I may not be reporting back the week after my last post as I intended, but I’m happy to report that I did stick to my plan and covered 50 miles commuting, and the following week did somewhat better when the hot weather really drove me off the tube.
It was the week beginning Monday 23rd July that the temperatures really were beginning to climb and the same week that London was gearing up for the Olympics with traffic lights being rephrased to allow for Olympic traffic. My intention had been to replicate my performance of the week before as I wasn’t sure how I’d cope with too much in and out on the same day. I stuck to that plan on Monday and Tuesday, but when it came to Wednesday I just couldn’t face going home on the tube with the temperature as high as it was. However hot it is outside, multiply it for the underground – boiling, suffocating, just plain vile!
Having taken the decision just to go for it I went back to H2 Bike Run to get changed and pick up Bob, but I also didn’t feel like starting out on the return journey already hot, sticky and tired from my day at work. The great thing about H2 is the availability of showers – just the thing to freshen up, even if I did need another one at home just a bit later.
My impatience also took another form on this particular day. I’ve complained in a previous post about the junction at Archway, and today I decided to look for an alternative. I found one. So far I’d been following my previous route from Sussex Way, left into Fairbridge Road and all the way to the end where I’d turn right onto Holloway Road and cycle up to the junction at Archway – and that ride up Holloway Road isn’t a pleasant one even without the junction to get to Archway Road! This time I turned right off Fairbridge Road and set off up the hill on Ashbrook Road towards St John’s Way. Well, it’s still uphill – everything is going north from here – but pretty quiet to say the least. It comes out onto St John’s Road just where there’s a sharp left / right kink in the road, so although on a corner, the traffic approaching from the left really has to slow down. I turned left at the top of Ashbrook and then first right into Miranda Road to see where it would take me. I got to the top of the road only to find that it veered off to the right taking me in precisely the opposite direction to where I wanted to be going although at least it was on the flat. Well, that’s what happens when you’re exploring. As I reached the end I could see a road going off to the left, at least in the right direction as far as going north was concerned. I took a sharp left into Cressida Road expecting it to be going uphill again and within a few feet I ground to a halt.
Uphill is one thing, but this point on Cressida Road it felt like it was just going straight up… and then there was a speed bump to get over too! On this occasion discretion was the better part of valour and I decided to push Bob up the hill until we found something a little more reasonable. In quite a short space we found Harberton Road which was definitely going in the right direction on a gentle downhill slope towards Archway Road. Better still it comes out at Archway Road right by the underpass and so my route home is now suitably tweaked to avoid that awful junction at the top of Holloway Road.
By the end of the week I was pretty tired, but the temperatures had succeeded in keeping me off the tube and on my bike for 77 miles, just over three quarters of the way to my long term weekly commuting target.