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Sunday, August 9, 2009


When I was young I was not used to rural life and the unique traditions and language that accompanies it. I was always fascinated when I visited my Grandmother in the country, at some of the expressions she used to come out with.
One of the things she used to say 'was What would you rather do?'
Run a mile,
Jump a style,
or eat a pancake in a field? Having legs the size of characters from 'Middle Earth' (Hobbits) The running and jumping were not my first choices.
However much to my horror the pancakes she had in mind were not served up with maple syrup. instead they were the rear end products of cows endless mastication.
Now I live in a rural area I have had to adapt to country living, especially when I am out cycling.

I thought that I was fully up to speed with the agricultural cycle of events and I even developed my own special relationship with farmers. Its the sort of relationship you might have with someone from the IRS.

In the winter months farmers tend to do very little except of course shoot things.
Usually birds of differing sizes who cant fly very fast,such as pheasant or grouse. I am not too keen on this. I am sure that the mothers of these trigger happy 'Agricola' did not breed them for such a similar outcome.
It also makes me nervous believing that my multicoloured cycling tops maybe fleetingly mistaken for some exotic plumage, from the other side of the hedgerows.
I daresay that some cyclists must have been shot in the past because of the seasonal hedge cutting that usually takes place once all there are no more birds to shoot.
These hedges are mostly made of Hawthorn which provides a carpet of natures own 'nails' capable of puncturing even the most robust of tyres. I believe they take great delight in wondering how many punctures they achieve each month.
By law if they create mud on the road they have to clear it up. But they can distribute this equally dangerous hazard with impunity.
Surprisingly I am actually very grateful for this. My glass always being half full rather than half empty.
Not for the obvious reason of minimising my potential contact with the contents of a 12 bore shot gun cartridge.
No - hedge cutting has sharpened my cycling skills no end, and I get the opportunity to see the full glories of the East Yorkshire countryside.
When the summer arrives and harvest is in full swing, the country roads are populated with tractors pulling grain wagons.
For motorists they are an absolute nightmare, steadily chugging along at 30mph, for mile after mile.The tractor drivers are seemingly oblivious to the 4 mile tail back as they listen to 'Test match special' or sneak a quick glance at 'Cowgirl illustrated'
For me the tractor trailer combo is the perfect drafting machine. Its like cycling behind a moving wall, with a vacuum that even Mr Dyson would have been proud of!!!
Admittedly you need nerves of steel, and good brakes.
When there is a gale force wind blowing down a steep hill it gives you the opportunity to rest up a little, to read the Sunday papers and make a sandwich on your handle bars.
You may think that I am being a bit harsh on farmers - I am!!!!! and all will become clear.
This weekend we had sun. I have marked the date in my Diary.
When people say to me did you have a good Summer I will have an answer.
I can say yes August the 8th was very good - thank you.
I went out cycling with Joanne.
In a vain attempt to put some colour into our pale complexions we decided to rest up next to a cow field and lie prostrate in the warm afternoon sunshine.
As we set off to leave Joanne commented on my personal hygiene which rather upset me after all I did recall having a shower this month.
On closer inspection I realised that I had been lying in one of my grandmothers pancakes.
It was under done !!!!!!!
I managed 242 Miles this week including a midweek century ride. That's a total of 4426 for the year and now only 347 miles to go on my virtual ride to Houston. I have now entered Louisiana. This is where George Rodrigue comes from. He is now a famous artist in his own right with his trendy Blue dog pictures. During a ride to Hornsea on Saturday (The day of Summer) remember I spotted such a dog and created my own version in tribute to him.

1 comment:

  1. I love the blue dog. It was one of our fondest memories from visiting New Orleans. Have a good ride into Houston.


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