Benjamin Eskola


personalcycling, work

Today I learned that, when on a vector converging with a wall at medium to high speed, the correct course of action is to brake, or alter course. Not to put a hand out and repeatedly try to shove yourself away from it. Ouch.

Two weeks ago I bought a bike (well, slightly more, but it arrived two weeks ago yesterday). Previously, I’d only cycled successfully once — around a carpark. Gem and I cycled up the Plym Valley path on the Saturday; we got up to the car park at Plymbridge, then turned around and came back (the hard way, admittedly). That Sunday we went cycling again, but nowhere much of interest, just around Plymouth a bit.

I didn’t cycle much for a week and a half, firstly because I was away and then because I didn’t really want to cycle to work; I didn’t feel particularly confident in traffic. Lisa suggested (indirectly) that I should just go for it, so I did, and cycled into work on Wednesday. That was pretty tiring, and the way back nearly killed me; mostly due to my poor choice of route (I avoided going up hills for as long as I could, which eventually took me to the bottom of a massive hill with home at the top). Thursday was better, and Friday better still.

Today, Gem, Dan, Ed (who’s back in Plymouth for graduation, and cycled from Bristol) and I cycled up the same route; this time we got as far as the railway tunnel near Bickleigh before coming back. We could probably have gone further, but it was quite late, and got dark very quickly (the path runs through the woods, which doesn’t help; only Gem had lights, and not very good ones, so Ed went ahead holding a torch so we could see where he was and thus where the path was).

I was still pretty knackered by the end of it, but less knackered than the shorter journey two weeks ago. An improvement, at least. I don’t expect to be able to cycle up the hill home any time soon, though.