30 Days of Biking

Not totally sure why I signed up for this because I already cycle most days but having just come back to it after nearly three weeks off the bike, I felt it would be a Good Thing.  Also, as cycling is usually a solitary thing for me,  it’s nice to feel part of a Bigger Thing involving all kinds of cyclists who pedal all kinds of distances for all kinds of purposes, or just purely for fun.

I pedalled off today(written 1/4/12) on my 1st April ride purely for fun. I had no visitors, no concrete commitments and the sun had his hat on so it seemed churlish to waste such a golden opportunity.

After a spell on a cycle path, a dual carriageway and lots of A road, during which no drivers cut me up, I turned off into the lanes full of sloe blossom and damson blossom and headed for a spot on the river where I had my inaugural fishing expedition with my dad.  I passed a nature reserve, went over Haw Bridge, where donkeys years ago there was a big murder-mystery story about a headless torso being found. I paused to take a pic and wondered if a single one of those people sitting outside with beers and drinkies had ever heard of the Haw Bridge Murder. Doubt it.

I spotted a cyclist ahead of me who I recognised by his silver hair and his spare figure. It was a man who had been one of the inspirations for my brother and his cycling career many years ago. This guy is in his 80’s and still riding his racing bike. He’s a cycling legend in Gloucestershire and used to organise the Tour of the Cotswolds, a Premier Calendar road race which used to attract top riders from Europe as well as the UK.  Anyway, he was probably coming to the end of his ride, so I followed him respectfully for a bit before turning off to take a look at the wetland reserve.

Couldn’t resist saying “hello” to the morose little Shetland pony I usually see and then it was onwards and upwards – more lanes, teeny woolly little lambs with knobbly knees, Gloucestershire cattle calves and surprisingly quiet when I got back on the main road and headed for home.

It wasn’t far in total – just over 20 miles – but enough to fill me with joy and to provide the catalyst I needed to give my lovely Trek a well-deserved thorough cleanup.


About janh1

Part-time hedonist.
This entry was posted in Countryside, Cycling, Watery things and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to 30 Days of Biking

  1. IsobelandCat says:

    Sounds like you had a good day, Jan. I understand that the man who owns our local bike shop, Edwardes, was a professional cyclist. I have always had great service there, but you hear mixed reports. Anyway, as far as I know he still cycles to and from work, living somewhere in deep south London, but these days has a roll up in his mouth as he does so.
    Twenty miles sounds a lot to me, but I know in the country it is different. It’d be nice to have use of a bike at das Boot and tootle around the quieter roads.

    • janh1 says:

      Ha! Cycling with a roll-up reminds me of the old boys I used to see cycling to work in Gloucester knees out, “‘aving’ a fag” at the same time. Somehow, it doesn’t look right, unless you’re French and you’d need to wear a beret and smoke Gitane, which makes it inexplicably ok!
      Twenty miles isn’t a lot – less than my work commute mileage but cycling further takes more time than I usually have… though I am harbouring an ambition to cycle the 50 miles or so to Hay Festival this year. Got to broach it carefully to Capt Sensible….

  2. IsobelandCat says:

    Btw, I tweeted this, but don’t know if you saw it. He has a great blog.

  3. Pseu says:

    Let me warn you, beware of deer while you are out and about. Cyclo came a cropper yesterday….

    • janh1 says:

      Uh-oh, Pseu. Is he ok? Hope so! A deer leapt out when he was cycling on the road?

      I’ve had that happen when I’ve been mountainbiking in the Forest of Dean. There’s a sudden rustling crash and they’re on the track ahead of you – but fortunately not close enough to be a worry.

      • Pseu says:

        a spooked herd ran alongside the road as he and his cluster cycled along, when suddenly they broke through and ran across the road in front of the group, which Cyclo was leading! he was knocked off and is bruised, but other wise ok

      • janh1 says:

        Oh! A whole herd!! Glad to hear he’s only bruised. Could have been a lot worse.

      • Pseu says:

        I dare not think about it!

  4. IsobelandCat says:

    Blimey, that beats pedestrians wandering into the road in front of you. I had two young mothers, with their toddlers, backs to me and quite oblivious of my approach, guide their little ones into my path today.

    • janh1 says:

      Honestly, you wonder sometimes who should wear the harnesses – the toddlers or the mothers? ;-/

      • Too right! How often does some ditzy mother push her buggy out into the road before even checking?!?! I suppose it’s only the baby….

        Writing from the Edge

      • janh1 says:

        Sometimes it’s not the baby though, Lorely. There are a couple of women in Cheltenham who transport their dogs in buggies. Bit of a shock to the system when you catch a passing glimpse of a hairy face and drippy pink tongue.

  5. What a lovely cycle: it had that march-hare early spring energy about it, Jan 🙂

  6. janh1 says:

    Thanks, Kate 🙂 Cycling generates ebullience, I find – er, except today when we were plunged back into winter and I cycled through rain with freezing fingers and thumbs. Now where are my winter gloves again???

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