Yesterday morning I was down at Eypemouth first thing, eager to scour the newly arrived crests for multi-striped fellow travellers. It was still and foggy, the leaves all a-drip with moisture. I listened carefully for the high-pitched contact calls of migrant Goldcrests. Silence. Unfortunately I know 'birdless' when I hear it but persevered for a bit nonetheless. To no avail. Tellingly, the enthusiasm I'd brought with me, anticipating a bit of action, fizzled like a wet match. I'm a very long way from the fairly hardcore birder I once was.
So, home for breakfast.
By lunchtime the fog had lifted and the sun appeared. The afternoon plan was already laid.
I'd not been out for a proper ride in over five weeks. This fact, combined with a genetic trait known as 'see cake, eat cake' had conspired to make my trousers shrink. Something needed to be done. At a modest pace I rode to Seaton and back, a round trip of some 44 miles.
Coronation Corner on the Axe Estuary yesterday. In the distance, gulls. Mmmmm...
I've had people say things like "What!! Forty-four miles!!?? Amazing! You must be so fit!" Well, it's really not so amazing. Some time (and a couple of stone) ago I decided I didn't want to go the ever-expanding route of so many middle-aged contemporaries, with all its attendant health issues. Early sorties on the bike were admittedly short and hard, and left me thoroughly jelly-legged, but with time it all gets a great deal easier. I've really enjoyed pootling around the Devon/Dorset/Somerset lanes these last few years, and come to relish the challenge of a steep hill. You're right of course, it is all rather masochistic, and I appreciate that it's not for everyone. But if you have the kind of weakness for baked goods that I do, well, there are consequences.
One other thing. For me, cycling is usually a solitary pursuit. And pedalling is, I suppose, a metronomic activity. So perhaps it's not surprising that I find cycling really good for unwinding, for thinking. For thinking, say, of pithy titles that might fit a slightly rambling post...