Abbey Meads Cyclepath, Sunset, New Year’s Day

Hello and Happy New Year reader.

 2007 was a mixed bag for me, as I’m sure it was for everyone. Being off the bike from September onwards was a terrible blow, not least because I now need to lose at least one and a half stone to get back to fighting fitness. The ‘regime’, as my wife calls it, begins today. I am hoping to get on the turbo trainer once the little ones have gone to bed. My aim is to keep that machine humming steadily in the workshop well into the night as the first flakes of snow come down and my muscles howl their protest.

We spent New Year’s Day at my sister’s in Abbey Meads, Swindon. After an enormous feast we hauled our food-crammed bodies up to the top of a nearby hill to a play area where the children could race around madly. Running alongside the play area is a network of cyclepaths and bike lanes. We only saw a couple of cyclists out and about, but one of them was on a Brompton (it looked shiny new) replete with front mounted bag and a spaniel running gamely alongside. I was reminded of the day I received my Brompton, and how, once I had mastered the complicated folding and unfolding process, and learned to control the tiny wheels, the Brompton opened new avenues to freedom, more opportunities to cycle. I longed to be back on the bike.

As an aside here, I was very surprised that the cyclists didn’t deliberately run me off the path, abuse me or throw litter at my head. The anti-cycling press has been getting so hysterically worked up of late I wondered if it was safe to venture onto tarmac, so afeared was I that I might be hunted down and violated by packs of rampaging self-righteous cyclists outraged at my audacity at using feet or a car instead of their chosen method of transport.

Seriously though, I don’t really want to waste inches getting outraged at ill-informed ‘joke’ articles calculated to raise hackles, but the increase in anti-cycling press seems to be balanced by an increase in pro-cycling press. My guess is that we are entering some sort of transition period socially, a kind of prelude to the ‘tipping point’ when cyclists cease to be a minority and simply become ‘traffic’. Hopefully when that happens everyone will stop having tantrums and play nicely together.

Back to Abbey Meads The sun dipped below the layer of heavy cloud into some strange, clear area of tension existing between sky and ground, a no man’s land claimed by neither of the elements of air and earth, yet now populated by fire as the sun flooded the roofs and pylons of West Swindon with rich, golden light. The effect of seeing the glorious rays hitting the flat uniform sprawl of gigantic industrial units and homogenous housing was akin to watching a kind of alchemy. The base and unlovely made into something brilliant and precious. 

sunset over the cyclepath Abbey Meads  

More photos over at my flickr page.

Have a good New Year, I hope you’ll join me as I attempt to get into shape, with you watching I’ll try harder.   

Published in: on January 2, 2008 at 1:19 pm  Comments (2)  
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