I’m sat at home contemplating the last five weeks. That’s how long it is since I was last here for more than a few days and the first time I’ve been able to relax properly without feeling I had to do something. It’s also the first time that I’ve been able to sit and relive the three weeks spent touring in Brittany with Michele on our superb AZUB recumbent trikes.
Since I began my project four years ago I haven’t once left home on a tour where I wasn’t either riding a great distance or preparing for a long journey. When Michele and I leave for Brittany on Monday night it will be the first time that I’ve gone on holiday on my bike for decades. There are no mileage goals and our itinerary is just a thread of an idea of where we might go and what we might like to see. Add in the fact that I haven’t ridden any distance with anybody else and this trip begins to look refreshingly different.
After a couple of false starts we finally managed to escape this past weekend as families began their half-term break around this beautiful part of the country. Even this short break was in doubt until the last-minute. Saturday saw torrential rain throughout the day and night in Devon and we felt lucky to be able to move our short camping trip without losing any time away by leaving on Sunday.
With just three weeks to go until Michele and I head off to France to explore Brittany on our trikes we still haven’t managed a camping weekend. The beautiful week that has just passed by coincided with Saturday work for Michele and although I took the opportunity to ride out from home I didn’t feel up to camping or being away.
The last few weeks have seen Michele and I making a concerted effort to ride our trikes as much as possible. This has meant both of us travelling around more than usual in order to share the experience and to improve our trike specific physical fitness and skill-set. We have been blessed with some pretty good weather in which to come to terms with our new toys and there has been much folding and unfolding in order to transport the trikes from one house to the other as well as to various trails around the area.
As I drove home from Barnstaple last night the sky gave a spectacular display to accompany my journey. I had been at Michele’s for a couple of days and we had completed two memorable rides on our trikes, one during the afternoon and the other in the early evening. The road to Hatherleigh from Barnstaple twists and turns, rises and falls, like some kind of giant amusement park ride. It’s a quiet road for the most part, making for a pleasant and relaxing drive.
After the ravages of the winter storms the weather has settled somewhat. Gone for now are the ferocious winds and torrential rain. In are softer, warmer, patterns of air with spring sunshine and longer days. It couldn’t have been better timed with our trikes arriving just in time to begin to enjoy being outside and to remember why I choose to ride and explore under my own power.