January 2009 in the Life of Ben (Blog)
1st Cycle of 2009 (18th January 2009)
Yesterday I had a test ride around the woods near Basingbourne park. Wiggling between trees at low speed was a good way to heat up and regain my balance at the same time.
The front wheel slipped out from under me as I was warming up in a tight figure-8. I’m proud to say that I stamped my inside foot down with cat-like reflexes and hopped twice. This brought everything to an almost dignified halt with me standing upright with my bicycle not quite falling over. Yay me!
Today my dad and I cycled along the towpath. We stopped on the swingbridge for a while, as it was bathed in afternoon sunlight. The sun was low in the sky and the air was cold but it still had a warming affect, like it was getting ready for Spring.
The bridge is turned by hand, just like lock gates. Dad commented on the workmanship of the lever which merges into the bridge railing. He would have done it a slightly different and much tidier way. So that’s where I get it from!
After a while, we continued along the towpath. Turned sharp right to get onto and across the humpback bridge. Coasted down the winding lane and suddenly broke out into a sunny clearing, with sheep in a rolling pasture to the left. The uphill stretch is difficult but the excersion of getting up it and then reaching the top is always enjoyable.
We turned right onto the road and rode down towards the wharf. There were traffic lights on the bridge which were red but dad said the sign only mentioned “motor vehicles”. So we went over as oncoming traffic started crawling up towards us.
I signalled left to go into the wharf carpark. My glove was grabbed straight off my hand by a prickly twig! After we stopped in the car park, I jogged back to retrieve it.
We waited at the wharf for quite a while, in a sunny spot enjoying the outdoor air.
We rode back home along the towpath. We took a diversionary loop down the other side of the lane which crosses the humpback bridge. It leads through the woods, past a couple of secluded rural houses and up to the swingbridge.
There were quite a few people walking and cycling. The wharf carpark was nearly full. I guess a lot of people felt this was a good time to have their first family outing of 2009.