This Saturday I managed to combine two of my favourite activities – hiking in the countryside with my wife and cycling on my bike. I like to think that my love of these outdoor pursuits is a positive character trait, however it is conceivable that I might suffer from an addiction to lycra and “technical” clothing!
I still have two more weeks of working away from wife and home so thinking it a little selfish to head out alone on my bike on Saturday I suggested we drive to Cheddar to hike through the limestone gorge in the Mendip hills. I also (slightly selfishly) suggested that I put my bike in the boot of the car so that I could cycle home afterwards.
Cheddar Gorge is very quiet at this time of year so other than a few mountain goats we had the place to ourselves as we hiked up the steep and muddy hills from Cheddar village to the cliff tops above the gorge. For more on our hike click here.
After our 3 hour hike I prepared the bike and set off to ride home … via the top of Cheddar Gorge. Somehow it just seemed wrong to head home without conquering the hill first. The temperature was a chilly 1’C however the ascent quickly had my heart thumping.
From the top of the gorge I coasted to the bottom and then headed off towards Bristol. Steep inclines were quickly followed by fast descents where I was glad to be fully covered up against the cold in beanie hat beneath helmet, skiing gloves, a neck warmer to pull over my face and of course, plenty of lycra and technical gear.
I made it home in reasonable time and was glad to have covered the extra winter miles. Due to working away from home and the shorter days I have been covering almost all of my mileage by car recently. However I will be giving back the company car in two weeks and hope to find / create a new local job where I can cycle to work.
Could this be the last time we see a car of mine? If it means less travelling than I’m doing right now then I certainly hope so.