Aug. 9th, 2009

It's good to be mobile again.

I've started cycling once more, so yesterday, I took a trip to the chalk downs south of Uffington, to see Dragon Hill and the White Horse. I'd plotted what turned out to be a picturesque route from Oxford to Uffington village, allowing me ample opportunity to enjoy the rural Cotswold countryside on the way. Oh, the old black and white signposts! And the duckponds with maritime accessories! And, and, and there was a weasel! Wheeee!

From Uffington itself, the terrain became a little too hilly to subject my poor fold-up city bicycle to, so I got off and walked. I'd been terrified that the weather would turn nasty, and couldn't quite believe just how beautiful it was. Once I'd succeeded in dragging my bike to the car park near the top of the downs, I could see for miles across perfect countryside and, um, Witney power plant. It was difficult to get a good view of the White Horse – from different positions, it was possible to marvel at either the head or the body, but never both – still, I'd already been told that the horse only really resolves well from the air, so I wasn't disappointed.

I ought have had the sense to stay off my bike on the way down, but I was getting tired and told myself that I could use my brakes to keep myself at a steady speed. I'd never tried cycling down such a steep slope before, so it came as a surprise that the insistent application of both brakes only produced of a noise like the moans of a dying whale and a smell suggesting rapid combustion of that unfortunate cetacean's fatty deposits. After narrowly avoiding a head-on collision with a flock of sheep, I sped, screaming in a subdued fashion, back towards the village. I estimate that a whole two miles went by without my feeling the compulsion to pedal.

I really started to flag on the way back – my miles for that day totalled just over fifty by foot and bicycle, and I haven't attempted anywhere near that much for some time – well, certainly not since my op. By the time I pulled up at the bike-racks at home, my limbs, back and bum ached reproachfully – my legs nearly collapsed under me when I alighted from the bike. I *really* need to get properly fit again.

Also, in the conflict between sweat and sunblock, sweat won. I now look permanently embarrassed.

Oh, but it was *fun*! I love my little self-propelled excursions in the summer months. I must decide where to go next.



September 2009


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