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.
In this post I would like to introduce you to my new sponsors: AZUB. It’s an unusual name until you understand that the company who it belongs to is based in the Czech Republic and that the letters come from a combination of its founders name: Ales Zemanek, and their location in the Czech Republic: Uhersky Brod. Put the two together and you have AZUB, makers of fine recumbent cycles and trikes, a company that has gained respect around the world with a name that is both short and memorable as it relates to nothing else but this company and their products.
At last the weather seems to be picking up slowly. The drenching storms that have bombarded the UK since Christmas are, at least for the time being, backing away. We can begin to anticipate warmer and longer days as the flowers poke their heads up above ground level in a display of colour that always lifts my heart and soul. Winter is slowly leaving us.
The winter Olympics is upon us with all the glamour, glitter, expectation of success, and the painful failures that occur under its banner. People fight their own bodies and minds for that one moment when they can lay down the performance of their lives. Some achieve that moment and others fall at the last hurdle. Some know they are at their personal peak just by getting there and some rise to the occasion returning to their homelands as sporting superstars. I love it and lap it up in a way that is just as strong as when I was young myself. Being from a sporting background I appreciate the levels of commitment that go into daring to reach for the stars in terms of performance.
For weeks the weather here in Devon has battered us with high winds and rain. Short interludes have provided the only opportunities to ride and I haven’t always been able to take advantage of them for all manner of reasons. I managed a run to Okehampton just over a week ago and the benefits of that were immediately clear.
For the last four years I’ve entered winter with a good idea of what I would be doing in the coming summer. For the first time since starting my project Riding2Recovery this is not the case. In the autumn I worked towards a goal of putting together a ride that would see me travelling around the south-west of the UK in 2014, giving talks, and leading a series of rides that would encourage new riders to get out and enjoy their cycles. Prior to Christmas it was obvious that I wasn’t going to raise the level of support and help from others that I would need to give the project the green light and so I rather reluctantly shelved it for the time being.