Rides bikes, paddles sea kayaks, takes pictures. Life on the road & my home in Cornwall.
Last of the Lockdown Riding Diaries
Spring in Cornwall; lockdown cycling as an opportunity to slow down and appreciate just how special this little corner of the world is.
Well, probably the last. There is enough material once again, from the last few weeks of poking around on two wheels, to make a post worthwhile I think. The weather continues to be quite unreal.. no doubt in advance of a summer to be defined by wind-driven drizzle. A friend suggested I also write about the camera kit I use while out biking – both on my longer adventures, and just while poking around at home, so I’ll do that too in the next week or so; there are some other topics also on my mind that may be worthy of a few words.
The wildflowers this spring have been breathtaking.. and without people around it has been much easier to slow down and appreciate just how special they are.
Technically we’re still locked down and nights away from home are not acceptable, but here in the west of Cornwall the coast is as busy with visitors as the busiest days in August. I will keep on riding, and photographing and so on, but the atmosphere has changed and this past week in particular it’s been much harder to find that contemplative state of mind while out and about.. Mentally, emotionally it is disruptive to frequently stumble across burned patches amongst the grass and wildflowers from disposable BBQs, garbage and BBQs casually tossed aside, and camper vans and tents wedged in the most inappropriate of places in order to avoid scrutiny. I’m lucky not to live in a coastal village, as friends and clients alike have mentioned how they’re having to wash their doorsteps every day as, in the absence of open public toilets, visitors relieve themselves instead in doorways and at the back of houses. This morning I came across yet another motorhome, this time wedged down a bridlepath, out of sight of the road, they had a nice little camp with surfboards, bikes and beach toys.. with tensions running high in local communities, some might have considered a rock through the windscreen an appropriate gift to leave. The beach car parks I passed this morning were packed tight, like sardines, with hundreds more cars abandoned on the roads outside, in gateways and so on, and still I watched someone in a flash vehicle nudge a parking barrier out of the way with his bumper so he could go in and park anyway. It’s as if other places don’t exist. The BBQ thing is a particular hatred of mine.. it’s not only that people like to bury them in the sand or toss them over a cliff rather than take them home.. it’s the fire risk too. A grass fire from a discarded BBQ has been burning for two days now up the coast in Devon as firefighters struggle to get it under control. The utter contempt which which so many treat, what I think is a special part of the world, is heartbreaking. People have to get out and about, but a little sensitivity, respect, and plain old common sense would go a long way right now.
Anyway.. I didn’t really intend this to be the post of a ranty Cornishman, my apologies… so here’s another visual diary of my lockdown riding around here.