You know how you have friends who fulfill certain needs in your life? And how often a certain somebody is the only person who will do when you're feeling a certain way? Went for a road ride this evening with just such a friend. She races, too, and we spent the majority of the gorgeous, full-moon-lit, tailwind-assisted thirty miles chatting about next season's racing and working ourselves up into a state of gibbering excitement. It's great to be able to share that feeling; sometimes it can feel pretty isolated down here in the arse-end of Britain, where few people make the effort to spend a substantial amount of weekend traveling round the great, sucking gravitational mass of the M25 to race and so have no idea what it might be like to know that you're going out on a Tuesday in December, whether or not it's blowing a gale, pouring with rain or icy, just because this is where the head start begins. When they're sitting at home with a beer and the record collection, we're putting in miles which already count towards next summer. Grinding up over the Dyke in the dark for the hundredth time we know that every pedal stroke is one up on those who stayed in because it was a little bit damp, and the odd thing is that it just adds to the fun.