Autumn – described by Keats as ‘the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ is certainly here, there may be some lingering sunshine but it has chilly topnotes. There was mist around this morning here in Lancashire, always a bit of a worry for those of us who live in the shadow of Pendle Hill, though on closer inspection it was more of dank rain. A bit of a blow as a cycle expedition involving canals and scones had been planned,
Following a vast amount of dithering, tweeting and texting we cancelled, then miraculously the sun burst through and plans were rapidly re arranged, sadly the scones were dumped but a quick 20km whizz down the canal and back speedily took place. Keats poem has generated a wide range of analysis and interpretation but for me, today the word fruitfulness is uppermost, all the cycling work over the summer was about training for the Cycletta event and it did indeed come to fruition 2 weeks ago. Now we are reaping the harvest from the work, and we are entering our own seasons of fruitfulness, of being able to enjoy the rides without thinking of times and distance but just enjoying riding, chatting as we go and appreciating the scenery,
The canal was rather lovely today and the ducks were adabbling as they should uptails all but it was a bit chilly and in the rather hurried preparations to leave before the deluge I conducted a fruitless search for a T shirt to wear under a sleeveless cycling top in order to prevent unsightly goosebumps. However in my voyage of discovery around the bedroom, I uncovered the perfect solution, a shrug which slotted perfectly underneath and provided the requisite degree of heat to the arms. I therefore completed my ride in some style with silver and black animal print arms, now I know there is a whole industry in cyclewear including hi tech armwarmers but whilst my home made effort may not make it onto the pages of Cycle Chic, it did attract a favourable response from my cycling companion. On my first cycling outing up the rocky trails of Gisburn Forest I almost wept at the outfit I was wearing and was not sure I would ever be able to ride without feeling stressed, tense and terrified. Well as the season has changed, so have I, and whilst I may not be leading the next cycling style movement or break records I have reaped a harvest in that I can take a mellow approach to all aspects of my cycling and rejoice that the work has borne fruit to be enjoyed.