A morning of ups and downs on the Wifey Weekend Roll Out.
Anna took me from behind on the climbs, and then I powered past her on the time trial stretches. Lycra bottoms have never looked so good.
Mechanical issues troubled us at the midway point. Anna had a comical cleat collapse whilst stationary. The humour soon fell flat when we realised that her crank wasn't shifting.
I was hot and sweaty and in no mood for my bodge mechanics.
I pretended to know what I was doing, removing the chain (WHY?!) and then when this failed, I took out the entire front wheel.
Still no rotation joy.
I know what: let's pull out the skewer, and then place it back through the hub once again.
It was the bicycle equivalent of Ctrl + Alt + Del.
Somehow it bloody worked.
We slowed down slightly for the run in back to base. I made a mental note to buy Anna a complete bicycle service for her birthday that is coming up.
We stopped off for a freshen up and quick swim at the pool. The first twenty lengths or so were swum in synch with one another. I was panting slightly, but kept up my best race face, even when underwater.
Anna then faked a pulled muscle and stopped mid-length.
I had no mechanical bodge job to offer up.
The water itself was a little weird. It's not the deepest of pools at the best of times, but there was around a foot or so missing.
I occasionally have this recurring dream where I'm swimming along quite happily, and then all of a sudden the plug is pooled and I'm left trying to put in the lengths in an empty pool.
A variation on this is that the water thickens up during the swim, and I'm left trying to crawl through treacle.
Funny folk, swimmers.
I headed into town straight after the swim for the sole purpose of an Aldi binge. The cycling sale was simply ACE.
I had to restrain my spending urge, but I did leave with two pairs of winter cycling gloves and a rather nice pair of winter lycra trousers.
The nearby army surplus shop is also always worth a look. A pair of long Johns for the months ahead was another wise purchase.
I braved the dizzy heights of the scaffolding after luncheon. The builders are doing a brilliant job, but we seem to have gutters full of cement. I quite enjoyed myself up there picking it all out. I did fret though that my finger nails were getting dirty. I fear that manual labour is not for me.
And then the afternoon was all about football.
I watched the Merseyside Derby filling in for Anna and updating her over her blue nose team; then cycled off to watch PROPER football at Wivenhoe Town, before legging it back to base for the North London derby.
The local action was of course the most enjoyable, even then though it was a no score draw.
Brilliant estuary sunshine on your face and some comical refereeing.
I strayed slightly into work mode later in the evening. I've been trying to come up with a solution for sharing the 10,000 SE17 work images that I have snapped away at over the best part of the last decade.
I'm still processing them all into my new internal system. I need to find a way of publishing them online but with limited online access - e.g. staff.
I've been looking around over the past few months at CMS that could handle such a huge overload of data, as well as having a system of sorting and tagging.
It all seems like a lot of effort for probably not much reward.
And then as I was uploading the Wivenhoe Town pics to flickr, the solution flashed up.
I can create a work account, make it closed and then only offer access to certain people. Flickr handles all the meta data, making each image searchable.
Happy with that.
We're rolling out on the Colchester CTC 100 tomorrow morning. Big bike rides are meant for big ideas.
Betcha Anna gets a bloody mechanical again.