Despite a forecast of rain, this morning turned out to be beautiful. I had intended to take a couple of loads to the tip, then move some of the clutter around so that we will be ready to strip another room next week.
However, I was told (in fairly strong terms) not to be so silly, and to get out on the bike for "half an hour".
In reality that turned into a two hour ride, heading (more or less) directly north, then retracing the same route back. The first part of the ride crosses a valley, but beyond that it's about as flat things get around here. For the furthest part of the ride I was on the Sustrans cycle route that follows the Northumberland coast, but at that point it runs some way in land, so there were only occasional glimpses of the sea.
One of our new neighbours does a bit of cycling locally, and they have suggested three approaches to deal with the hills. Option one: get used to them. Option two: stick the bike in the car and take it somewhere flat, and option three: explore the area I chose today. To the extent that I have a plan, it's to follow a mix of all three.
Although today's ride was fairly flat, there was a bit of a headwind on the way back. I felt that I was having to work quite hard, but that's probably more to do with a lack of practice. Apart from the wind, the weather was near perfect. It was clear and sunny, but quite cool - particularly early on. The countryside was looking nice, and I diverted through a couple of pretty villages. For the more dramatic landscapes I will either have to head over some bigger hills, or get further along the coastal route, where it is nearer to the sea, and you get more than glimpses of the coast.
Traffic wasn't too bad. I was on reasonably quiet roads, by local standards, and they are a lot quieter than I was used to in the Thames valley. There were only a few other cyclists around: a couple who looked as though they were touring, and some who looked like locals cycling to the shop. Quite properly, greetings were exchanged with every cyclist I passed, as well as with most pedestrians and bystanders.