Cruising the canal: Soul food.
I was sat on a bench in the wonderfully named Woolfardisworthy, Woolsery to the locals. It was bright and sunny. I’d been riding for quite a few hours to get here. Despite this fact, I was only about five kilometres from my start point. The main reasons for this were non-existent roads and road closures that forced me to deviate back in the direction from which I had come. My excursion had stopped here because there was a shop, much needed water and a chance to take stock in the warm summer sunshine.
Kermit: Loaded and ready to travel.
Ever since I was a boy I’ve been inquisitive about what lies around the corner or over the next hill. Almost as soon as I could ride a bike I would set off to explore the boundaries set by my parents. I would frequently travel far beyond them, feeling self sufficient even at an early age. Accompanied by friends, or my big sister, I began to learn the topography around the area in which we lived, navigating the myriad of country lanes that linked the villages. Sometimes we would head for Everdon Stubbs, a woods where we would find chestnuts or conkers. At other times we would head to another village to see what it had to offer or just meander around without any great purpose.
Being amogst nature helps heal mind, body and soul.
I don’t know where my time goes. One minute I’m writing here and the next minute two weeks has flown past without a thought to stop or slow down a little. I’ve been managing the injuries I wrote about last time as best I can and am pleased to report that I have made good progress. I’ve ridden Kermit a few times by limiting my mileage and keeping half an eye out to gently increasing it. In addition to that there’s been some pilates and a little yoga, as this always helps rebalance muscle groups that can easily get out of sync with one another when you do repetitive exercise like cycling.
Escape to tranquility.
Up until last week, the sun kept on shining, showering our lily-white bodies with its warming rays. Typically, our first response is to throw off as many clothes as possible, leaving only those that leave us decent. Once done, we sprawl ourselves out like carpets to maximise the absorption of these precious rays. All of the experts crawl out of the woodwork, telling us how we are all going to die of skin cancer, but by now, the middle of June, we are so deprived of vitamin D that we abandon ourselves to our fate like lemmings off a cliff.
NCN1 heads for the coast
Hiatus: A gap, a pause, a lull, an interruption. Call it what you wish, there are all manner of reasons for having one. At the moment I’m having a hiatus from cycling, for one simple reason; I’m injured. As summer approaches and the days grow in warmth and length, stretching our imaginations far and wide, I can’t go out and pedal any distance. All of my thoughts, cycling dreams and plans are on hold.
Surprises lurk at every turn provided you eekp your eyes peeled.
I’ll always be a mountain biker at heart. Not the modern type, but the old fashioned, first generation rider who didn’t know the limits of their machines or themselves but embraced a new idea with a keenness to explore and unbridled passion. People had long been travelling in mountainous regions with their touring bikes. It was known as riding the rough stuff. It involved frequent walking and some carrying to be able to get into truly wild places, but it was the privilege and preserve of a few die-hard riders who wanted more than to follow the ribbons of tarmac their bikes were designed for.
Peace and quiet on the Tarka Trail.
The past week here in Devon has been sublime. Warm spring sunshine has bathed the whole county from dawn to dusk on most days, helping those of us who live here to feel alive and inspired. I have noticed over the years that regular sunshine makes a difference for me, especially the first rays of the year when we have often spent around six months deflecting the storms and gloom that lurks on west coast and then drags its feet slowly eastwards across the country.