A functional yet fleeting morning ride with Anna. We’re in training (ha!) for the Colchester CTC 100 that rolls out next weekend.

This morning we managed 25km.


The legs had a lot more in them, but the roads didn’t. The usual Essex lanes route was cut short due to the roads still being slippery when wet.

In Better Bike News: I think that I managed a bodge for my ongoing gear issues en route. Turns out that the gear shifter for the chainring was stuck in No Man’s Land.

I’ve spent the past month or so trying to index the gears. The problem all along was rider incompetence.

We then had plans for a whole day of gardening chores.

But bugger to that.

Any excuse for a stroll, and they don’t come any stronger than the promise of the village Sale Trail.

I think that you were suppose to buy a map, and then wander around the various front gardens that were flogging artisan reclaimed goods / tat.

We did a brief loop of the village, had a few decent conversations and then decided that we could delay the gardening no more.

It’s been more of a day of hacking than horticulture to be honest. The scaffolding and the builders arrive tomorrow. The big creepy creeper thing that covers half the house had to be chopped.

I actually quite enjoy the toil of destruction. I hacked it down within half an hour, and then spent the rest of the day clearing it all up.

To my surprise, some sort of bird flew out just as one of the creepy creeper branches came a tumbling down. There was no sign of a nest, but a second young bird was just sitting there in the debris.

Anna identified it a baby wood pigeon.

Coo, etc.

A passing bird type advised that we should re-house it somewhere close, and then the mother will hear the cries and return to feed it.

And so straight outta the creepy creeper thing, and an upgrade into the wisteria.

Late afternoon and the gardening was done and so I managed a quick swim. It was more of a chance to get cleaned up to be honest.

Disclaimer: I always shower first before putting in the lengths - except when I’m dry diving down at Lake Brockwell…

I cycled back along the Trail on what was a simply stunning glorious early autumn afternoon. New students were arriving in the Quays accommodation, taking their first look around the estuary landscape.

I remembered how this golden late September use to remind me of my first few weeks as an Essex undergraduate.

Something shifted however once we were South London bound. The summer months for me are now defined by the cricket, le velo and the lovely lido.

One by one they finally draw their last gasp of air from the summer calendar, and before you know it, Bonfire Night is upon us.

I now view this time of year as late summer, and not early autumn. But with le velo and the lovely lido increasingly stretching those definitions of summer, I seem to be living out a continual Transpontine summer existence.

I arrived back at base, basking in the glow of a swim and the late afternoon sun. I had a decent chat with the neighbour about the imminent arrival of the builders tomorrow morning.

Out of the corner of my eye I clocked the neighbour’s cat sitting on our window ledge next to the wisteria.


He had a smug look, as well as a full belly.

“Ah, the cat looks happy” I probed.

“Yes, he’s had a fun afternoon pulling a wood pigeon apart” came the reply.

I can think of better birds to become upset over the death of, but my involvement in the massacre did play upon my mind for the rest of the evening.

Our Murphie slept through it all. If it’s not a leaf then she’s not interested in going for the kill.

I should have put her to work on the creepy creeper thing.

Last built: Sun, Jan 31, 2016 at 3:11 AM

By Jason A.Cobb, Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 3:47 PM. All baking done on premises.