OK – day 2 and I am feeling bouncy, enthusiastic and inspired. I cycled to work again today. I am not worried that this will become a habit as I’ve always been more of a dabbler than an addict, but I am still impressed with my 2-days-in-a-row effort. That’s pretty good for me.
I had a splendid ride home yesterday afternoon, choosing the canal towpath as my initial flat route of choice before climbing the mountain that my house is perched on top of. I might have been better choosing Route 66 as I don’t have a bell and so I spent quite a lot of time saying “excuse me, would you be most kind and let me pass…I don’t have a bell you see….thank you ever so much…. and could you stop your terrier biting my tyres”. Route 66 is also not littered with attitudinal geese perched defiantly on one leg hissing at everybody in a frighteningly threatening manner. I tried doing this myself one day when I was in a particularly bad mood and really quite enjoyed myself until a community policeman came and moved me on, so I can understand why the geese do it, but it’s not good for tourism.
Having successfully negotiated the flat bit, I then did the up bit on a secret little lane where no one can see me getting off and walking. I don’t know why I do this – as a novice I should proudly proclaim that there is NO SHAME whatsoever in getting off and walking – it’s healthy, it’s fun, it’s relaxing and it’s very much in the spirit of 30 days of biking which is trying to get people on their bikes at whatever level to do whatever they can. On my secret lane I met another walking bike person – we had a lovely chat – it was her first day on a bike in 20 years and she and her smiley pink daughter had been cycling around the Luddenden and Calder valleys all day and they were both aglow with happiness. I was slightly frothing rather than glowing and I heard the little girl asking “who was that sweaty lady mummy?” as I cycled away.
I then stopped at my old neighbour’s house, largely because she lives half way up the remainder of the hill and so it’s a good place to stop whilst pretending that you don’t really need to stop. I say old neighbour not because she is wrinkly, but because I now have new neighbours having moved a few doors up the road. She is doing 30 days of biking because of me which makes me feel proud because it means I have had an overwhelmingly inspirational impact on my world. She would blog, but she is technologically challenged and because I have now moved a bit further up the hill, she no longer has access to my computer – which may have been one of the reasons why I moved. Anyhow – the point I was making is that none of these splendidly social human interactions would have happened if I hadn’t have been on a bike, puffing and panting my way homewards in the spring sunshine.
So today – I decided to take a different route to work and cycled uphill before I went downhill, making my way along the pleasantly undulating Heights Road from Midgley to Old Town. This has to be one of the most beautiful roads in the area – well not the road which is just grey like any other road – I mean the views from the road. It’s also a good beginners route because there are little ups and then flatty bits where you can regain your composure and then lots of places to stop and pretend to take snaps of the panoramic loveliness of the Calder valley. It was misty this morning which made it even lovelier. Of course going uphill meant I had even more downhill, but I went a bit quicker this morning to see if I could conjure up a spin drier effect on the sweaty bits of my body. On the whole this didn’t work so I have now sprayed myself and my desk in a cocoon of deodorant and will sit and fester in it until home time when I will happily repeat yesterday’s journey, but maybe this time on route 66.
So the sun is out, the geese are hissing, our landscape is astonishing and cycling in it soothes the soul. I am inspired!