Saturday, 25 April 2020

Navigational aids known only to cyclists

Between the ages of two and 23 I went on holiday each year to mid Wales. Always travel sick, I measured the familiar route by farm gateways, lay-bys and country lanes where our Morris Minor would come to a rapid halt for me to be violently ill.

I was reminded of that, as I cycled in the sunshine yesterday. The quiet roads provided more thinking time and I realised that I’ve created similar remembering points as navigational aids on my rides.

They are, variously:

The cow in the coat that isn’t there
The post box that wasn’t Angie
Woofy Dog House (RIP)
Angina Hill in Ashley
Lonely pony field 
The place where I landed in the nettles
The garage that’s always shut (open, fleetingly this week and turns out to sell guns)
The puncture where Lisa bled
The cafe with gingerbread men on the saucer
The road where Sophie’s dad got a wasp in his helmet
Clare’s bench
Bad Fall Place
Magic Road (this is a rotten fib)
Scary Woods
Where the road really was shut and we had to carry our bikes
The field with the swan
Lost Dog Lane
Gnosall Mountain
Bare Man House (once seen, never forgotten)
The really bad Offley
Where the man was shaving (a new addition)

Except in those terms, I have absolutely no idea where I am. Yesterday, on a virtual cafe stop during my lockdown ride, I was asked whether the A53 had been busy. “I don’t know. Have I been on it? Which bit is that?”


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