Now while I might not be the fastest hill climber, I have yet to pedal with anyone who is quicker than me downhill. So, back to this morning, I saw about 400 yards in the distance just past Griffin's Brook by Bournville College a flashing LED, a cyclist, (I hardly ever see any other cyclists in the morning except Council Workman occasionally, either walking his bike or pedalling very slowly on the pavement and the other one is anorexic roadie who usually destroys me up the hill into Selly Oak). Target aquired then, reeling him in, reeling him in, then just at the start of the hill into Selly Oak I let my downhill momentum carry me straight past him (a fully proper kitted out bloke on a MTB) and then I was out of the saddle blasting up the hill for all I was worth. Which is a first for me up that particular hill. I kept the pressure on out of the saddle until very nearly the top of the hill and just as I sat down, anorexic roadie came cruising past me at warp 9, bugger! There is a bit of a downhill after the summit and I accelerated again to try to catch anorexic roadie. Well, you've got to try haven't you? As luck would have it, the lights at Selly Oak were against him so even though I was actually gaining on him on the down hill bit he had to stop at the lights. It turns out he's a pretty nice bloke, we had a chat about the winter and how crap it's been, said our goodbyes and off he went. As Lance says "You have two bullets to fire in any race, my magazine was now empty, bullet one, the uphill past MTB man, then bullet two accelerating again to catch anorexic roadie. While we were chatting at the lights council workman appeared on the pavement pushing his bike, I never noticed him in amongst the racing. Anorexic Roadie turned off opposite Selly Oak Fire Station, so I guess he probably works at Birmingham University or the QE Hospital.
The rest of the pedal was through the City Centre without incident.
The reason I gave the cut a miss was because it was so bloody wet and muddy last night, the picture below shows it pretty well, wifey came out and took a photo, as to quote her I "looked like a drowned rat", other than the really wet conditions it was a really pleasant pedal. The upside to a wet cut is there is no-one else mad enough to use the towpath so I have it all to myself.
A good start to a day, I never would have even contemplated that kind of action 6 months ago. I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself!