After the chilliness of earlier in the week, now it’s warm and sunny. That’s not a complaint.

Today’s was another off-road trip with Charli, really just a pootle about the lanes and bridlepaths between Reading and Henley – inevitably sharing some of them with more walkers and cyclists than we’d normally meet during a week day. There was a real feel of ‘making the most of it’ in the air.

Sharing the roads and paths isn’t all bad; we came across a family with a little kid on a hobby-horse type ‘trainer bike’ and his enthusiasm was as obvious as his smile was infectious. It’s a dire cliché but there is something uniquely valuable about innocent laughter, about witnessing and hence sharing – however vicariously – another’s malice-free, cynicism-free pleasure.

(The reason for a leisurely Sunday ride was largely to try out some bike work – a new seat pin to replace one that was worn, prone to slipping and thus needing to be done up with the quick release ludicrously tightly. A new one (with no sleeve) and hey presto, sensible pressure needed for the quick release, and no creaking either. Next, new tyres and a new front mech – the current one, after just 3,000 or so miles, is wearing on the rivets. At the risk of sounding like the old man I am, they don’t make them like they used to. I’ve old Campag and Suntour kit from the 80s that has less play in it than this couple-of-year-old mid-range Shimano stuff. )