Phone the newspaper! Revolutionary things are happening. I went on a bike ride without going anywhere. I mean, of course I went somewhere, but it was the bike ride that was the purpose. And that is rare! I have done it when I had slightly hurt my foot, when I wanted to save my feet for a long walk, or when my calf hurt a bit, and another time when there just was a road that just asked for being biked. And a few times when I just wanted to venture a bit further from home, or was finding out how far away I could reasonably start a walk. But that was pretty much it. For exercise, I run!
I also don't normally see biking as a social thing. It might have had something to do with that I'm not used to it. But also, let's face it; it's not very practical; in order to talk you have to be beside each other, and as soon as any other traffic appears you have to go behind each other. On the way up you can't really talk, and on a steep way down you really don't either. And if you not going too steeply up or down, you can only hope you have the same sort of speed. So I think it's not ideal! But circumstances matter of course.
I am allowed to see people to go exercising with them, but I have to go from home. Not many people I know live so close that that would work. For a long time, everybody even lived so far away, exercising together on a bike wouldn't work, as my arms had a problem with riding a bike. But I had figured out that that was now over. So the next thing I did was go on a bike ride with Kate! She doesn't live excessively far away, so it would work to just bike to a location in between our respective domiciles, and then ride for a while together. And so we did!
I met her where my commuter route drops underneath the A55. And from there the set off to the west, to Seion, and past Dinas Dinorwig, through Penisa'r Waun, Brynrefail, and then to the shore of Llyn Padarn. It was lovely! We were on little country roads that had barely any traffic, but that were big enough to comfortably ride together. Our speeds were also quite compatible. Crossing the heights near the hillfort made it clear that Kate is faster downhill (more confident, I suppose) while I am not very fast uphill, but I am very stubborn, which resulted in me in the end doing them faster after all. Kate tended to go in fast but burn out. And she had some gear trouble.
By the lake we sat down to eat lunch. I had made sure I was comfortable! I had brought a jacket, a scarf, two hot flasks, and two Tupperwares with food. Kate didn't have panniers so she had to make do with what fit in her frame bags.
When we were done with lunch we went up the steep road to Dinorwig (the village, not the quarry; it wasn't the road that reduces you to a sweaty mess). That was the biggest slog of the trip! And from there we were on rather familiar terrain. I had biked this before. And I knew it would get interesting to come down the hill at Mynydd Llandygai; it's quite steep, and my disc brakes are very screamy. And I came down creating an enormous racket. But I had chosen the road with the fewer houses along it!
Soon we were back at the bicycle path which is my commute. There it was time to say goodbye! It had been a good experience. I think I'm up for this again. I can clearly adjust to doing biking for social reasons and exercise, and not just for going places! And this was the most social contact I had had in quite a while! Altogether a successful mission.
|Two fast bikes at Llyn Padarn|
|Two happy bikers|