Having spent three weeks in Texas it was nice to finally come back to my home in Yorkshire.
I am always surprised that when I travel, how many people outside of Europe have never heard of Yorkshire or know exactly where it is positioned within the British Isles.
I say British Isles as one Texan recently asked me. 'Yorkshire, that's in Dublin ain't it ?'
I was also asked on the same day 'Did they name Yorkshire after those cute little dogs?'
You are both wrong and forgiven as I seem to recall that a certain Mr Bush was not too hot on Geography either.
Yorkshire has often been refered to as 'Gods County', which is sometimes further exaggerated in to 'Gods own Country', probably by the very inhabitants who live within the white Rose region.
Yorkshire people are straight talking, brash and opinionated. They are also immensely proud of their roots, heritage and the values of familylife.
There is a couple of well known sayings that typify this.
'Yorkshire born,Yorkshire bread.
Strong in the arm, but thick in the head'.
'A Yorkshire man says what he likes, and likes what he says'.
Although I was not born in Yorkshire, I consider myself one, having spent most of my life living here.
Although I do not totally subscribe to these stereotype images, I do understand how perceptions can be fuelled. In large working class families, loud voices were needed to be heard across crowded dinning room tables, where three generations of families would often be gathered daily scrambling for Gods offerings.
Manual work such as mining, steel forging and working in the mill created dominant Alpha male figures who were carved out of the same sort of granite that was scattered upon the surrounding Moor tops.
Yorkshire folk like other Northerners are often ridiculed and seen as prime targets as comical scapegoats.
I often wonder whether this is influenced as much by envy as it is by ignorance.
Yorkshire has a distinct Identity.
It is an incredibly diverse County both culturally and geographically and embraces numerous multi ethnic communities.
Its countryside and people have been and inspiration to many of its sons and daughters such as The Bronte Sisters.
"He said the pleasantest manner of spending a hot July day was lying from morning till evening on a bank of heath in the middle of the moors, with the bees humming dreamily about among the bloom, and the larks singing high up overhead, and the blue sky and bright sun shining steadily and cloudlessly." Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
Patrick Stewart and Bill Gates.
Yes even Mr Microsoft has been genealogically linked to Yorkshire.
It also boasts a massive participation in cycle events. Throughout the whole year Yorkshires highways, moors and forests trails are lit up with brightly coloured two wheeled athletes, enthusiasts, and pleasure seekers. In typical Yorkshire fashion if they stopped there riding during the winter months they would think they had been short changed.
Us Yorkshire Folk are a hardy bunch you know.
Having not ridden since the MS 150 Houston to Austin Event, ten days ago, the thought of riding again did not enthrall me. After tasting the delights of using a proper road bike and obtaining averages of well over 20 mph, I knew that getting reacquainted with Scott would be a bitter sweet experience. Sweet at seeing him, bitter at knowing now that he had severe limitations. Sure he would carry me anywhere, but only in his own time.
But cycle I did and I was joined by my Yorkshire Lass Joanne on a chilly spring day. We only did 26 miles today. My legs were tired and Scott was playing up, protesting with a 'go slow'. He obviously saw that I had another distraction and perhaps sensed that his days were numbered..
It did however give me the opportunity to take some photographs of my ride.
Having ridden in 90f last week It felt freezing. I was still brave enough to wear shorts, but had to conceded to arm warmers. Full training resumes now and blog will return to more of a cycle theme.