I would describe where I have to cycle as the middle of nowhere. There is little point coming here, and it is very difficult to get to without a car. The area is historically referred to in Welsh as ‘Difficult Road’. Historic land maps indicate it as part of the old drovers routes, where large herds of live stock were walked across the country for extremely long distances to get to the market that would deliver the best prices.
A drover’s journey must have involved sinking into our sodden, sticky clay clogged ground in winter, or pounding the dry rock hard baked clay in the summer: the reason those poor geese had their delicate feet tarred! Doesn’t bear thinking about, talk about food miles. I am grateful therefore for the road surface beneath me on my modern journeys, however rough and unforgiving. It makes my pointy seat difficult to tolerate though!
I never consider their difficult journey, when I am cycling up these really steep hills on my bike though. I am too involved in my own longing for a brow of a hill, to provide me with some relief to my screaming leg muscles; head down, pushing the pedals in as high a gear as I can cope with, which is usually first gear unfortunately.
Taking part in this cycling event was my husband’s stupid suggestion, therefore he’s feeling the pain too, and regretting it equally now! Our second cycle, took me on a route to the north which has undulating hills climbing up some 100m from my starting point, but with flat(ish) areas, that can provide relief and compensation for the pain. It was actually pleasingly very bearable, and I enjoyed the exertion. It has reinstated my confidence to tackle the real pain on the return journeys from routes cycled to the south, which my memories had blocked my considering until now.
So all is going well, and I am starting to notice a little less bulk around my middle, so that has cheered me up no end. Foolishly however, I think that we are becoming a little too gung-ho about all of physical exercise. We have now signed ourselves up to a sailing taster day in a couple of weeks! I have actually bought a wetsuit to go under my fleecy jumper, and waterproofs!