The pedals turning, shifting through the gears; single track roads with just an occasional cyclist coming the other way. Such a good day to be out. Back on the bike after some days off with lurgy and grot. Twenty miles or so up to Bradford on Avon to meet the clergy of the deanery and to take them out to lunch at the excellent Dog and Fox (five star recommendation, with landlords Clive and Ros such hospitable people. Doom Bar is a good pint).
Clergy can feel isolated and get ground down by the demands of the job so this was an opportunity for Archdeacon Ruth and me to say thank you.
Back on the bike and down the hill to the station to catch the train home. The hill in Bradford is famous. At the top the gradient on the bike computer hit 16%.
Songs of Praise on Sunday has attracted some comment. I get more smiles (of pity?) when cycling through the streets, and some cheery hellos as well. All welcome. The cameras were with me for five hours in order to produce a three minute slot as always.
One of the clips they did show, whilst directing the bar-mounted camera up my nose, was when I said that on the bike every journey becomes a pilgrimage. An impromptu remark but I meant it. A car journey is utilitarian: I want to get to B from A, and preferably without any interruption from roadworks or too many other cars.
On the bike you appreciate the journey. Even the hills. Especially the hills.