Friday 05 October 2012
There is rain everywhere. My eyebrows and eyelashes have ceased to function, and I'm blinking furiously to get the water out of my eyes. It doesn't exactly sting, but is uncomfortable, nevertheless. My glasses are useless, and I peer over the top of them to make out the road ahead. I'm pedalling hard up a steep hill, leaving some picturesque New Forest village behind me. Tim is somewhere either in front or behind, I just know he's there. Cars pass in a shower of spray, but I feel quite safe in my cocoon of soaking waterproofs. The sunlit morning is a pleasant memory, and no more. Just why I'm wearing a stupid, wide grin is anybodys guess. I swear at the cars who pass too close, and silently approve the drivers who leave more room. At the top of the hill, my fingers push the lever to change to the big front cog, and I pedal away. Bliss...
Tina heads off to work, and I head off to Dibden Purlieu (I always have to Duck Duck Go (Google it) the spelling of t'Welches home town. It's the mass of vowels at the end which foxes me) to meet Tim for our cycle. He makes me coffee and we exchange pleasantries. Tim gets out maps, and asks me if I have a preference as to our route. Anywhere is good for me. Tim has a neat racing bike but unfortunately the frame has broken where the rear de railier is located. This means he has to ride a touring bike, a heavier and slower proposition.
The morning is bright and sunny, my misgivings about the weather might prove unfounded. We head west and slightly north toward Fordingbridge. We manage to stay on roads where traffic is sparse, and stop for refreshments at a picnic area. Tim has a flask of coffee, which I greedily share, and then we're off again. After Fordingbridge, we head south to Ringwood. The New Forest looks mean and moody, our elevated road gives us views for some distance on both sides. After Ringwood, we head home via Burley, Brockenhurst, and Beaulieu (excuse me while I Duck Duck Go... what is it about the New Forest and vowels??????) and that's when out meteorological luck runs out. The heavens open, and the last couple of hours are wet. But fun.
Back at Dibden, Tim makes me coffee, and Dorothy arrives home. She, too, has cycled - to work and back. Dorothy doesn't pretend that a bit of rain is a big deal, she just gets on with it... daily.
The drive home isn't as bad as I thought it might be, and Tina is there to welcome me back. Later, we sit and play music over and over - at the moment I can't stop listening to "Across the Universe" - one of John Lennon's finest - it feels right, somehow.