The time leading up to the start of any journey is always a special time. You prepare yourself and your equipment, mindful of your hopes and fears for the coming weeks, months, or in some cases years. You will almost certainly have mapped an outline route that you will use to guide you on your way and if you are experienced you will have memories of certain of moments that you hope will be replicated in some small way during this adventure. Most of all you want to start, to get out amongst the scenery you have visualised and researched to see if it meets your expectations. Most of all, if youre like me, you want to be free of the complexity o modern life for just a short period.
Ready to Rumble
A couple of months back I wrote a piece about my love of maps. From the response I got it would seem that I’m not alone. This article on the BBC website made me laugh this morning over breakfast. Take a look at this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-32551090. The notion of not noticing Snowdonia as you drove through the mountains and out the other side combined with leaving the UK mainland via a large bridge across the Menai Straits because your sat nav told you to makes me giggle every single time I think about it.
I scurried away from home like a mouse leaving the nest after winter. Blurry eyed and still a little drugged I headed for the lanes that would lead me towards the north coast of Cornwall. Immediately after leaving the close where I live a short hill provides a jolt, reminding me that this particular ride would not be a cruise in the sunshine. Why I had chosen to head along these lanes I don’t know. It’s tough when you are fit and far harder when you feel you have hardly ridden at all.
Michele testing her tirke after gear adjustments
The sun’s back out in Devon. As I write this, the sky through my front bedroom window is cobalt with orange highlights as the sun begins to sink towards the horizon. Wisps of cloud still linger but are diminishing and the wind that has torn around all day is quietening for the evening, its merry dance complete for today. Daffodils are lifting their beautiful heads towards the sun again, the sentinels of springtime, and crocuses lie like rainbows in the ground.
Evening along the Taw estuary
Spending time contemplating what you might do during the coming summer months is one of life’s great pleasures. It’s often done at a time of the year when even the faintest hope of a day outside spent cycling seems a long way from reality. Pawing over maps as well as exploring routes on App’s, laptops and GPS units is great fun. You can sit in comfort and plot where your wheels might lead you under the warm glow (we hope) of the summer sun without putting a foot outside in the winter rain.
I’ll start with an apology. WordPress won’t currently upload my pictures so I’ve had to use old ones for this post. It’s been quite a few weeks since I last posted on here. In that time we’ve seen a new year begin and an old one recede into the realms of history. I’ve written several articles that I intended to post and then deleted them, unhappy with the content. There just hasn’t been anything going on that I’ve really wanted to talk about.
Where will your bike take you?
The fire crackled and spat, shining a flickering light across my lounge. Outside the rain fell in buckets, discouraging any thoughts of forays onto the flanks of Dartmoor. My tiny rented cottage sat in a dip surrounded by a tall beech hedge which made it impossible for me to see anything of the world beyond my small garden. Unless that is I were to go upstairs which placed me slightly higher than the road I then looked down upon. It was a cosy house and one that suited my needs in the immediate aftermath of a major breakdown.