Ode to Cycling


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  • LE to NE

    27th Jul 2021 by

    As BBC weather introduced a new extreme heat symbol to their weather maps, one randonneur set off to ride 900km from Land’s End to Tyneside A clear blue sky hung over the peninsular as I coasted the few short miles down to Land’s End. Kevin was waiting looking sharp and keen. His weightless titanium bike… Read more

  • 5 positive things that the plague brought us

    11th May 2020 by

    A British perspective A massive reduction in traffic Who would have thought in those distant days of Greta Thunberg and climate activists that we would now emerge into a world almost devoid of traffic? The skies that were filled with the deafening screech of jet engines, the dull roar of passing planes, the throbbing and… Read more

  • More of the same, sir?

    11th May 2020 by

    And when all this is over, Will we just close the car door to that reassuring clunk, And join the endless stream of tail-lights into the bright neon night; And numberless jets leave vapour-trails across the hazy skies; And sickening pangolins and bats lie twitching in the sterilized luggage holds? “Bloody well hope so!”, breathed… Read more

  • Rainbows

    8th May 2020 by

    Don’t you just love it when you stumble upon two things and they seem to connect? Sharing with you an old poem which was introduced to me by Poem-a-Day – it you’ve not yet subscribed I urge you to do so immediately, for we need the light of poetry in our lives as much as… Read more

  • Bluebells

    21st Apr 2020 by

    Never had I seen bluebells as I’d seen that year – Way up Ladder Hill, the first turn – you’d have known the way. Like a carpet spread as far as the eye could see, Whilst new leaves came upon each tree. The light The dappled light Softly shaded below the evening sun The sweetest… Read more

  • Lament Upon An English Country Churchyard

    15th Apr 2020 by

    Here, in this English country churchyard Let us rest for a while. Upon the earth, From which we … Unto which we … Silent now, Save the droning of the bumble bee, Drunk upon the abundance of blossom, Blooming over the socially-distanced plots – As it the fallen might catch a fever. Let us rest… Read more

  • Non-essential Travel

    13th Apr 2020 by

    A Faithful Account of the Condors Virtual Easter Arrow 2020 At the height of the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK, Bob Donaldson let his imagination run away with him and imagined the audax Easter Arrow that was planned to be over the long, hot Easter weekend. The team was made up of three members of… Read more

  • Getting Yoga Done, Part 2

    30th Mar 2020 by

    A series of reflections from a complete yoga novice Breathing in Read Part 1 here I did this session a few times more, and then something fortuitous happened. At work the old print-room had been converted into a Wellbeing Room. Where a couple of staff had once sweated over photocopying machines and binders, newer and… Read more

  • British Summer Time MMXX

    29th Mar 2020 by

    When the petals fall We will gnash our teeth and wail Falling like confetti Into freshly hewn coffins Silenced. The vapour-streaked skies Returned once more to the drone of flies, The staccato cries of seagulls, The lengthening rays of warmer days On the hot earth The scampering paws will barely pause To the sound of… Read more

  • Getting Yoga Done, Part 1

    19th Mar 2020 by

    A series of reflections from a complete yoga novice Getting grounded on earth Being a reasonably hardened cyclist with some hefty long-distance rides under my belt I felt reasonably confident that I’d find yoga pretty easy. After flicking through a number of videos on YouTube I settled on one called “Yoga for cyclists” by a… Read more

  • Daffodils on St David-19’s Day

    2nd Mar 2020 by

    After storms and floods From all man’s ills I rest from howling gale Beside sweet daffodils Fair the light this David’s Day They bend their heads as if in prayer And take a moment to reflect The monk who refrained from ale and meat From flesh came this plague that sweeps the Earth And to… Read more

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