Cycling and walking

Wednesday, November 15

A bike ride on a cold day, and Coffeeneuring (or rather Teaneuring) #6

If you're coming across this post without having heard of coffeeneuring, then you can read about it here on the Chasing Mailboxes blog (a blog about cycling and running). But basically it's about riding your bike to 7 different places in about the same number of weeks. You can get your coffee (other drinks are allowed) at a cafe, or take/brew your own outside, which comes under the Coffee without Walls bit of the challenge. There are other rules, but not too many. Those taking part can post their rides to a Facebook group, either as they go or all in one post at the end of the challenge.

This post is about my sixth ride, so I have one more to go. I chose a theme this year, and that was to visit watery places...... ponds, rivers, and who knows what connection my last one will have to water! Watch this space.....

I do and try and pick days where the forecast is reasonable, but even so the rides have to fit in around other activities, such as paid sewing jobs. And getting Husband's tea. The forecast for this Sunday trip was sunny but cold,  about 7 degrees C, but combined with the wind chill factor it would be about 2 degrees. They say that for outdoor activities there's no such thing as the wrong weather, only the wrong clothing, so I put on -

On top

Merino wool base layer
Cotton shirt
Cotton jumper
Home made wool zip-up thing
Fleece lined Buff
Vulpine Primaloft cycling jacket (one of my few bits of  cycling-specific clothing, and well worth the expense)
Gloves (not my REALLY  wintery ones)

On the bottom

Thick cotton tights, under Altura Women's Cruisers (really pleased I bought these last winter)
Above tucked into cotton socks

The plan was to cycle to East Lockinge, about 7 miles away, to a very pretty part of the river where it forms a pond, by a public footpath. Then I would go on to Youngest Son's to pay a surprise visit and deliver some of the muffins I'd made in the morning.

For some reason, I always get in a muddle with the villages and roads on this side of Wantage, so had taken a map with me, just in case I got lost. After one wrong turn (I'm happy to take wrong turns when out cycling though!) I vaguely followed the river back the other way and found my spot. But for the second time in this coffeeneuring season, I arrived to find a dry river bed -



No water in the pond

As you can see there is water in the river beyond, but none here in the pond. There seems to be a blockage stopping the water getting into the pond, but according to a dog walker I chatted to, the real reason is lack of rainfall. He told me that the water levels here on the local estate are 10% of what they should be, and that households on this private water system have been asked to conserve water. Rather disappointing too is the fact that the pond has been fenced off - you used to be able to get down into it.

This was what I took with me to eat and drink -


Chocolate cranberry muffin

And this is where I most definitely thought -

"What this bike needs - is somewhere to put one's refreshments!"

A folding table to attach to the rack perhaps....... hmmmmm, food for thought!

A lovely place to walk, and drink tea.

Then it was on to Grove, a few miles away, to Youngest Son's, who was in, with his girlfriend, so I didn't have to leave the muffins hanging on the door handle. I stopped for a while, had a look at his new router, (I'm fascinated by tools!) then cycled home. By then it was getting dim so I needed my lights  - Busch and Muller dynamo, which came with the bike.  It's really useful to have the lights there all the time, and not to have to rely on batteries.

I couldn't believe how much traffic there was on this sunny Sunday -

"Why aren't people out on bikes?" I asked myself!!!

I frequently ask myself this. I always feel like shouting to drivers -

"It's great on a bike! Try it, you might find you like it!"

This ride was about 18 miles. Another cycling blogger writes here about the delights of one particular ride she had. Some rides are undoubtedly more enjoyable than others, and this one was one of those.  As I said to Husband recently on my return home from a shopping trip by bike - "I LOVE cycling!" But even when I've got hungry, tired, wet, lost or it's got worryingly dim and I haven't had lights, I can honestly say -

"Even a bad ride's a good one!"

Lizzie