Author Topic: Friday night and Saturday morning


Friday night and Saturday morning
« on: August 10, 2019 »
Despite forecasts that looked less promising with each refresh – though the Vikings were surprisingly upbeat – I had every intention of going to Whitstable.

Det kommer til å "hoolie"

On the afternoon of the ride I even fit mudguards on my Sunday best bike, judging it to be more stable in the wind than the flighty filly I’d ridden to Eastbourne last month. The Lite-not-so-speedy, still my preferred option for less than ideal conditions, remains in surgery.

(Btw, WTF is it going to take to get some decent FNRttC high summer weather? Do we have to offer a sacrifice? I’d volunteer myself, having been laid out on roads on more than one occasion and therefore experienced in the posture, but my Yankee blood may not appease the Elemental powers-that-be.)

My wife remains skeptical of the sanity of cyclists who head out into such conditions.

She has yet to be convinced that the show must go on. As it was I had to conveniently forget my pledge to myself to skip meteorologically challenged events.

I was looking forward to meeting Kim, only the second female leader in my Fridays experience. My first picture was going to be of the pink legwarmers she promised in her epic email to be wearing.

The route and Whitstable itself would be getting a second appraisal, my first one years ago being somewhat less than fulsome. I was itching to post about it.

Bike fettled, saddlebag packed and contents properly waterproofed this time, checklist all checked, it was, in short, all systems go! Except it wasn’t.

By the usual metrics of feeling fine, I thought I was. However, there weren't enough Zzzzs in my system. Too many uncounted sheep.

It has recently come to my unwelcome attention that I am suffering from a severe sleep deficit. This diagnosis has proved difficult given that I haven’t been tired; have in fact, to a frightening extent, lost the ability to feel tired when I am perhaps most in need of a good dose of unconsciousness.

It was only by a self-assessment of my mental state that I realised that the candle I’ve been burning at both ends has finally taken a casualty. After declaring myself biphasic I’d been whittling away the hours I had been sleeping until they could be counted on a few fingers.

The chief symptom of sleep deprivation, for me at least, is extreme irritability, which is easy to spot as even run-of-the-mill irritability is not particularly in my nature.

A few days ago I had noticed myself having difficulty navigating a normal shopping trip without a red mist descending with the slightest provocation; mild traffic noise was unbearable, never mind a cheery “How are you?” My wife drove me home with my eyes closed to avoid excess stimulation, and I literally had to lie down in a darkened room. You know, the sort of thing you do when you *go* *to* *sleep.*

The cure sounds easier than it is, when you have trouble drifting off in the first place. One feels a bit like a kindergartener forced into nap time. But I have finally come around to the wisdom of turning everything off for a reasonable amount of time, and shall endeavour to take better care of myself.

As the clock ticked the final countdown, willing as I was to hop on my bike and head into whatever hoolie was being blown, I realised to my severe chagrin that I wasn’t up for it. While I wasn’t feeling especially irritable – certainly none of my fellow riders would’ve had their heads bitten off, or even nibbled slightly – a vexing little voice inside was telling me sorry, the tank’s still too low. It's going to be a long night requiring concentration and unflappability. There's another ride next month.

I texted Kim (“Who are you?” she asked reasonably; I’d forgotten to include my name) to tell her I’d be a no-show, and slept, perchance to dream of sleeping more often.

Demonstrating what should happen to people who skim carefully written emails

Now here I am sitting comfortably in bed writing this, while on a windswept shingle beach in Kent the veterans of Whitstable ’19: Off The Beaufort Scale have themselves a well-earned breakfast, doubtless a few stories to tell.

Aaaand the mudguards came back off before my not-so-well-earned breakfast

Reports suggest Beaufort wasn't blown away after all.

The legwarmers have been ID’d as maglia rosa, which I had to google, not being a sports fan or a colour therapist.

Well done to Kim for being the Friday’s first female ride leader

Not quite. Some of us remember a certain Claudine leading the way from Cardiff to Swansea.

Liberties have been taken with this ride report, but that wasn’t one of them.