I can't believe it's been a full year since making my last post in here. But looking back I can see why. We had an awful summer last year and the few days of real summer we did have I spent walking rather than cycling. The only cycling I had done last year since the May was simply for visiting and shopping. Absolutely nothing of interest to write about.
On the 25th of February this year my Bayley passed away and I was left devastated. The day came when I had to remove his basket on the back of my trike and send to a charity shop. I covered the trike up again directly knowing that the next time I used it he wouldn't be my companion. It was a very sad day.
During March we had some very nice summery type of days in a row and each day I thought about going for a fun ride, and each day I couldn't see how it could be fun without Bayley. Until one day of those days I woke up with the sun streaming through the window again, and taking the bull by the horns as my feet hit the floor I made a flask of tea and thought I will just cycle up on the hill, sit down and drink my morning cup of tea whilst looking over the sea, fully only planning to be out no more than half an hour.
After I had finished my tea I set off home again, but on almost reaching my home instead of coming off the cycle path left, to ride the remaining short distance, I turned right and headed for the sea front, thinking a little longer ride would do me good and I was thoroughly enjoying being out so early in the crisp morning air with barely another soul in sight.
The last time I had cycled the whole distance of the sea front, one came to a dead end on the pathways and from there it was on foot only as the pathway ended directly on the sandy beach.
Preparing for the fact that it would then be a turn around and back home again I was pleasantly surprised to find that just as the path ended and the beach began a winding cycle/wheel chair footpath had been created leading up over the hill and directly into the grounds of Highcliffe Castle. Normally when wishing to cycle to the castle it would be a road route.
Of course I took advantage of this new path and after parking up I spent a pleasant hour wandering around the grounds and even stopped to have a conversation with a couple of visiting cyclists asking after other pleasant cycling routes in our area.
It was now getting past lunch time and I was rather hungry so set off home via was was now a sea front ride. My short half hour trip to the top of the cliffs for a quick morning cup of tea had ended up being over 3 hours of sheer pleasure on a sunny morning.
I had still missed my Bayley and thought of him often, and here and there of how he would have been trotting along beside me or playing in the grounds of the castle, but the dread of going out on my trike without him I had now overcome.