Spirits rising – the familiar made special

Photo by Kevin Mayne

I am going to write about a short but wonderful bike ride, a ride that left me buoyed up by the beauty to be found in a familiar landscape.

But make me a promise. Before you read this in full scroll down the page to the video link that I have placed at the end. Give it a click, and let the music drift over you while you read.

Photo by Kevin Mayne

This was a familiar route, a short, signposted route that I have been riding ever since I moved here, winter, summer, wind, rain and snow. Nominally it is a mountain bike route, but I have always found it rideable on a touring bike with study tyres except in the depths of winter, so it was just right today for my current steed.

But today it seemed different, I was excited by almost every corner. Why? Well this is in fact the first time I have just “jumped on a bike” and ridden for fun since I was hit by Deep Vein Thrombosis in Taiwan nearly two months ago.

Photo by Kevin Mayne

And we have also just had our first serious rainfall for weeks, much of northern Europe has been suffering some really low rainfall levels in recent months, so the storms have given the plant life a huge shot of energy, turning the leaves a stunning green, although the fields have soaked it up in an instant.

Photo by Kevin Mayne

It was all there, everything I love in this landscape wrapped in a short bike ride.

Hawthorn bursting into swathes of blossom

Photo by Kevin Mayne

Dappled shade beneath the beech trees

Photo by Kevin Mayne

Big big skies

Photo by Kevin Mayne

Private paths, tucked behind churches, chapels and farms

Photo by Kevin Mayne

I am doing my best to convey it in words and photography, but of course these pages can only hint at the fresh breeze and the warmth of the sun. Photo by Kevin Mayne

Which brings me to the sound. Our garden is a haven for woodland birds and in the valley below we can hear the ducks and geese. But up on the plateau above the fields bring a new sound. Skylarks. Invisible to the eye, but bringing the perfect accompaniment to my ride.

“The Lark Ascending” by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Keep it running while you read the rest of your emails, potter about on your computer and just do – stuff.

The lark is ascending and so are my spirits – I do not despair.

3 thoughts on “Spirits rising – the familiar made special

  1. So glad to hear that you are feeling much better. The pleasure of, as you say, just riding for fun for the first time after a medical problem and rejoicing in life comes through beautifully in your words. (I’m looking forward to a similar experience very soon!) Keep going!


  2. Beautiful pictures and music.

    I’d love to get down to the Lasne area and explore these tracks some day. Do you have a GPS file/map for this or similar rides, or a suggestion of where to start and what rough direction to head in? Is there a good quiet route there from town/the forest?


  3. thank you for sharing the music too. I am excited as we will be off cycle camping early next week. My snapped clavicle ( collar bone) although deformed is still not giving much trouble apart from a bit of ache after doing too much. juts love to keep cycling


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