Sunday, October 15, 2006

A day at the seaside... without fossil fuel

Val outside a medieval house, en route to the sea. Nice place for a picnic.Have you noticed how, when you drive somewhere reasonably local in your car, it seems an impossible distance to imagine doing on foot or by bike. Yet when you do try it without the car, you're quite surprised at how short a distance it actually is. I have the good fortune to live within a few miles of the nearest sea but oddly, my wife Val and I had never actually tried cycling there instead of using the car... for exactly the reasons I just mentioned: it seemed like a long way to go.

The headland at Penychain. Lots of interesting geology here if you like that sort of thing: flow-banding, brecciation and a possible lava dome. Well we tried it yesterday and - surprise! - it wasn't. Getting there was incredibly easy because it was mostly downhill. Being there was fun as the day was warm and sunny and there were cliffs to explore, beaches for paddling, seabirds and landbirds to see and flowers to enjoy. And, oddly, it was easy cycling home. We had both expected it to be hard.

We have another advantage here in rural north Wales: there's a network of little-used very minor roads. So you can, with care, choose a route which is both scenic and almost devoid of cars. Because it's cars which, for me, make cycling so generally unappealing. On our chosen route, we were passed by one car and only had to cross two main roads.

Happily, many people nowadays can turn to cycling as a means of getting around because there are more and more cycle routes which avoid roads as much as possible. Also, there is something rather special about happy days out in which the only CO2 you add to the atmosphere is from your respiration. Very satisfying!


graceonline said...

Ah, I miss the days when I lived near rural roads and could spend a day biking the hills. Some of the most peaceful hours of my life, and best hours with fam and friends, occurred on bike rides.

Fortunately, I live where public trans is frequent and easy so don't own a car, but I do miss safe biking.

Thanks for the delicious breath of air and sea.

aliqot said...

One of the most amazing holidays I had , about 15 years ago, involved cycling and camping - it took us three days to reach the coast (from Northants) but we were on holiday from the moment we set off.
We were lucky with the weather, mind.

Bry Lynas said...

Good weather makes all the difference, of course. Frankly, I'm scared to go on main roads these days because of the danger of being knocked off by speeding vehicles. Cycle routes are too few to make an impact.

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