Restless Legs: Wet

Restless Legs: Wet


Restless Legs: Wet


Mark Tearle


January has April’s showers


I’ve spent the morning prevaricating and pacing the kitchen, peering out through the windows expectantly and reeling back disappointed at the gloom as the precipitation continues to fall. I have not given up hope of getting outside, yet.




I’m an outside or don’t bother kind of person – vague plans for a long Sunday ride always start on Monday, other than opportunity and time spent with the family the long Sunday ride is the pinnacle of the week; where will I go, messaging to friends to see who’d be interested, a study of maps, daydream, ignore the work and emails starting to pile up, check the forecast – Saturday is set to rain, Sunday looks clear, good. Tuesday, daydream, check the forecast. Wednesday, vague plans become firm plans, friends confirm, check the forecast. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday’s rain has brought flooding in parts where you intended to ride, check maps again and make alterations, check forecast; it says rain for Sunday afternoon.


A week of commuting in the rain and the darkness and a heavy week at work is starting to take it’s toll – January is taking its toll. Friday at last, another check of the forecast… light rain all morning on Sunday now. Gah, Come Armageddon, come…


Saturday is here, a late start, a slow breakfast, run some errands, play with the children, go for a walk, bake a cake, have a beer, binge watch the latest box set, relax – whilst checking the forecast and replying to messages from friends who have started to bail on Sunday plans, or who have taken the opportunity of a sunny Saturday to ride instead (the weather forecast inevitably flipped the weekend around) – you’ve seen their shenanigans on Instagram. There’s foreboding, and my resolve starts to quiver, but I convince myself it’ll be fine, the forecast is showing ‘light’ rain – light rain is fine, that won’t stop a ride.


It’s now Sunday, 12:30pm; the rain has been lashing the windows since 10 o’clock last night… I know it hasn’t stopped, because I’ve had to get up several times in the night to let the cats in and out of the window. I’ve been incrementally edging the bike towards the door in vain hope for hours now – it’s getting silly now. You remember last Sunday’s 60 miles, and the continuous downpour, and the rivulets forming in the gutters, road spray and the too-close-for-comfort-in-this-weather passes by Sunday drivers and shudder at the thought.


I’ve had my kit on, ready to leave, since 8 o’clock this morning. The seething bitter resentment I felt an hour ago has waned to resentment and recrimination, to disappointment and now to sheepish resignation, and I have offered inevitable apology to loved ones for being such a chump – they look at me sympathetically, they’ve seen it all before, they know I need the outside.


The thought of that chocolate cake that was baked yesterday cheers me up, but I know that it will taste of ash because I haven’t earned it, and the shadow of resentment casts itself over me again.


There’s a sudden break in the cloud and the gloom has started to lift with small glimmers of sunshine peeping through – there’s time for a couple of hours, with a sudden skip of energy I shout out goodbye, push the bike out of the door and step outside.


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