It’s my birthday, it’s the middle of summer, I’ve got a new bike and a day off work. Time to gear up for a microadventure, or so I thought…
I’d not been on the bike for a week owing to an annoying flair up in my left leg which left me with tight hamstrings and twingy horrible business in hips and adductors. Plenty of stretching, resting and pill popping and I was good (ish) to go.
Having a birthday day off work in August should be a guaranteed day of blistering heat but this being a British Summer my new Alpkit Kanaga harness was loaded up with waterproofs rather than sun cream, a constant deluge of rain accompanying my morning packing.
Now, I’m not afraid of a bit of rain (no such thing as bad weather and all that) but today wasn’t even summer rain, in fact it looked like winter outside and as I headed out the door my mood matched the sky – grey.
Grey turned to black as my route selection failed epically. Just a few miles into the ride I was scything my way through vicious stinging nettles and forests of giant hogweed. My legs are still on fire now!
A cut through via a small woodland which would have bypassed a busy dual carriageway turned out to be impassable and saw me heading back roughly towards where I had started. I decided to abandon the original destination and instead look for a quiet spot to hang my hammock in a small woods not far from home.
The woods I’d chosen were heavily coppiced and I spent an hour or so trying to find just two trees thick enough to hold a hammock, turning up nothing suitable.
It was at this point that I took stock of the situation. It was raining and the forecast was not looking any better. I couldn’t find anywhere decent to set up the hammock and I’d ridden about 15 miles yet was just a mile or so from where I’d started. I’m not ashamed to say that less than twenty minutes later I was home and waiting for a birthday Chinese to arrive.
Ultimately Microadventures should be fun. Sure, sometimes you’ve gotta be prepared to rough it a bit but it shouldn’t all be a sufferfest. So I’m gonna draw a line under this particular escapade, take the lessons (perhaps hammocks aren’t quite so versatile, pay better attention to route planning) and move on to the next adventure, the weekend’s not that far away after all…
A salutary lesson in adventuring, I’ve had one or two like that myself…
All good character building stuff eh