Of Miasmic fields, weddings and sluggishness

The weekend was spent celebrating a wedding, my wife’s cousin was finally getting married and her family had a reputation for enormous parties to uphold. Consequently by the end of Sunday even my eldest son, normally so full of energy, was tired, moody and begging me to put him to bed an hour early. I seized the opportunity to get some much needed riding in as I hadn’t been out since Tuesday. During the weekend’s festivities I had consumed excessive amounts of cow and pig, now their vengeful spirits had become energy vampires, threatening me with lethargy and compelling me to collapse in front of the television. It was for moments such as these that I created this blog, knowing full well there would come a time when I would want to let it all slide back to the occasional three mile pootle around some quiet country lanes every month or so. Well no dammit, I won’t experience the shame of not blogging a ride for weeks. So it was with a heavy stomach and leaden limbs that I saddled up the Lemond Etape, slipped the Rivendell bidon into its cage, switched on the lights and eased up the path and out of the gate. By the time I hit the main road an apology of a drizzle had started, a continous patter of gentle rain on my helmet added pleasing percussion to the swish of the cranks and the hiss of wet tyres on tarmac. I spun through Rudge at an easy pace and carried straight on past the tin tabernacle and Brokerswood Country Park, now the rain was more insistent, dripping off the helmet and fogging my cycling glasses, the lethargy tugged at my limbs, trying to persuade me to turn back. Then in the middle of nowhere, I heard that fizzing, crackling and buzzing, to my right, the same line of pylons that crosses the A36 by Dilton Marsh was reacting noisily with the rain again. On a ninety degree corner there was a tiny lane off that simply had a dead-end sign, no placenames or destinations but it would take me right under the powerline. I turned down it onto poorly maintained, frost-shattered tarmac, the gravel in the centre and the washed out, undercut banks with their dying ox-eye daisies told of heavy flooding. Barely a car’s width this truly was a road to nowhere, and there, dead ahead stood the crackling steel colossus, its miasmic field buzzing and throbbing in the dusk.

pylon at dusk on a road to nowhere.

As I approached I could feel the air quality change, the hairs on my arms stood up and everything seemed more… squeezed somehow. It didn’t feel pleasant, ahead on the road all I could see was an enormous puddle, perhaps that’s all there was, I didn’t hang around to find out, mindful of Valerie Mushroom’s email warning last week:

I skimmed your cycling blog and am concerned that you might have messed with your own head by going under pylons and power cables – it’s like that at Glastonbury – huge pylons and I’m surprised people were allowed to camp right under the cables especially in such wet and stormy weather. You can hear them hissing and whispering. I don’t like it. Maybe it affected me.
But I was glad to see there were a number of references to food so I know you are still your usual self so no harm done I suppose

I hurried down the hill to Southwick then took a turn off the road where a sign pointed to Scotland and Ireland. I was disappointed to find it was a short no-through road with a few big houses on it, not even a place sign saying Scotland and Ireland. The cow and pig sitting in my stomach whispered that I should just head back down the main road, but I had only gone six miles so I ignored them and turned back past Brokerswood and on to Dilton Marsh. I love cycling through Dilton, if I get overtaken by a car as I come into the village I can keep close contact with it until the other side, that is unless they are speeding. On exiting the village I was relieved to see that all the ox-eye daisies were going over, not just the ones in the sickly lane with the pylon. Now I really was pootling, low on energy but loving the ride I settled into a nice low gear and ambled up the dreary gradient towards the Beckington roundabout, even the traffic on the dual carriage way couldn’t be bothered to speed and I easily got across to the right hand lane without risking my life. To the west the setting sun had turned the sky into an inferno of red and orange clouds. I turned my front wheel towards it and headed into the broiling horizon, the angry sky contrasted with my good mood now that the pig and cow in my gut were finally silent and I had seventeen miles racked up, albeit at a reduced speed.

sky on fire as I head for home

Published in: on July 16, 2007 at 3:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

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