The Bike and Other Stories
Cycling adventures around London, New York City, and Berlin.
Geoffrey Armes
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An Adventure With Instinct
Geoffrey Armes - 2020-07-30 00:05:15+02:00

I did all the hard climbing at Nikolskoe (that can be a brutal series if you make the effort) and got on the final descent which can be very fast and I often try and make it so, except there is a blind curve halfway down and you do have to stay alert. However I'd decided I'd earned a fast drop, yet…. my fingers were reluctant, feathering the brakes, staying alert. After some inner debate I gave up the struggle and let the hands do their thing, and sure enough as I rounded there was a big white barrier across more than half of the road. Well, I thought, now I know why I wasn't scampering, but even so I pushed on as I'd already spotted the gap in the fence and figured it to be a small diversion. Not so - after some 10 metres or less the road ended - the tarmac disappeared and what was left was builders earth and pebbles and further down a couple of workmen. So of course, given I'd come slow enough I was able to turn the bike, completely reverse the gear profile and start climbing back up again, a kilometre earlier than expected. If I'd come down at 50kph as intended I'd possibly been in some serious trouble, certainly a fright. The first ride in a week, and relatively long and hard and hilly. Fading badly at the end, at 58k I was done, dogged it home.