Close encounters

What a stonkingly good day off this has been.  It’s the first warm sunny day we’ve had since March, and I made the most of it.  I took myself for a bike ride, and tried out a couple of new lanes.  One turned out to be private, but I only found out at the far end, and there were no gates.  The other was also private, so that gave me a bigger loop east then I wanted.

But when I’d finally got to the highest point, I could see for miles across rolling countryside.  I decided to try a restricted by-way down – b-i-g mistake.  It was a lot more overgrown than the one in the photo, and I ended up doing the comedy dismount, into a bed of nettles mixed with brambles.  With a foot still in the pedal, my bike and me wedged firmly, and a huge crop of nettles stinging every time I moved, getting up was a bit more of a logistical challenge than usual.  On the plus side, there wasn’t a soul around! I made it to the end of the by-way and surveyed the damage.  A lot of stings, several thorns to remove, but nothing major.  I decided to head for home.  17 miles on a mountain bike may not the much, even in comparison to recent rides, but it’s the first time I’ve struck out on my own, for pleasure, since I was about 10. 

And now, even though I still have pins and needles all over my arms and legs, and a good collection of bruises coming out, I still maintain it was huge fun.  I even cut the grass when I got home – but I will be avoiding overgrown tracks in future!


One response to “Close encounters

  1. I have a childhood memory of a thin summer dress and blackberry picking trip. I fell backwards into the brambles and was stuck – any move to push myself out would prickle me more. All I could do was cry out and wait for Dad to come back around the corner and pull me out. Sermon illustration there I think!!

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