That term, a fools spring, has recently come to my attention. I’d never heard of it until fairly recently and of course, it was the internet that provided it…
I’m not convinced, however if nothing else it serves as a nice title for this blog post…
After a dreary Winter the emergence of blue skies and drying trails is once again a major boost to everyone’s outlook, it never stops amazing me how sunlight can lift the mood and un-weight the shoulders, and it’s happened again. Yesterday’s ride was a whole ten miles long, I rode into the city to meet with my son Jack, to share a socially distanced beer and catch up with the weeks events. Paul came along soon after and catching up with him was the pleasure that it always is, the only downside to the day being that it was a reminder that our little group of friends have barely seen each other all together for almost a year now, this will change in time for the summer I hope.
I’m really looking forward to a big get together with these fine folks, Paul, AndyK, AndyJ, Nick, Graham, Neil, Will, Tom, Kev, Rod, Ella and Charlie and all assorted irregular others!
A few hours soaking up the sunshine did wonders for my mood, it also planted the seed for today’s ride.
Being very conscious of the current guidance around lockdown it was only ever going to be along well known trails, the distance irrelevant, the point being to get some more of that sunshine on my face. It started as always with a spin along the canal, five miles until the first stop at Monty’s sandwich bar, two egg and mushroom barm cakes with brown sauce carefully stashed in my bag and then away along the trail to the bench. There’s always a slight sense of anxiety as the bench comes into view as to whether or not it’s occupied, this morning it was free and so I switched off the surprisingly dry trail and claimed my prize.
The barm cakes didn’t last long, washed down with black coffee and accompanied by Glenn Gould playing JS Bach’s piano variations quietly, this is a new development for me, taking a small bluetooth music player has been on my mind for a while and I finally got around to buying one, I don’t think I’ll ever use it whilst actually riding but it was nice to have today.
By now it was almost ten o’clock and the temperature was rising to a heady 12 degrees, out came the book and an hours worth of reading pleasure was taken, more coffee and now a chat with one of the regular dog walkers I see down there, he agreeing that sunlight was almost better than beer for mood enhancing!
Not wishing to monopolise the bench I eventually set off riding again, heading along the newly resurfaced Wet Gate Lane and then out towards Rostherne Church, I pushed the bike around the back of the church to find all three benches already occupied, the walkers all looked a bit sheepish (all eight of them!?!) I turned and carried on my way, not wishing to be judgmental or indeed lower my mood by even thinking about it.
I made my way along the new-ish bike path that runs alongside the now much quieter Chester Road, past millionaires row at Mere, another example of corrupt politicians feathering their own nest, even this wasn’t going to trigger my innate cynicism today, I surprised myself at this!
Eventually getting to the end of the bike path and turning right to head towards Great Budworth, past Frog Lane and then right again to start my journey home, stopping to take some photographs of the old metal signposts I noticed how wonderful the light was playing with the shadows on the lanes, trying to make a decent composition out of them was quite satisfying.
By the time I got back on the Trans Pennine Trail I was starting to get hungry, a swift mile or so lead me back to the bench, once again unoccupied, the last of the coffee washed down a granola bar and tempted as I was to get the book out I decided to head home as the temperature was already noticeably dropping, a timely reminder of the fools spring perhaps?
Words and pictures – Steve Makin