Sunday, 15 May 2011

Nature's Gym

I took this shot on a lone morning cycle ride yesterday. It's much better exercising outside than in a posh leisure complex.  Okay there's no fluffy towels or steam room but the views from the hills around my home more than compensate.

Now my kind of cycling differs from that of Mr Lovelygrey.  Most Tuesdays evenings he ventures out in lycra with a group of the local dads and the trip inevitably ends up in the pub - if he doesn't come home dripping blood first.  And he has not one bike, but two, and always seems to be replacing them or buying gadgets to tart them up  Me, I pop out in whatever I'm wearing on a trusty old hybrid that's one of Mr Lovelygrey's rejects, taking my raincoat and a bottle of water if I remember.    The most important difference though is that I get off and walk up gradients that Mr Lovelygrey would think were woosy.

This yielded an unexpected benefit on my latest trip, my first foraging bounty of 2011.  Wild garlic was prolific up a shady part of a humungous hill that I was ascending on foot.  If I'd been struggling in bottom gear I wouldn't have even noticed its abundance. I used my handlebar box to gather my harvest, combing the verge and taking just a little from each clump.  This activity had an unexpected bonus.  It gave me an excuse for getting off and pushing my bike and I'm hoping that this ploy meant that the occupants of passing cars did not think of me as a pathetic wimp but rather a resourceful and knowledgeable expert in wild food!  I'm delighted with my pickings and it will mean that the great wild garlic risotto that I posted last year will grace our table tonight.  And unlike last year, the main ingredient was absolutely free.

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