I've just nipped out to the shed to return a can of GT 85 to its shelf after lubing the squeaky tilt mechanism of my computer chair, and found myself admiring and inspecting the rather road dust covered Jamis. The tartier bright blue Voodoo normally grabs my visual attention more when opening the shed door, and it does get ridden more often as well. But I've now taken to riding the Jamis more, planning rides that suit my particular vision of its purpose – a sort of overweight, leaden forked, local tourer.
This appreciative staring session came as a result of not just another enjoyable ride yesterday, but a momentous one, in a small way that is, as the bike's computer ticked, or whatever digital displays do – pixelled possibly, over 1,000 miles.
Getting towards the end of yesterday's ride and a mini milestone is reached.
This makes it the third of my stable since becoming a 'born again' cyclist, to go over the 1,000 mile mark, the old Snotter Carrera being the first, and still holder of the highest mileage award too, with 1170 miles under it's scruffy wheels. Second comes the Voodoo, eight months newer than the Jamis, and currently sat on 1041 miles while Fatso, a year younger again than the Voodoo being a December 2015 purchase, isn't far behind on 953 miles done.
These mileages are small change to a lot of riders of course, but for me I look on them with a degree of satisfaction, as taking up riding again hasn't always been an easy process what with all the problems I have going on, but it was something I thought and hoped I may be able to do given some care and forward planning, and not only have I been proved right, but the benefits have been far beyond what I initially imagined.
I really do wonder just how I'd be, what sort of state I'd be in physically and mentally, if I hadn't got back on a bicycle.
My vehicles have always been more than just tools to me over the years too, and my bicycles are no exception. They're not just a collection of parts that deliver mobility and the sensation of travelling through the air, they are companions (Oh lordy what is he on about now...) on a trip and also an extension of myself as well, literally really as on a bicycle your body is what makes the thing work.
Heading out into the overcast morning accompanied only by the sound of what I think are Skylarks.
So even though my bikes are at the cheap end of the spectrum, I still take pride in them and want to look after them mechanically and aesthetically, because they are also part of what I see as my identity.
I think that comes from being a (motor) biker for most of my adult life, as riders were often known by what bike they rode first – 'That bloke with the red Bonneville' because everyone would know who you were talking about, and it is easier to describe the bike than rider – 'You know the chap – black leather jacket, open face lid, jeans...' doesn't narrow things down much. Once their name was learned, then they'd become 'Fred with the red Bonnie' before finally, usually many months later, becoming just Fred, but with his red Bonnie still in mind as you thought of him, unless he sold it and got a Suzuki instead, in which case he became 'That bleddy tw*t Fred,' but we'll gloss over that.
To me then I feel my bikes are a big part of who I am – 'The old bloke with the stoop, who creaks and grimaces about slowly on a bike, and is always taking photos of some flipping flower, weed or a puddle or whatever it is he sees next'.
A glimpse of Probus through a gateway.
Crossing the Tresillian River near Truck Fork junction, Probus.
So even hitting a lowly figure of a thousand miles clocked up on a particular bike is something I feel pleased about. Not enough to treat the bike to a thorough clean mind, 'fraid not, no. I did wipe the chain clean of road dust though to show my appreciation, but as it's just dust and not mud and cow poo blathered all over, a proper clean can wait, as the bike's black paint looks sort of good covered in the grime of dry weather combat. Dust I don't mind, mud all over a bike is less pleasing.
All of which is a long winded way of sort of saying I had another ride on a bike yesterday, and quite enjoyed it!
A random shot of the view ahead, nothing special admittedly, but still pleasingly rural and peaceful.
It was open day on the Tregothnan Estate, and I met closed roads and also a poorly thought out temporary one way system. The upshot of all that being I didn't go where I wanted to, and ended up being pushed back onto lanes I rode just last weekend, but never mind, it was all good.
One of those scenes the camera doesn't particularly capture well, but this bit of roadside was awash with vibrant colour with Ramsons in the foreground, Bluebells and even the Rapeseed in the distance adding to the greenery.
I Spy a lone ranger... the Ginger kid of the Bluebell pack, a bit of a loner. A single white Bluebell (eh?) in a sea of blue.
Pitching up in a gateway to gawp at the view, I disturbed a Pheasant that was sat in the pile of compost, possibly because it was giving off warmth. Rather than panic as these dim witted creatures tend to do, this one merely crept about slowly, presumably hoping I hadn't seen it, and not wanting to scarper, maybe in case it couldn't find its nice warm patch again once I'd left.
More roadside Ramsons.
Old boy pottering past Lamorran Woods.
Lining up a random lane shot, I was pleased to see a roadie round the distant bend to add some interest to the scene. A very friendly chap he was too, stopping for a brief natter before setting off bound for Portloe. I was to pass him later on as he was heading back to base, having gone round in a big old loop. They cover some ground these roadies.
A Primrose sticking out of a wall.
More Ramsons, this time in a superb display in the woods at the entrance to the Tregothnan estate.
Arriving in the (very) small village of St Michael Penkevil, with the old School house in the foreground, church behind.
Uh oh... Another yellow car spoiling a picturesque view. How dare they do such a thing? I'm entitled to an uncluttered photo! Don't they realise this? To those who aren't getting my drift, THIS story made the news recently.
Blurry looking upload of the bench, water supply and cottage in need of some paint, at St Michael Penkevil.
Looking down at Tresillian from the St Michael Penkevil lane.
Well now that explains a lot... Riding towards Tresillian I had my suspicions something was afoot and these signs confirmed it - I'd just been riding Salmon like against the flow of traffic in the shonky temporary one way system. I wasn't the only one though, as I was overtaken by a van along the way, the driver of which was also spending a lot of time tucked into the hedge allowing oncoming traffic to pass. Better signposting at junctions would help, not everyone in the area is going to, or coming from, the Tregothnan open day.
Map of my Saturday chooch. Not what I had planned, but still a good ride. Full clickable version can be found here