I arrived back in the Essex Badlands almost as the Solstice sun was rising.
I blew out Mad Bastard John F on his 6am ride, but I was still in need of something of a leg stretch.
Boosted by blackberries for breakfast, I finally got out on the bike just after 10am. This was the Ride of the Unknown. The route was uploaded to the Garmin, but the lines were a little wonky. I got lost in Colchester town centre.
I gave a clenched fist to the striking firefighters sitting outside a 70's style strike fire cauldron. I think the clenched fist was received with the solidarity that it was intended.
POTHOLES were a problem. I missed a crater of a beast on the outer edges of Colchester. I had to stop and check my spokes.
I counted them all out, I counted them all back in again, etc.
Soon I was cycling through rural Essex. The unknown (to me) purple flower was ever powerful. The purple arrow on my Garmin was guiding me around. I prayed for no purple rain.
But then again...
My route planning suggested something around 75km. Halfway round and I realised that 100km might be more accurate.
I had a slight arthritis twitch in my knee. This was the first return of the jolting pain since the summer of 2012. I didn't stretch the night before. No pain, no gain , etc.
Terling Church looked as lovely as ever as I rode down the hill. I really must pay a visit. Although probably not on a Sunday morning.
I picked up the weekly Wifey Roll Out route during the home run. I decided to ride it in reverse. It was incredibly disconcerting, like skating around an ice rink anti-clockwise.
A slight de-cleating incident left me grazed and confused in the Layer de Haye home stretch.
Worse was to come at a Rowhedge junction during the final run in. A motorist ploughed straight into me, rather than waiting at the junction where I had right of way.
Instinct set it. I swerved, avoided the bonnet by about half a metre and was left in the roadside ditch.
"Sorry, I couldn't see you because of the sun"
...was her poxy excuse.
"Try seeing my life right in front of you next time"
...I replied. Plus some colourful language to add to the context.
Recuperation back at base was two hours of hammock time. The plan was to catch up with Robert Elm's broadcasting birthday celebration from Friday afternoon. Predictably I fell asleep after the first live number.
Rolling out again tomorrow.