Sunday, 4 November 2012


The darkness has arrived and with it the desire for sleep; like some deep lying animalistic instinct I am drawn to the duvet. Worryingly the urge cannot be ignored, and arrives earlier as each day creeps past 6 'o' clock. I have been snuggled up in bed by 8.30 on more than one occasion lately - what's happening?

Yesterday I managed an early ride. The roads were damp and dirty, some overnight rain left murky brown puddles and a coating of slime. Nevertheless there was a clear sky and a hint of sun. There is a relentless cyclonic cleansing away of the summer in full force here. The beating of wind and rain does a glorious job and in a single day things can be changed beyond recognition. I rode along lanes that I know well, but felt unfamiliar in their new guise - I almost felt i was riding along some of them for the first time, there has been a sudden letting in of light, the green canopy has gone, succeeded by an endless blanket of rolling, spinning and somersaulting leaves that crowd along the earth. The air has been whipped with rain freshness, it is clear and there is the new coldness, the first touch of winter that is as exhilerating as spring.

My time on the bike has been so depleted of late that these few miles are to be relished like a rare treat. I ride slower to better enjoy the experience and the surroundings. I stop often to gaze over empty fields and bare earth and to look at ancient trees closing down for the winter months. My bike will be put away this week and won't come out again until spring. My older bike will be dusted off and once again punished by the wet mud and salt. However I don't expect to do much cycling now until next year. At least not comparitively. Somehow over the last couple of winters I've managed a reasonable mileage - obviously ice and snow means no chance, but I've braved rain and cold close to freezing. Somehow I don't fancy that this year - I'm more interested in sleeping!

For sure I will need to work harder in the new year - the target of riding London to Paris will be the spur to get me moving again, along with the prospect of spring and warmth. So, if this blog becomes rather more infrequent than it already has, have no fear - I shall be back - once I wake from hybernation.

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