‘Paradise, this is. And we’re living in it’

Oh dear. It’s been a while since I did anything more adventurous on my bike than the ride down to Papershop Village and back, and even that’s not been as regular as it ought to be. Busyness and rain and trips to London and even going bicycle shopping have got in the way and I haven’t been out to make my Wednesday rendezvous with the cycling club since early March. But today the weather was fine, albeit breezy, and I had run out of excuses. I worked out my route – actually I worked out slightly the wrong route, but never mind – and set off with the wind for once on my back, although I didn’t realise quite how much effect this was having until I started for home and wondered where all the downhill bits had gone.

It was an absoulutely glorious ride. This was a road I’d not cycled before, a big loop through open moorland, following a river valley and avoiding the worst of the contour lines. Tiny lambs scattered from the road where they had been lying on the warm tarmac, their mothers facing me down and suddenly bigger and rather pointier-horned than any sheep had any right to be. Around another corner I came across a group of cattle with their calves, all standing on the road facing me with a tiny gap between them. I inched through, frightened I’d start a stampede, but they didn’t move, just stared at me the way that cows do, even as I passed close enough between them to feel the heat from their flanks, the calves sheltering and peering out between their mothers’ legs. This is the sort of thing that always happens when I don’t bring my camera. Then it was downhill on crappy patched and crumbling tarmac until I reached the main road and no signpost and the realisation that I was a bit lost. After a bit of headscratching I remembered that my GPS is not just for creating maps, but for displaying them and I was able to follow its pointer to the pub.

And then it was time for a bacon roll – two rashers, and therefore 0.7 of a rasher short according to the Highway Cycling Group bacon calculation algorithm – and a coke and the cycle home.

The title? Was a remark made to me in the car park of the pub as we got on our bicycles ready to go our separate ways. I can’t exactly say I disagreed.

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4 Responses to ‘Paradise, this is. And we’re living in it’

  1. PaperBoy says:

    Does that bacon rasher calculator have a Golders Green factor in it? Or is rationing still on in Bigtownshire?

    2 rashers doth not a bacon roll make. It makes a roll with bacon – the bread should be a mere conveyor of baconic sumptuousness, not the major part.

  2. bikinginla says:

    You make springtime in Scotland sound very much like my hometown in northern Colorado, where I frequently found myself riding through herds of sheep, and staring into bovine eyes as I tried to convince their uncomprehending owners to meander out of the roadway.

    And if the two do, in fact, have anything in common, then I suspect it is paradise, indeed.

  3. disgruntled says:

    Bikinginla – I think we get more rain, if my experience of Colorado is anything to go by…
    Paperboy – given the roll in question cost £1.60 I wasn’t complaining. And as it consisted of nothing but a roll, and bacon, it was hard to know what else to call it.

  4. PaperBoy says:

    You’re still conditioned by London prices – a 4 rasher roll over here in civilisation is a mere £1.35 (admittedly that’s carry out from the bakers… but it’s only £2.50 for a 3 rasher roll and cup of tea sit-in across the road in the tea room)

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