After a Christmas week with just the one token cycle ride, I’m not entirely sure that a 20 mile round trip towing a trailer was exactly what either my bike or its rider were after, but that’s by the by.
The fact is, we’re home, and there was bartering to be done – I continue to be unnaturally fascinated by the local barter site. My old yoga mat was surplus to requirements (I have a fancy new cork one, and very nice it is too; I think the other half has worked out that if things don’t come in merino then I would like them in cork, seventies child that I am) so on it went and a swap was quickly arranged for a couple of miniature roses.
The only problems were that a) my barteree lives in one of the more cycle-unfriendly parts of Bigtown and b) my non-rolling yoga mat did not fit in my saddle bags and could not be usefully bungeed onto my rack.
Fortunately, the two problems cancelled each other out – it turns out that if you have to tackle the more car-centric roads around here on a bike, then towing a trailer is the way to do it. As I’ve remarked before, despite the fact that it’s actually no wider than my handlebars it seems to give me far more presence on the road and only one driver (because the rule is that there’s always one) felt the need to squeeeeeeze past and that was the one who always seem to do it when I encounter them on our B-road on the way home (well, it’s the same car – I assume it’s the same driver).
I did wonder – as I took a pot of plants off a stranger’s doorstep and thrust a bin-bag containing an old yoga mat under their car – whether someone would stop and ask me what the hell I was doing, but if anyone noticed they didn’t challenge me at all. Either this sort of bartering behaviour has become commonplace in Bigtown (the site has taken off in a big way, and some of the most implausible swaps seem to be arranged in matters of hours), or they were still too flabbergasted at the sight of someone at that end of town On A Bike let alone Towing A Trailer to take note of what I was up to. Clearly a career as the world’s most brazen potplant burglar looms, if I can manage to pedal my ill-gotten gains up our hill.
I wish you all a happy Hogmanay and a fulfilling year to come. Who knows what the next decade will bring, but as long as it includes plenty of cycling, gardening and even combining the two, then I shall have some measure of content.