I haven’t been out on my bike for a while. I’ve been doing other stuff trying to get a lot stronger and slimmer using weights and HIIT training with a big focus on my butt, abs and bingo wings… Anyway, I woke up this morning and the weather was so much better than yesterday and the early morning sun seemed to beckon me out. So, I took about half an hour of Top Level Faffing (I only do Top Level) to get my screamingest pink kit out and prepare myself and Gloria ready for the off.
I didn’t have a ride planned given that it was a bit last moment, I just wanted to get out and give myself some headspace in the glorious countryside and enjoy being alive. Autumn is my favourite time of the year. I love the amazing colours that nature creates as she moves through into winter and I love the smell of the damp earth and leaves and the scent of smoke that carries across the fields from chimneys across the countryside. Today, as I rode out, it was wonderful to be in the great outdoors – I felt like a horse who has been cooped up in its stable for a week and has been finally let out into its field! Freee…. The sun shone proudly over the fields and as I cycled, the wet roads and leaves twinkled and glistened with reflected light as if tiny little jewels littered my way. It was magical. Life and nature take my breathe away. Here we all are, tiny little dots living on this planet without compare and Mother Nature shares her beauty with us. If we’re lucky and we allow ourselves the time and opportunity, we get to appreciate the wonder of it all.
I find cycling a great way to ‘process’. This morning, I got to thinking about the fact that its Remembrance Sunday. My grandfather was a little 15 year old boy -one of the many who lied about their age in order to sign up and fight for their country – when he went off to The Somme. He was one of the ones who survived and we have a recording of him talking about his experiences. He was a wonderful man and we were lucky that he came home and after some time he eventually met my grandmother; a little strip of a thing many years younger than him, but fate had a plan in store for them fortunately for me!!!
When I was studying for my A levels, I spent a whole summer season as a guide around the battlefields of The Somme and WWI (I was inspired by the fact that my grandfather had fought there) and so even though I didn’t go to Church today, I got some time to give thanks in my own way to grandad and all the other incredible people who have served – whether they’ve given their lives or not – to ensure that we are free to go out on our bikes or do whatever we want with our lives.
I pulled off the road at one point as I thought about grandad and looked at the beautiful colours around me. I don’t take that many photographs as I am no David Bailey, but I took one today. What a wonderful planet we live on. How lucky am I to have had the opportunity to go out cycling and enjoy this beautiful view. In thinking about my grandad it made me also think about the future and the endless possibilities that lie in store. Grandad, if you’re looking down, I hope you like this picture – its for you. Here’s to the opportunities and experiences yet to come that you have given me.