out of Amersham old town, on the dual-carriageway section of the A413, a youth in the passenger seat of a poxy Vauxhall Astra made some suggestion that I may “fiddle with my willy”. In fact, this is a little too clever for the sort of fool who doesn’t wear a seat belt. In truth, the word, “wanker” was hurled at me by the passing passenger, whom I have never before seen and, hopefully, never will again. If I did, I might be tempted to say clever things, then he’d get all confused and upset and run off to his mum, bless him.
I don’t really know why the events on the A413 had bothered me so much. I mean, here was a fully grown man, dressed in argyle-patterned lycra, riding a bicycle. To many of the age group into which I now have to, albeit begrudgingly, concede that I fall, it would probably appear that the aforementioned youth may have a point. However, bother me it did. I’m not sure if the verbal attack was intended to get me, once and for all, off the public highway and, perhaps, into the pub where he would be waiting expectantly for a pint, in recognition of his good work. If this is the case, he’ll be sorely disappointed. Not only did his words fail to make me dismount my shiny hand-built Italian steed, it made me pedal with a renewed strength. I was hopeful that I could stay close enough to him to see his face as the police pulled him and his vile cohort , for not wearing the provided safety belts. Sadly, there’s never a police man about when you want one, is there?
From the A413 at Dunsmore, the road goes steeply upwards, at a gradient of around twelve per cent. It’s hardly the Alpe d’Huez, but that’s just as well. Covering a little over a mile, it was steep enough for me today, although I attacked it with the aggression normally reserved for a youth in an Astra. I was pleased to make it to the top, as I only had one more gear left, and I was quite adamant that I wasn’t going to use it. Feeling quite chuffed with myself, I went home.
I’ve just thought of this: Perhaps the masturbating youth was just showing his lack of appreciation at my riding over his face on the valley road earlier in the day? I’d like to think so. Anyway, here’s the map:
Todays bike: Pinarello Paris with full 9-speed Ultegra and Mavic Open Pros