Ichabod, the bike that is, and I struggled up the old railway early this morning before my mind was wide enough awake to realise what I was doing. My knees are now well able to explain the short trip, and loudly at that! A chap I know belongs to one of those cycling groups, you know the type, helmets, shorts, bright tight jerseys and riding bikes costing several hundred pounds, well he was commenting on their 'run' of just over a hundred miles. They had done a bit more the day before! These imitation Tour de France types sometimes come past here, and if on telly I will watch it myself. Men like the idea of being tough or strong enough to ride up hills and speed along straight rods, always comparing the time between your past time and some other superstars. Incidentally I watched a programme featuring Clare Balding, a lass referred to by one man as 'Dyke on a Bike,' cycling around the hill of Devon in one of those excellent short travel programmes. Indeed I like this type of thing and Balding does present herself well here. However she mentions the small point that she was on a 'short run,' of just 30 miles! I considered this during my ride up the slope and calculated that by turning back I would get home after completing 3 miles. My knees agreed that was far enough today!
Farmer Jones will be happy that in spite of the rain his crop is succeeding this year. I am claiming this is wheat but I expect you experts will tell me it is something completely different, like mango or the like. His wide field looks in quite good nick in spite of the refusal of the council to allow him to sell some fields to a builder who wants to create 500 homes there. Luckily even our Councillors are too busy planting said 500 houses on a different farm to care for him. I am glad as this would spoil the old railway for many of us.
It seems like years since I have been up here and the rain has developed the vegetation somewhat! This stuff lined the path all the way up, in spite of being curtailed by the Rangers who have stopped it encroaching the entire path. There is something refreshing about breathing in such an atmosphere (unless you have Hay Fever or Asthma I suppose), listening to the birds singing, beasties rummaging through the undergrowth and cheerily allowing occasional cyclists to rush past as they must get to work before eight. How I love not having to do that these days. I miss the good bits, the people, the routine but not the hassle, office politics, grumpy folks, and of course the public!
How much better this looks when greenery is everywhere, also when the way home is downhill!
Occasional remnants of the old railway. A sign to indicate the rise and fall of the track ahead. Just ride a bike pal and you soon find how far the track rises and falls!