What’s not to like about Fridays? Apart from the quality of the televisual entertainment, Friday is pretty much THE best day of the working week. Mostly because it signals THE END of the working week.
For me, that is certainly the case. But it is also the busiest day of the week for me. Work is busy enough, but come 5.30pm, the real adventure begins…
5.35pm: I am in the broom cupboard on the mezzanine above my work, jostling with two other cycling colleagues. Gloves and lycra are applied in a flash. Three red Endura ‘night vision’ jackets are zipped up.
5.43pm: I am running down two flights of stairs, bike on my shoulder.
5.45pm: The wind and rain hits me with a vengeance. Like most nights, this is a wet cycle into a head wind.
5.55pm: Battling with cars too much in a rush to give me room. Some idiot tries to close the gap between the road and the pavement to stop me getting to the front of the roundabout.
5.55.06pm: I mount the pavement, skip past the idiot and rejoin the road ahead of the car. Haha.
5.55.26pm: Idiot car hurtles past, really close to me!
18.104.22.168pm: I shout some words.
5.57pm: I catch up with driver and while passing her stationary vehicle (silver ford Ka), give her the international hand signal for “up yours”. I then realise I am wearing my ski mitts, so it just looks instead like I am waving at her.
5.57.30pm: Silver ford Ka passes me for the second time. This time, she gives me a bit of room. Result!
6.13pm: I arrive at Johnstone Hub and secure my bike. Not time to change properly, I run into the loos & swap my wet shorts for a slightly less wet pair.
6.15pm: Feet squelching, I run across the gym hall and join the circuit class.
6.45pm: head for the exit. My Friday circuit class is finished.
6.46pm: the bike is waiting for me in the rain. I work quickly to get going, before the wind steals all my body heat.
6.57pm: my wet shoes are on the radiator and I am in the shower.
7.10pm: I double-check the routes I had drawn on the maps last night. All good.
7.15pm: kiss wife. Put on dry trail shoes. Head out.
7.30pm: We start with map reading skills, compass skills and how to estimate journey time. the boys get into four teams. Two teams will each find two markers on their maps and deposit two staffs. the second two teams will try to find the staffs using their maps and retrieve them.
9.40pm: I am in a field of mud and snow. And my feet are wet, again. As the crow flies, I am 7.6 miles away from work. In my head, it’s a lot further.
9.42pm: I see a light bobbing on the near horizon. The last team has arrived. They are also cold and wet, but don’t seem dampened by it. We wait at the edge of the farm track.
9.47pm: the cavalry arrives in the shape of a 7-seater 4×4 , and we pile in.
10.05pm: A second pair of wet shoes goes onto the radiator. The cat follows me from room to room. She has sensed that very soon, I will become stationary, and utterly powerless.