30 Days of Biking in the South Pennines

Joining in the fun with #30daysofbiking

Ruth’s Diary of a Novice : Day 15 Crispy

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HALFWAY – YIPPEE!!! Whoever would have thought 30 days was so LONG!

Whatever conclusion I draw from doing this 30 days of biking thing, I will certainly not be chastising myself for lack of effort. This morning I was up and out by 6.45am despite the fact that I am supposed to be on holiday. The minute I stepped out the door however, I regretted my enthusiasm – everything was a sharp, crispy, glistening white and even the noisy cows in the barn behind our wigwam had decided to stay in bed. Within seconds of moving into this cold crispness with only a tiny bit of speed, I felt all my extremities freeze in solidarity with the atmosphere. Descending a hill left my watery eyes with icicles on my eyelashes. Even the little lambs looked cold in their newly knitted sheepskin jackets.

But all was beautiful in that way that a frosty morning just is beautiful. There is no other word for it. So I hunkered down against the cold and headed for a place that was 8 miles away. I figured that if I got there I would have to come back and would thus have to do about 16 miles. It is this sort of clear headed logic that got me a reasonable grade in maths at O-Level. Having taken a wrong turn almost immediately however, I found myself on a B road where cars felt the need for speed and terrified me out of my wits by passing me like jet engines, nearly taking the skin off my legs, never mind the hairs. What with post-winter pot holes, mad rural racers and suicidal pheasants, my route was turning into a bit of a challenge.

My seat was also challenging me. The man who measured my bottom told me that the padded shorts might do the trick, or I might need to invest in a saddle that fits me. I now conclude that the latter must surely be the case. I spent the whole journey today trying to adjust my position so that the agony lessened, with little effect. Despite this, I didn’t want today’s ride to end, taking every little side road I could to make it last a little longer. We are leaving today and I shall miss these easy undulating lanes. I like the whisper of my tyres on the tarmac, the steady rhythm of breath and heartbeat, the gentle ups and downs; but I also miss my curlews, the pretty gritty landscapes of the South Pennines and the dung heap at the end of Thorney Lane.

But for now a slight break in intermission as I have a plane to catch.  


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