The first bike ride of the year, as always an uplifting experience. The combination of grey/ icy/ rainy weather, and lots of other things to do, had delayed my first fun ride until 17 January - the bike commute to work doesn't really count. From the back of the garage I pulled out my Peccary, a mongrel bike I assembled years ago from scrap bikes, including the frame that I found lying next to the road. It's the nearest bike I have to a mountain bike; I once did a 500 mile ride through the Scottish Highlands on it, including the Corrieyairick Pass, and a route across country from Glen Feshie to Braemar. But this time it was a short ride with Severine to Friday Woods, along the new and old cycle paths in south Colchester. It was a warm sunny day, with a very light wind, and mainly dry enough paths. The landscape was fresh and green after the snow melt, and the lack of spring growth better revealed the contours of the land, including my favourite stretch where we ride along the top of the 2000-year old Berechurch Dyke.
It has been suggested that Big Swifty is not a real person, and merely a figment of the imagination of some old bloke with no friends, who spends too long on the internet. How wrong can you be? Here's a picture of me and my mates out cycling this morning in Friday Woods. And finally, just because I get very few comments on my blogs, it doesn't mean people don't read them. Real life friends say to my face and by e-mail, how they "enjoy" my postings, hearing what I get up to, and grateful they don't have to suffer my "humour" too often. Indeed, following yesterday's posting about our new toilet seat, I've had requests that can be counted on the fingers of, well one finger, about what it now looks like. So here it is. And if Frank starts sticking coloured squares on it, we won't even notice will we?