To shake off the weekend’s excesses and to get some good early weekly mileage I went for a 45 mile cycle after work on Monday. I set off at 5.45pm and managed to cover some good distance before the sun set. Before leaving I had worked out a route which ensured that I stayed on the winding country lanes and avoided the A31 & A35 which both cut through the New Forest. I passed across the A31 and then beneath the A35 and was about 25 miles into my loop when I was confronted with an unanticipated challenge … the busy A35 with no crossing point.
My options were to either turn around and go back the way I came, or to cross a cattle grid, two busy lanes of fast moving traffic, climb a barrier, cross the grass central reservation, climb another barrier, cross another two lanes of fast moving traffic and over another cattle grid. I really hate going back the way I came so, like Horace going skiing, I set off with my bike over my shoulder.
In Horace Goes Skiing, the challenge was to guide Horace across a dangerous road teeming with traffic to rent out a pair of skis and then successfully navigate a ski course. Obviously the hours I had spent playing this game back in 1987 on my ZX Spectrum paid dividends because I made it safely across the A35 unscathed.
From here I continued on my cycle through the forest as the sun set and dusk arrived. My most recent bike accessory purchase was a good set of lights which were essential when cycling along the dark roads beneath the tree canopies. I made it back in 2 & 1/2 hours at a respectable pace of 17.2mph. Next week’s challenge will be to simulate Space Invaders by bike!