Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Brilliant bike ride!
While my sister was puffing and panting round London in the marathon (and getting a perfectly respectable time), I decided to go out for a ride on the bike. The weather was utterly perfect: sky a wonderful bright bluey silver, the temperature just about right, the landscape filled with the freshest, brightest green you could imagine - it was about as close as it is imaginable to cycling through Heaven. With added alpacas. I cycled past this farm outside Whitchurch and had to do a double take - I thought the farmer might have been exceptionally cruel to his sheep at first glance, but then realised he'd shrunk his llamas. as I was scooting down the lane, thinking it couldn't possibly get more bucolic, it did - two boys with stripped willow switches were walking three bullocks down the lane! After that, I passed a wonderfully pastoral scene involving sheep, then woods with bluebells and bright blue skies.
It wasn't a long trip - only twenty miles or so - but it was utterly wonderful. The only shame was that no-one else was tagging along with me.
And of course, the next day, it was absolutely tipping it down and I found my rear tyre flat as a pancake, and somehow I'm managed to run out of tyre cement and couldn't repair the thing.
pictures: Mapledurham House, with added cows; Alpacas; sheep being pastoral; bluebells; English woodland doing an impersonation of rainforest.
(edit) sorry, forgot to say the route - started out, went over Balmore Park, down to the Thames, went as far as Kennet Mouth, changed my mind, followed the Kennet to the town centre, cycled back to the Thames, went to Caversham Bridge, then through St Peter's and down through the Warren, off to Mapledurham, then followed the Bridlepath to Whitchurch; following that, went up the hill until the turning for Goring Heath, through there and past The Sun pub, then uphill and through the forest past the King Charles Head, then up to the Mapledurham crossroads and back home.
(another edit) I've added the route on here from Google Earth.