The rain stopped, the sun came out, I went down to the cellar. The Singular Swift came up the stairs blinking into the light, its been down in the dark for over four months now, I pumped up the tyres and oiled the chain and everything was all okay again.
I had nowhere to go in particular, no time to be back home by and no one else to consider so I just set off riding without thinking, the bike guided itself down to the canal and out to the countryside. Considering that it is now May it’s bloody cold, and that wind can bugger off anytime it likes but regardless my eyes were feasting on the spring colours.
I tend to see colours in relation to my cameras, Fuji greens and Nikon blues for example, no idea why this is so, especially as my preference is for black and white photographs. I’m surprised at how dry everywhere is after last nights rain and am slightly puzzled for a few minutes until it dawns on me that we are at that time when the plants and trees are literally sucking up as much liquid as they possibly can, it happens every year for a few weeks before they (the plants and trees) remember that we are in England and a summer drought is very unlikely !
The Trans Pennine Trail is empty of people for once so I take my time to photograph the Swift against a back drop of green, after a back lane excursion I get to the ‘tickler’ and ride up it to check its progress, the ‘tickler’ has been mowed, but just a few more weeks and we’ll be videoing along here again for our own amusement.
The miles pass easily despite the headwind, I see a patch of pink blossom and can’t resist photographing the blue and pink contrast before heading to Great Budworth for a pot of tea and some cake, I’m kind of surprised and yet not surprised that I’m here, my auto pilot leading me along familiar lanes.
Turning back I decide that the next obvious route will take me to ‘pointless lane’ and I’m glad I did as its covered in dandelions, the yellow flowers contrasting with the Fuji greens.
From here its a case of retracing my steps until I get to an enormous puddle on the TPT that I must have ridden through on the outward leg but have no memory of at all, I stop to take a photograph of the reflections of the trees and get some funny looks from a passing dog walker.
In between looking for colours and taking photographs I’ve remembered that some of the lanes ridden today are the same ones that were ridden almost one hundred years ago by Charlie Chadwick, and that I’ve still got three of his books to read as I put them away before leaving for New Zealand as a treat for my return, that’s tonight’s entertainment sorted !
Words and pictures – Steve Makin