How did he do that?
Monday, 23 July 2012
While Bradley Wiggins was winning the Tour de France in Paris I was furiously pedalling across the mighty hills of Cambridgeshire, only getting off when I ran out of puff or felt the urge to take a photo. Don't scoff! I'll have you know that when I was in my prime I once ascended one of the steepest climbs in the Pyrenees - and the bus only just made it!
But the bike is a wonderful way of getting about if you're not in too much hurry. It's an incredibly energy-efficient means of locomotion, the physics of which I find totally baffling. And it doesn't leave a filthy great carbon-footprint either. It also comes with a built-in breeze to cool you down as you go.
After the recent rains there were still a few puddles to negotiate though I was amazed at how quickly summer has resumed after last week's downpours. Only seven days ago I had to cycle home by a different route as there were floods closing the road between work and my house.
But today I encountered some rather belated hay-making. It's called "making-hay-while-the-sun-shines".
In a farmyard stood this magnificent relic from the past and, a little further along, what appeared to be a horse with dreadlocks!
It turned out to be a device to keep the flies away from the animal's eyes. Pity - I rather liked the idea of a Rastafarian horse. You just don't see these things, or have time for such idiotic musings, unless you're on a bike.
The barley was already looking golden and made me realise that it is July, even if we don't seem to have had any summer weather yet. Time to throw the bike down on the grass and get arty...
That's what you get if you set the self-timer, turn the flash on and lay the camera down among the crop. It'll be time for harvest before you know it. Now I really must get on with this bike ride.
You get time to notice the wildflowers and even the insects as you tootle along on a bicycle.
And you investigate places where there are signs saying "No Through Road" and "Road Unsuitable For Vehicular Traffic" - maybe, but not unsuitable for pedal power.
So I pedalled on through the evening sunshine and the golden glow of the ripening grain, taking in intimate details and distant horizons, feeling more fit and free with every rotation of my ageing legs. OK, I won't be in the Tour de France any time soon but this little tour is good enough for me.