Tasting Dust

Another off-road jaunt with Charli – good riding for a couple of hours. If you study the Ordnance Survey maps well it’s surprising how many bridle paths there are, how well they join up and – even for someone who’s ridden an area very thoroughly – how there are still some new ones waiting to be tried out.

In case you’re not sure, bridle paths are fine to ride on, footpaths are not. If you’ve not tried them, I find the Ordnance Survey Landranger maps are fine for most riding purposes, although their Explorer series has double the scale which can be helpful for off-road routes. If you’re feeling flush then you can get a custom map made just of your area, at either scale.

Today’s an election day in Britain, with two issues on the agenda. First up there’s a referendum on the ‘Alternative Vote’ system. I genuinely do not know what’s the right way to go on this, but my instinct is that any change, however flawed, is better than the status quo.

Second, there are local council elections and these are always – rightly or wrongly – perceived as being less important, with low turnouts, lots of so-called tactical voting or people voting to show their views on national government rather than anything else.

For the first time this year, the taste in the mouth was dust while I was out riding … It is stupidly, worryingly hot and dry. I’ve not heard one politician talk about the climate during these elections. That it is not the screamingly urgent, frightening issue on everyone’s minds is in itself … what? Alarming? Damning?