Christmas cycling

I’ve managed to get out for a few rides between Christmas and New Year. The temperature’s been milder than usual but the wind and rain have been incessant and the constant downpours and flooded roads have limited the distance and duration of my rides. However it’s still been enjoyable to take a few shorter, local rides and weave my way across the top of the Mendips discovering further quiet, country lanes.

We've had flooded and closed roads

We’ve had plenty of flooded and closed roads

Eery riding shrouded in fog

Eery riding shrouded in fog

And strong gusts of wind (at least the sheep had the right idea)

And strong gusts of wind (at least the sheltering sheep had the right idea)

But despite the weather it’s been good to get out and burn off some of the Christmas cake and ale that I’ve been regularly consuming.

Views across Blagdon Lake

Views across Blagdon Lake

A quiet climb

A quiet climb

Winding country lanes

Winding country lanes (photos crudely pasted together to give an attempted panorama effect)

I’ve also been enjoying a Christmas gift from my wife – a leather saddle for my bike. Today it had it’s first outing and compared to previous plastic saddles it was comfortable, but was a bit slippery and felt slightly like I was sitting on a polished cricket ball.

For those unfamiliar with cricket, this is what a cricket ball looks like

For those unfamiliar with cricket, this is what a cricket ball looks like

And this is my beautiful new leather saddle

And this is my beautiful new leather saddle

I’m assured that it will wear in over time and that the sliding-bum effect will be temporary until it has moulded itself to the form of my backside. Hopefully I wont have any trouble removing myself from it. The booklet that came with the saddle also warned against wearing “lightly-coloured slacks”, I imagine because much like the red stains on a bowler’s thigh, the initial bum-polishing process could have unfortunate brown-stainage results on the seat of your ‘slacks’.

A cricketer polishing his saddle

A cricketer polishing his ball

The saddle did however feel comfortable and is an attractive adornment to my ugly bike. Now that I have the leather saddle to join my mudguards, rack and panniers, the inevitable hand-made, steel touring bike purchase appears to be drawing ever nearer …

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6 thoughts on “Christmas cycling

  1. AndrewGills says:

    Beautiful scenery! Being familiar with cricket (I am an Aussie after-all), I am laughing out loud at the thought of lightly coloured slacks being worn on your new leather saddle, especially in that damp UK climate 🙂

    Glad you were able to get out for a ride. You Poms are a hardy bunch (sorry if I missed something and you are actually a Scot or Welshman – they are hardy too). I can’t imagine riding in the conditions you put up with. Though perhaps our hot summers seem pretty extreme to those in colder climes.

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