A quick refresher

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Nothing ever goes the way you think it will. Back in the spring, I fondly imagined we were in for a long, hot summer filled with cycling adventures. Well, as John Lennon said, life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

First, my photography exhibition took up much more time than I’d anticipated. Then work got busy. Then the More Significant Other suffered a scrumping injury (don’t ask).

Somehow the summer went by.

What can take you by surprise, though, is how easy it is to get out of the habit of cycling. You can easily convince yourself you’re too busy, or too tired, or both.

That’s how it was today. Having just finished a major piece of work, I was about to reward myself with a nice nap. That’s when it occurred to me I had no excuses – I wasn’t busy and I wasn’t that tired. What’s more, although summer is definitely over and there’s a distinct whiff of autumn on the breeze, it was actually a nice day – warmer outside than inside the house.

By the time I set off, the sun had disappeared behind some thin cloud, but it was still reasonably warm. As all I wanted to do was get a bit of exercise and enjoy the fresh air, I simply bumbled along a familiar route, enjoying the first signs of autumn colour.

It’s easy to forget that we live in a beautiful part of the world. Normandy is verdant and relentlessly rustic. Cycling puts you back in touch with the beauty right your on your doorstep.

Relentlessly rustic

At one point I turned down a route we don’t normally cycle (it’s a fast and somewhat dull road). I figured that there would be a left turn I could take somewhere to take me back home. The first attempt didn’t pan out – it just led to a farm. But the second introduced to a road I’d never cycled before. And to a novel sight.

I just know that Trish wants to live in this treehouse.

At the end of that road was a T-junction – and a strange experience. Because I was in new territory, I didn’t know which way to turn. My first instinct was to go left, but then that immediately felt wrong.

I’d forgotten to bring a map – but hey, we have an app for that. I fired up Google Maps on the iPhone, rejoiced when I saw I had a 3G signal (far from guaranteed around here) and quickly established that, indeed, I needed to go the other way.

And the second I turned the bike around I knew where I was. It was a road we’ve travelled hundreds of times in the car and several times on bicycle. A friend used to live in the farmhouse I could see just ahead. I’d just been looking at the junction from the wrong direction.

So the moral is: the next time you’re lost,  make sure to turn around and look in every direction. You might be closer to home than you think.

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