Wednesday, 15 June 2011
tales of the riverbank
I managed to take a small spin on the bike, towards somewhere called Frog Lane.
Being a mid-week afternoon, the lanes were not so busy and I was happy to take a gentle tee-shirted roll along some back-roads.
I overtook one cyclist standing by the roadside and discarding outer layers because of the temperatures.
At another point someone sped past me at very high speed.
Usually when this happens it will be a lycra-clad speeder with a specialised high tech racing bike that makes a sort of whistle from the air-tuned spokes as it passes.
On this occasion it was a woman on a fairly basic mountain bike.
I carried on at a sedate speed as she doppler-shifted a good 300 metres ahead. After the next curve I noticed that she now seemed to be going much slower and I worked out she was using more or less one gear irrespective of the quite undulating terrain.
We were now on one of those awkward long sections where I was mainly freewheeling yet she was pedalling furiously but somehow I was gaining. To avoid creating an inadvertent race I politely slowed right down leaving a respectable gap.
Eventually a reasonably straight section appeared for me to overtake again, just ahead of a quite steep section. I called 'hello' and we swapped some banter as I overtook and it became plain that the other rider was perhaps unfamiliar with the particular bicycle.
I disappeared around the next corner and towards the hill - knowing I was ahead but also that the next section was somewhat vertical. Fortunately for me the other rider was still in one gear and probably walking that section.
I carried on for another few miles to the stream, where I paused to eat half a pineapple and ginger torq bar.
The adjacent cows spotted me and decided en masse to come along for a look, maybe thinking I was the farmer. And then, as they got into better visual range they slowed and dispersed back to grazing.
Meantime a yellow wagtail first walked and then flew dippily along the river. A few moments later it emerged on the bank, with its prize catch of a small fish.
I decided this would be a good spot to take my afternoon conference call.