35. Cycling alone

The mid-Essex lanes had a brooding feel today out on the bike.


This barn below, in Good Easter, has always fascinated me. For some reason, its dark, stark bulk makes me think of Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, walking exhausted back from work across the indifferent Wessex countryside.


I have worked out a 24.5 mile solo route over the last couple of years, adding twists and turns and variations. There are some decent hills to work the legs and lungs, but the main attraction is the almost complete lack of traffic. Was passed by maybe 15 vehicles today.


I’ve always enjoyed my own company, and the rides are a good way to decompress mentally after staring too long at the PC. The landscape is probably over-familiar now, but some sights still cause me to pause.


The route goes from my home in Great Waltham to Pleshey, and then a circle taking in Good Easter, High Easter, Aythorpe Roding, High Roding and Bishops Green. I can ride the circle either way.


The autumn colours seem more glorious this year. The blog has been an unquantifiable help in counteracting the SAD. It loads each day with a meaning and purpose that have been missing in recent autumns.


I awake most days pondering the next subject. The easier stuff is relaxing. The more challenging topics are tackled in the same way as professional work. Be clear what you want to say; split the material into themes; use a timeline. The difference is the use of emotion and humour. It’s very satisfying to branch out this way.






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