I had a late night last night so this morning’s commute was a suitably leisurely affair. Today I chose the main road route into the city. Some days the back roads beckon but today, time was a little tight.
The roads were greasy with rain and a fine drizzle was coming down as I left the house. So it was on with the waterproofs. As you might imagine, I don’t hold with cycling-specific rain gear- Regatta’s breathable gear works well, is cheap and you don’t feel like weeping when you snag your over trousers on your chainwheel.
The last few day’s wet weather has necessitated the return of the fenders for the Peugeot, also meaning that the standard 25mm tyres have made a return. A little sad to see the cream Schwalbes back in the shed but the luxury of staying clean and dry won me over.
I arrived at the station in plenty of time to get my ticket, remove the wet weather gear and find the bike carriage on my train, which had a spare berth for the Peugeot. The day was going well.
I strapped the bike in, found a seat and slipped into train commuter mode. I love the combination of bike and train travel – you get the buzz and fresh air of the bike ride and the quiet, contemplative downtime of the train segment – it’s where I’m writing this blog from right now.
Also making a return on the Peugeot, along with the tyres and fenders is the Nitto M18 front rack – a beautiful piece of fillet-brazed steel from Japan. I’ve used it before to mount a basket and as a saddlebag support; I have to admit to struggling to find a use for it as a standalone front rack – it really comes into its own as a support for bag or basket. It’s currently installed up front but I may switch it to the rear or remove it altogether. Function aside, it surely looks nice, lending the bike that quintessential French randonneur look – the cycling kin to those boot mounted racks on classic open topped sports cars. Has anyone out there have a Nitto from rack? How do you use yours?
The journey home has also been good thus far. The ride to the station took in the Ashton Canal towpath – the narrowboats were out in force, which is always good to see. The train I’m sitting on is quiet and my bike is snugged up with two other trusty commuter hacks in the bike space. Just the final hilly ride out of Liverpool and another day’s wandering will be done.