Ash Wednesday

The man on the road bike coming the other way shouted, “Hedgecutting”. It’s not the giant tractor round the blind corner which bothers so much as the thorns scattered all over the road which cause punctures. My tyres survived. Modern tyres often  have a layer of kevlar to protect from holes. You’re supposed to be able to stick a drawing pin and survive.  I have not experimented.

A glorious day. Frost and the sun shining.  Cycled to Warminster Station (on the Dawes Galaxy tourer) and then by train to Salisbury. Premier Christian Radio wanted to interview me about Lent and cycling.  My holy reasons for giving up the car include the notion that there is such a thing as corporate or communal sin. Human beings are messing up the planet. Lent is an opportunity to express that.

8.00 am Eucharist at St Thomas Becket in Salisbury. Thomas is a favourite after ten years at Canterbury. Coffee (fairtrade) afterwards in Caffè Nero with the congregation.  Then after some time in the office a cycle ride home along route 24.

The National Cycle Network is one if the glories of Britain: a triumph for which much thanks to Sustrans.  Route 24 follows the Wylye Valley. Laurie Lee walked along this valley as he left Slad for Spain and the Civil War. Edward Thomas walked and cycled all over it, and was encamped here before his embarkation for the front in 1917.

Tomorrow i’m off on a pilgrimage walk for 23 miles along the Nadder Valley. The forecast is horrendous but it will be a great day.

22 miles on the train, 24 on the bike


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