As I continue to battle with my knee problems, Round The Bend blogging has been noticeably limited. I recently started to cycle from home again for a while but found the topography too much (getting home requires a few climbs) and after a rest have reverted to riding short circuits in the nearby countryside again; it’s not that I can’t cycle up the hills, it’s just that my knees don’t like it afterwards. At the moment I therefore don’t know where my cycling is going to go in the future. Local rides of even 20 to 30 miles are a distant memory and I wonder if I’ll ever tour again? I find this a depressing thought. I have no choice but to continue with short country rides and hope that in time things will get better.
This week the early autumn weather in the UK has been wonderful, with warm days and clear sunny skies. Cycling in these conditions has been very enjoyable and I decided to document a favourite ride that I undertook only a few days ago for the first time since my operation; I was concerned about some of the terrain but taking it slowly managed OK. Normally this route would form part of various longer rides from home but nonetheless on this occasion it formed a very attractive ride in its own right.
As usual the circuit starts nearby in Leigh, where I’m able to easily park the car and then set off on the Joey folding bike through some of Surrey’s best scenery. Unfortunately since the 2012 Olympics everyone else thinks so too and at weekends you can’t move for wannabe racers on their new carbon fibre steeds. Luckily weekdays are better, though it’s still noticeable that the number of cyclists has increased even then. It’s not just that newbies that have been spurred on by British cycling success in general but this area played a central part of the Olympic road race, which in particular included the Box Hill climb. Try cycling up Box Hill on a sunny Saturday morning now and I am surprised they’re not selling tickets just to control the numbers. It’s a free world and, of course, it’s good that so many have taken to the road on their bikes but it really has almost reached a point of madness. My ride skirts the area adjacent to Box Hill.
In all the circuit is just over 11 miles but taking it slowly made me appreciate and enjoy the ride all the more. Although I’ve ridden these roads literally hundreds of times, this time it was one of the best 11 miles I have ever cycled.
It is a very beautiful area and, as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Struggling to get back to cycling has increased the value of what I can now do, albeit still limited and, I hope with continued perseverance will return me to cycling and maybe even touring eventually? I am sure that with such wonderful conditions anybody would recognize the beauty of this short ride, however, for me it was really uplifting and hopefully marks a road back to cycling sanity.