Turning Left in August

Now, some of my adventuring efforts have been feeble in the extreme this year, but I think it’s safe to say that Sunday’s foray more than made up for it. Not only did I end up riding 53 miles, but I was in an area so new to me that I had to buy a whole new map, which I think we can say got a suitable baptism…

Did I mention it had been a bit wet this summer at all?

Ride to Durisdeer

Now ordinarily, an afternoon spent pedalling for miles and miles through rain which managed to get steadily worse throughout would be occasion for one long whinge on this blog, and yet strangely I found myself genuinely enjoying the ride, and it wasn’t just because of the ample tea stop in the middle.

Durisdeer Church Tea

(Although that was pretty good – and all hail the Church Tea Ladies of Durisdeer who actually serve decent coffee as well as a fantastic selection of cakes and sandwiches and don’t turn a hair when nine soaking wet cyclists show up in their remote village ready to eat them out of church and home).

It was partly the scenery (what we could see of it) and the empty roads, but it was also the company. I know that some people like riding alone and I’m quite happy to take myself off on an adventure, but what I really like is riding along with someone else, chatting about this and that, on roads or paths quiet enough that I don’t have to worry about traffic. That’s when the miles fall away, and the weather actually becomes a bonus because what could have been a grim ordeal turns into an adventure that you know will grow with the retelling.

riding in the rain

There were some speedy people on Sunday’s ride, and I probably looked a bit out of place in my tweed cap with my cow pannier that probably weighed more than their bikes. But it was my ride and it had been my idea, so I had no compunction in making them wait periodically so us back markers could catch up. And on the way home we let the speedier ones tackle the main road while the rest of us wended our way through more scenery, the rain now stopped, and the euphoria of having done this slightly bonkers thing and survived it setting in. I found myself having a series of rolling conversations with whoever happened to be next to me on the road, picking up and dropping the threads as our configuration changed, and even though my socks were soaking (and they’re still not dry) and I couldn’t take any photographs because if I took my gloves off I’d never get them back on again, it was fine.

September’s adventure is already in the planning stage, and it will likewise involve company and cake, but hopefully not *quite* as much rain. Although that is in the lap of the Weather Gods …

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8 Responses to Turning Left in August

  1. zungg says:

    I’m happier than most to ride solo, but there’s no doubt that company makes the miles pass quicker.

    See you at PBP 2019, then?

  2. welshcyclist says:

    Simply fabulous, I ride alone, mainly because I only pootle along at best 10-12 mph, and really feel I’d be an encumbrance on any group I rode in. However,your post made me feel quite lonely, I think I would really have enjoyed the rain, the ride, traffic free roads, and the cakes. Just wish I could have come along. And, yes getting wet gloves on and off to take pictures is a major pain! Cheers.

    • disgruntled says:

      I’m firmly in the 10-12 mph category and it’s a shame if people feel they can’t ride as a group unless they’re faster than that. Perhaps you have to start organising your own?

      • welshcyclist says:

        I’d struggle to find others as slow as me, I see lots of cyclists nowadays, but they are passing me in a silent whirr in mamil gear, and are in the far distance ahead in minutes, even group rides. That’s not my scene at all, worrying about keeping up is not for me. While I like to cycle to maintain a fair level of fitness, I like to relax and see what I can in the great outdoors, not the wheel of the cyclist in front, whoops, in my case that wouldn’t be possible, they would be impatiently waiting for me to turn up miles ahead!

      • Lolablogger says:

        Of course, wewlshcyclist: you only see the ones hurtling past, not the ones who are going at the same speed that you are and never catch you up…

      • welshcyclist says:

        Ne er thought of it that way, but I still find it hard to believe there are other cyclists who travel slower than myself. Thank you Lolablogger, your thought has cheered me up no end!

  3. […] rules, we also had to ride a new-to-me route – starting out along the route of my last adventure, but then turning left. Fortunately, the weather was much improved – I’m not sure I […]

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