The obligatory New Years Day ride


I thought it wasn’t going to happen.

A 4am late night meant an 11am get-up and by the time my body was sending out the kind of signals that suggest that physical activity is possible, the light was fading in the afternoon sky and the clouds and rain were set in for the day.

“But it’s New Year’s Day. I have to have a ride,” said my conscience. So the jacket and gloves went on and I was out the door, heading once more for my favourite country park trails.

It turned out I wasn’t alone. On the trails I met families out biking, splashing through the mud in the late afternoon light.

I passed two small kids, a boy and a girl pedalling frantically on their tiny-wheeled bikes, stripes of mud up their backs and smiles on their faces. They raced me as I loped past, keeping up with me for an instant before dropping away.

I passed a man walking three majestic blue eyed malamutes. Amid the stark winter trunks of the silver birches, they looked like hungry timber wolves. I didn’t linger long in case they remembered the habits of their distant cousins.

I heard crows crowing as they strafed the field, home to the park’s highland cattle; rusty, shaggy hulks clustered around a steaming manger of hay. They looked up and snorted as I passed before resuming their day-long meal.

Soon the gloom was thick and my lights pierced the damp air like the lamps of a ship. It was time to head home, the last light glinting off the polished aluminium of my wheels.

Today’s ride was short but good. I’ve started 2014 as I hope to go on, enjoying the simple joy of the bike whenever I can.

Happy new year to all my readers. Happy riding.


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