The Prestwich leg of the Manchester Bike Friday cycle commute was under new management for 2010 as ‘Cat’ lead us into town. The previous leaders Jonathan and Liz are in the process of moving to Saddleworth and will be busy feathering their new nest for a new arrival so Cat has taken temporary charge of the ride. Although Cat is another member of Manchester Friends of the Earth she isn’t local and had generously cycled 7 or 8 miles from Whalley Range to our starting point in Prestwich. If we had a core of half a dozen riders we wouldn’t need this commitment but I’m not sure when that might happen. Joining the two of us we had Chris returning after his first ever commute last November. He’s riding a couple of days a week at the moment and it sounds like we’ll be seeing more of him. A friend of mine, Rob, joined us en-route with his fixed wheel bike. Rob’s company are sponsoring a bike ride to Canne which he would consider but for the fact that it is happening in less than 2 months time giving him insufficient time to build up to the 120 mile a day 800+ mile ride, but maybe next year (maybe for him certainly not for me!).
As we ambled along the way at the usual slightly tedious vegan tree-hugging pace we were overtaken by a teenager on the cheapest nastiest looking full suspension mountain bike I’ve had the misfortune to gaze upon. Having said that he managed close to 20 mph though he was bouncing up and down on it like a circus clown. The Felt road bike I chatted to a couple of months ago flew past with no time for jibber-jabber today. I know I should be more patient with our pace but I do object to braking as I’m coasting slowly downhill. The weather was perfect for riding and I took time to admire some of the old large properties only partially obscured by the winter foliage along their perimeters.
The slow bicycle movement is something I appreciate and admire though it’s probably not for me. I wish I had more time to purely enjoy a ride rather than it having a purpose with associated time constraints: be it either a commute or a fitness ride. Perhaps I need to ring-fence such a ride just once a month through the spring, summer and autumn.