Brompton in the Park

A bbq was booked for today with some of the founding members of The Highway Cycling Group, not that it was an official HCG event, because those simply don’t exist. My wife, having had a short go on the Brompton when I took it to Hilmarton yesterday, was keen for me to sling it in the boot again, I wasn’t going to argue with that. The weather was unpredictable, spotting with rain, sunny spells, windy, calm, it seemed to be going through the whole range of possibilities. The location was Lydiard Park in Swindon, a heavily refurbished country estate that has had a huge amount of money pumped into it by the local council, the result is an excellent facility for the town; wide open spaces, woodland, gravelled tracks, fields for bbqs, a country manor, church, cafe, amazing playgrounds and of course loads of great cycling. The sun came out, dappling the forest paths with dancing points of light. I quickly found out why my wife was so eager for me to pack the bike, she was itching to get round the park in a traffic-free environment. In common with a lot of cyclists she is put off riding by the proximity of so many cars on the roads and the speed at which they travel. To her, a cycle path or track is cycle utopia, so she was totally in her element zipping around on the Brompton and kept suddenly taking it off during lulls in the bbq. When I finally got a decent go on it myself I was amazed by the quality of the tracks on offer. Through arcadian woodland, grand avenues of trees, out into open fields, the variety of riding was highly pleasing. Various signs assured me that I could cycle to West Swindon, Hook or even Wooton Bassett. The further I cycled into the fields the fewer people I saw, a rider can quickly find solitude on the bike here if that’s what is craved. The crunch of gravel beneath the tyres and the whirr of the freewheel were the only human sounds as I eased the bike through a pastoral idyll of grazing white cattle and birdsong.

Lucy on the BromptonMe on the Brompton

My sister assures me that she has cycled to the park from her House in Abbey Meads, almost entirely on cycle paths, a distance of around six or so miles. That would be a nice ride to document.

Needless to say that my wife is now highly enthused at the possibilities of a folding bike in the car and traffic free riding. It’s just a shame that even secondhand Bromptons are so expensive.

Published in: on August 12, 2007 at 10:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

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