“I’m going for a ride” I announced rather glumly before I left the house this afternoon….
It’s been one week since we arrived home from our round-Wales adventure and we’ve tried to keep the spirit of the trip alive by keeping active and on the move. The day after we got back and did a bunch of chores, we pedalled down to Cardiff and had a ludicrously expensive coffee and bacon sarnie in Llandaff (Note to self – stick to Greggs £2 deal, can’t go wrong). We were lighter in the pocket but really pleased with how easy the ride felt; our bike-fitness had definitely improved. The next day we went for a walk with the dog and 7.5 miles later we stopped at the Plan to Ride cafe in Tongwynlais where we got on Google Maps and worked out just how far we’d pedalled through Wales on our 9 day relay ride*.
After that, we were a bit lost until we jumped in the campervan on Wednesday, (without bikes) and ended up at Stonehenge for a spot of wild camping. It was great to see this prehistoric monument in all its glory. If you choose not to pay £16 each you can get as close as the fence and men in hi-vis jackets allows, and if you time it right you can see it in between bus loads of paying tourists turning up.
After a stop off to see a friend in Southampton we were back in South Wales with time rapidly running out before going back to work. The clock is ticking.
Going for a ride today (Saturday) was a bit of a challenge after meeting up with Walking Football friends last night for food and a “few” drinks. I’m sure that if you drew a graph with “fun” on one axis and “amount of alcohol consumed” on another then there would be a nice 45 degree line from left to right, upwards. Obviously not scientifically validated but I’m sure our friend Helen could knock it together on an excel spreadsheet. We had a LOT of fun.
Going for a ride today felt a bit like penance for the 5 hour fun shift I put in with the footy women last night. The dog had already been walked this morning, and I knew that if I didn’t do anything else for the rest of the day I’d feel rubbish.
It’s been a pretty nice day today, blue sky, light breeze, sunshine….until I opened the door to wheel my bike out and the heavens opened.
“It’s only a shower” I said as I wrestled my bike through the door and pressed play on my ipod for a catch up on the Tough Girl Podcast. Deluge is probably a good word to describe the first 5 miles of my 10 miles blast. Frostbite is another word to describe my red raw fingers, which were gloveless and trying to change gear as if they had imaginary splints on. Soggy is the best word to describe my feet, without the luxury of my waterproof socks which were sat all cosy and dry in the spare room.
It might sound like pretty miserable experience but it’s amazing what a quick blast on the bike can do. Even with red raw fingers, soggy feet and rain dripping off my nose it became hugely enjoyable. Listening to the adventures of Pippa Cox on the podcast, nodding and smiling at other cyclists who were also caught in this monumental shower and the feeling of the legs and lungs working away turned negatives into positives.
It’s not long until we’re back to work and both of us are thinking hard about how we can travel further and explore more cycle networks – potentially in Europe. That’s the thing with adventures, they ignite a desire for further adventures, then further adventures on top of that.
Who knows what’s next, but in the meantime these little 10 mile blasts provide a mini escape.
*Our ride through all 22 counties of Wales was approximately 380 miles long and was heaps of fun