I woke to a stupendously (people don't use that term enough) sunny day today, so I was quick to dust off the gathering cobwebs on my bike and hoof it out of town for another one of my 'oh so' Blyton esque adventures.
My pa had mentioned that a disused railway just outside of Chi had been turned into a foot/cycle path(somewhen in the distant past but only coming to my attention in the last 24hrs) which leads all the way to Lavant...and I love to find areas which are off road to venture onto, so it didn't take much to decide on the route.
With the wind in my hair and the, rather unfortunate, smell of fresh manure on the fields up my nostrils (in retrospect I was fortunate that the two weren't reversed), I set off with ham and cheese sarnies, a bottle of water, my Wilbur Smith book (which I should have finished weeks ago) and a map (yes I have lived in the area my entire life, but am still partial to getting stupidly lost on a regular basis) for my mini adventure.
I was pleasantly surprised that my body, which has been idle for that last four weeks, didn't adversely react to the sudden exposure to medium level strenuous exercise and it took me around an hour and a half to reach my chosen (and favourite) picnic spot at Kingley Vale. That's with a couple of water stops and yes...even with my map I went a little off route somewhere south of West Stoke ( I guess my internal compass was omitted upon my creation....so I'm lucky that I can make it to the bathroom and back without going terribly wrong on a daily basis really).
I had a lazy couple of hours vegged at the bottom of the hill in the sunshine, watching various walkers take on the very, very steep climb to the burial mounds at the top. I'm sure I could have informed them that there is in fact more than one route, and certainly more sedate ones at that, to get to the top....but then again that would have hindered my entertainment of watching four lads attempting to cycle and then walk with bikes up the hill, one losing his bike halfway up and having to start over....ah hours of fun! (Go straight to hell, do not pass go, do not collect £200...and so on)
On the journey home I discovered that the roads around our area could really use some resurfacing, couple this with the realisation of just how bony my ass is equals extra cushions on my chairs for the next couple of days....ah the joys of bicycle travel. I'm sure the rest of my body will let me know tomorrow just how ready it was for the twenty mile round trip...now there's something to look forward too.
An observation: there was a definite autumn nip in the air today which serves only to remind us of just how short our summer actually is in this country (bah humbug)....though on the plus side it's only 3 and a bit months till Christmas (silver lining and all that).
P.S. As Blooger seems to have a problem with me uploading photos at the moment (aka the last few weeks) you'll just have to use your imagination on the stunning scenery (and manure soaked fields).