A Heron Walking

Another long-for-me ride, making the most of the weather. It is odd to feel that you’re a long way from home but it can be like that when you’re 20+ miles out and you’re not even half-way yet. It’s not the distance as such, it’s the fact that you’re reliant on just your own power to get back home again. I suppose it’s a kind of frailty. I guess once upon a time all travel did present that kind of a challenge; now we can just take it for granted most of the time. I don’t know whether that’s good, bad or neutral.

The traffic today was surprisingly light. On some stretches I went for a few miles and saw no cars at all. Sure, this was along a couple of lanes up near Upper Basildon and Aldworth but even so, no cars at all is unusual. Even the road down to Hampstead Norreys was quiet. Perhaps it’s just that it’s August and people are on holiday. Perhaps the price of petrol really is making people drive less – that’s what they’re saying is going on, but whether that’s country-wide they don’t say. Around here it’s generally affluent. It would be interesting to see some detailed figures about what’s going on, perhaps broken down by county.

It would be interesting, too, to see a world with a lot less driving going on. I don’t say that from any anti-car stance – I ride a bike but I drive too. It would just be interesting to see how nature responded. It might be quite a different world we’d all find ourselves living in, quite quickly. Today I saw a sight I’ve never seen before – a heron walking along a road. Admittedly it was a very quiet lane and it was near the ford by Bucklebury, but even so I think it was an uncommon occurrence. Perhaps we’d see more of that kind of thing if there were fewer vehicles being driven. A different world but whether that’s the same as a better world I don’t know. Nature in the ascendant? Nature wouldn’t do humans any favours.

A quiet ride and so little interaction with anyone. I didn’t see any other cyclists today, not one. Thanks are due to the driver of the Verdant Group van near Kidmore End for making room for me, and it’s nice to be acknowledged by the silver Astra I let pass near Hook End. It costs me nothing apart from a break in my rhythm to let a car get by me on a narrow lane and it only seems polite to do so. Add to basic politeness a belief in “what goes around comes around”, and a break in my rhythm becomes no big deal.