The change to British Summer Time signals the real start of my cycling year. While I do cycle during the late Autumn and Winter, the light nights after the clocks go forward mean I can make the most of the evenings and cycle out into the countryside. The state of the roads in South Cheshire and the lack of care taken by some drivers, means that I don’t feel safe cycling in the pitch darkness, so I keep most of my cycling to the Spring, Summer and early Autumn months.
I’m a moderately keen road cyclist with a occasional return to my former mountain-biking ways. I try to cycle as often as I can and since last Summer I’ve started cycling and running, one immediately after the other, with the hope of getting to a good level of all-round fitness. This approach has started to pay off but I need to get back into the cycling element after this took a back seat over the winter (and following my bike being pinched).
Yesterday was the first really nice evening when I could cycle after work. With light winds and a strengthening Sun, the Summer seemed just around the corner and I was quite pleased with my time over my usual 15mile route around some villages close to Nantwich.
My improving ear for picking up bird sounds seems to have spilled over into my cycling and I noted many more birds than I have done on any previous ride. The highlight was a skylark singing high up in the warm Spring air as I passed along a quiet country lane – I almost paused to listen but once I get pedalling, I find it hard to stop. I also noted mute swan, canada goose, mallard, carrion crow, jackdaw, magpie, starling, blue tit, great tit, chiffchaff, greenfinch, goldfinch, chaffinch, dunnock, house sparrow, robin, wren and woodpigeon.
No swallows, martins or swifts yet, but they’ll soon be swooping past while I’m on my evening pedals around the Cheshire countryside.