Whilst cycling at a relatively easy pace through Prestwich Village early this morning, I spotted my occassional commuting competitor Mr Boots turning onto Bury New Road a hundred yards ahead. Naturally I gave chase and reeled him in. I had already tucked in behind him by the time we passed St. Mary’s park and fortunately the lights at St Ann’s road were green (he doesn’t stop at red ones) so I also stayed behind him as we climbed slightly to the Scholes Lane junction.
The trick with Mr Boots is to blast past him and break his spirit or else he’ll give chase and try to take you back, so I patiently waited for an opportunity to arise and sure enough, a passing bus gave me the chance I was looking for. I slipped in behind it and let it drag me along at about 25 mph. Mr Boots had more sense and held back.
I would never recommend getting a tow off a bus as it is quite dangerous but I knew the road and the positions of the stops intimately and before 7am the road enables traffic to move freely reducing the chance of unscheduled stops. I gunned along with my brake levers covered but rather than waiting for the buses brake lights to shine, I listened closely for changes in its engine note to tell me when the driver was easing off the accelerator. In addition I also let the gap between us grow as we approached potential bus stops.
The tow took me up the hill out of Sedgeley Park at about 25 mph and although we had to stop at the Moor Lane lights a bus was already at the next stop meaning that the one providing my tow could continue past it accelerating to about 28 mph. Just past the Higher Broughton Fire Station my good thing came to an end, the indicator started to blink and having anticipated this stop I positioned myself to slingshot past the bus. I briefly blasted to over 30mph and enjoyed the next 2 lights at green to reach MacDonalds without a car overtaking me.
Once off Bury New Road, sense descended upon me, and I allowed my legs a little breather for the rest of the commute. I would have liked to known the time in for my ride today as it was a real quick one.