The Bike and Other Stories
Cycling adventures around London, New York City, and Berlin.
Geoffrey Armes
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Jacket
Geoffrey Armes - 2020-08-20 21:28:53+02:00

Back in Berlin after a week without bike. Saturday afternoon. Twenty degrees, clouds, showers. Rain jacket stuffed in back – no, rain jacket on back. Get warm first. Sweat, jacket clings to the skin. Harder than anticipated, glad not to be talking. What is wrong with me, do I have a cold?

Down at the bottom, stop, stretch the gammy leg, remove the jacket, pee, decision about where next.

Decision made – bridge – remount.

Gotta move on. Breeze is cold, I am not working so hard but am making steady progress into a wind, monitoring the leg, the chest, spinning, I'm back, back in Berlin, back on the bike, finding my way. Clouds grey overhead. Keep moving, I don't need the jacket. Or do I? No, I'm turning to the houses, the first low hills, taking the corners well, nimble progress, up and away, down again, the little patch of off-road and then the second batch of hill, a long shallow drag just enough to test the legs before descending to the little roundabout that marks the bottom of Moorlake proper. I do those pretty well, the 8%, the Russian church, the walkers, the cars. I'm not gonna scare any other riders but it seems, cautiously, like it might be a good day after all. Cold still.

Bridge. Sunshine. Pictures for Facebook. Back on bike, along by the water, careful of the walkers and family cyclists now, keep turning pedals but stay alert past the cafe/restaurant/coffee stop/toilet we never use and hit the 10% at a decent pace and remarkably, keep going. No traffic, can zig zag, making decent pace, glad I went alone, no one to disabuse me of my fantasies.... but I'm smooth and still able to work once up there and the road gets eaten by my wheels and I'm alright down the highway and the bit where you really need to speed with the traffic if you want to turn with the traffic and I'm first at the light and up towards the forest but the sky is starting to spit and sure enough the spit becomes a shower but I want to get back to the bench where I stopped before before stopping to adjust anything although it is thickening maybe. Maybe. Maybe yes. Keep working forward. Through the rain.

At the the bench and stretch. Again. Don jacket although under the trees maybe I won't need it. Immediately sweat but ride anyway, back up the Krone, past the two little holes, over the ruggedly ribbed section, through Huttenweg and accelerate up the little slope before hitting the patch for an “endspurt,” that I don't really have but I sort of vaguely stand up anyway and the rain has stopped but I keep the jacket on not sure if I am sweating or have a cold or whatever, doesn't matter now, stay alert, cross the main roads and slip downhill towards home, another ride booked, another step in the holding the body well task, now in hand. Sleep later.