The exhilaration I feel when out and about on two wheels is hard to describe without sounding gushy. At times, I fear I may even sound evangelical. That said, I'm going to risk gushing evangelically and share (yet) another bicycling anecdote...
I did not conceal my excitement at being invited to take to the roads of Kent on a Sunday morning.
The autumn sunshine greeted us. Whilst it couldn't be described as warm, our meeting point coffees certainly were. We were off to a good start before we left.
The roads were pleasantly quiet, save for a few hurried drivers (presumably making their way to morning service). I knew not the route ahead of us, but was given ample warning of the sticky climbs and one 'rather naff' descent.
For all my evangelising, the only action this bike has seen in over two years has been to be moved from one hallway to stand wistfully in a sitting room - only to return, rather unceremoniously, to inhabit another drafty hallway, where she has been climbing the wall for at least 6 months (hanging from a hook installed by a sympathetic neighbour who understood the poor machine's plight, and even made me an offer for her).
I quickly found my legs. And my gears. Who knew clearing the cobwebs could be such fun? It was never going to be anything but brilliant: I was out on my road bike with Charlotte as my guide.
She was on great form. Judiciously setting a steady pace, she accommodated my tortoise like progress beautifully, ushering me along and delivering much needed encouragement at just the right moments.
Our pitstop was entirely my call. We had ascended for what felt like (and possibly was a few) miles, and there was a stunning view to take in. I chose our vantage point, a perfectly situated hostelry in which we were met with smiling service and delicious refreshment. I needed to sit on something more generous than my saddle.
We were accompanied home with a headwind, but there was no wiping the smile off my space. 36 miles under our belts, and I was one seriously happy tortoise!
Whilst Carboplatin's contributions to our little outing are not to be forgotten, it was Charlotte's inimitable spirit that I could not ignore as she merrily sailed up the hills just ahead of me, my dearest friend and formidable athlete, leading the way.