You might remember that some time ago (ahem, last year!) I posted about getting back on two wheels. With doing up the old house and planning for a move, actually getting out on the bike didn’t happen. But, I recently had my first Brompton adventure which has really given me a taste for wandering by bike.
Going with the flow
As with walking, I like to follow my curiosity and go with the flow when I take an adventure on my Brompton. We started our journey in the car park at Tatton Park, Cheshire. A perfect starting point (and ending point) for access to toilets, water and a cafe. It was also handy for getting used to the gears and getting over that inevitable ‘back on a bike’ wobble.
It didn’t take long before I was peddalling away and feeling like I’ve never been off two wheels. They’re right about it being ‘just like riding a bike’, as my muscles and balance adjusted speedily to the new way of wandering.
Off the beaten track
Having twisted and turned our way around the neighbourhoods of Knutsford, where we normally pound the pavements, we headed off in an unknown direction. We had no plans of where we were going, or how long we would go for. This was all part of the fun and really turned it into wandering by bike.
Out onto a country road, we were soon pootling along happily with the cars and trucks. It actually felt easy and comfortable, even though I had imagined that it might be a little scary (note: Don’t always take twitter threads to heart! Just get out and try it for yourself!) Beofre long, we were in Tabley and noticed the sign for a cafe. It was shut, but we decided it would be a good test for the Bromptons (and out bottoms!) to take them off road for a spin.
I was kind of surprised that it was just as easy to ride over cattle grids and dry, wavy, dirt tracks as it was to pedal the roads. I say kind of, as I used to greet a man, daily, on the cobbled canals making a speedy and comfortable decent on town down the towpath. Laptop partly in the pannier and still there each day. Proof that it can’t be that bouncy on a Brompton on uneven surfaces.
I admit that we did get lost around this part though. A couple of ups and downs through the cattle fields and we ended up retracing our way back to the original entrance to the estate. The plus side of the mini adventure was meeting some beautifully curious cattle wondering what the heck we were doing!
Taking a break
One thing that I have noticed when I am out on my bike is this need to go faster. I think it is because I sometimes see it as my faster option to walking. This ‘need’ saw me getting very hot. Although, to be honest, it was around 28C and in full sun, so I would have been hot anyway. I am aiming to slow down a bit on my wanders by bike in the future and did manage once I caught myself getting into race mode.
Either way, I was grateful for the shade of a tree and the breeze from the mere when we got back into the grounds of Tatton Park!
Back to base
With our tendancy to race firmly noted, we bimbled our way back to the carpark ready to head home. While we didn’t ride all the way this time, I have worked out routes for next time. Something I am also learning as I go along is finding cycle friendly routes – any tips very welcome! (drop them in the comments)
I have to admit that having an aBrompton adventure is lots of fun! I have plans for places we can go now that we can go a bit further, a bit faster. I think we will be trying out taking them on the train next, which will also widen the scope for our fun and games!