The End of Spring

The summer solstice marks the end of the astronomical spring, and while inspiration was hard to come by I did manage to capture a little bit of what spring is perhaps meant to be while out riding around... I think. Maybe.

The solstice marks the end of the astronomical spring and, as compared with spring last year it was, from where I’m sitting, largely defined by a complete lack of inspiration. The trails were busy, the roads were busy, and the beaches were rammed… when it wasn’t raining; stark contrast to the almost spiritual solitude I was able to find while out and about on two wheels a year ago. As such there was little motivation to carry a camera for those opportune snapshots, and at times little inspiration to go out at all beyond just trying to get some miles in to keep the legs spinning. However there are one or two snapshots kicking around on my hard drive that would otherwise never see the light of day, so now that is it officially summer I figured I may as well sling them up. I’ll do my best to have something more interesting for next time…

Down on the Tin Coast at the end of April. Increasingly the National Trust have been publishing requests online for people not to visit due to overcrowding. That, and all the nonsense around the G7 recently making it harder to access the west from my direction meant that I haven’t visited since.
Cape Cornwall. April into May the gorse blossom was breathtaking, as usual. The chimney stack on top of the Cape belongs to the old Cape Cornwall mine which closed in 1883. While the engine house was demolished, the chimney was retained as an aid to navigation.
The whole stretch is littered with interesting ruins.
I know I shouldn’t wish my time away but it’ll be nice when the trails are quiet again, I never come down here in summer… both because of the numbers of people and, particularly on a warm day, the delicate aroma of dogshit emanating from the undergrowth (and bicycle tyres, shoes…) making it an uncomfortable lunch stop.
The Sheep’s Bit is in blossom along the cliffs at the moment, it’s rather lovely.
Apparently the name comes from the fact that sheep like eating it. Disappointingly mundane. These blossoms are on the cliff edge between Hell’s Mouth and Godrevy.
Best time to be out at the moment is around 6am, enjoy a couple of hours on the trails before people o’clock.
Another ‘early’. It is the best time of day, and finding the discipline to get out nice and early means that I might actually make progress with the DiY this summer…
A palette of pink and grey.
The need to get out early also applies to sea kayaking, aiming to be on the water by 8am to be in with a chance of finding parking, a quick spin up the coast for a brew on a quiet beach before the inevitable mobs descend.
I can’t remember when I grabbed this snap.. must have been back in April, and judging by the shadows.. evening. Just a short stretch of trail close to home that gets ridden at least once a week as an escape from my desk.
The wildflowers are breathtaking at the moment.. as is the density of pollen in the air. It’s so bad at the moment that it’s triggering abundant contact allergic eczema on my arms. Amazing. Anyway, this is Lanyon Quoit.. one of the best known neolithic monuments in the west, and the least original since the capstone was knocked off by a storm in 1815, and subsequently put back “all wrong”.
It’s also foxglove season, this particular one in the lanes near Morvah, although they are of course absolutely everywhere.
I recently relieved the dummy of normal utility duties for a day of trails and fishing, in search for an inaccessible spot requiring enough effort to reach to act as an effective people filter. Luckily I was with a mate, I’d have struggled to get  it over some of those more awkward gates and stiles.. when it’s empty I can shoulder it single-handed, with one hand free for balance when climbing over things, but throw in lunch, a few litres of water, and fishing gear… and it’s asking for a dislocated shoulder or something. Despite that… awesomely good fun.
.. and the mudguards are wearing very well and still look ace ;-) Every so often, after I’ve been careless, I have to gently rub down and varnish a chewed edge on the front one, but you can’t tell.
And just because… my Brother Cycles AllDay. I did inflict some significant dents and scrapes on the original Gilles Berthoud stainless mudguards (and upon myself) in a rare accident (first one in more than 50,000 miles) a few weeks ago, so it has new ones on. Same again. They’re a faff to fit on such a close clearance frame, taking me about 4 hours of measuring, drilling, filing, fitting, filing etc etc.. but well worth it, the fit is perfect and I’ve decided that they look so good that they’re staying on the bike all summer. There have been multiple occasions to congratulate myself on that decision as the normal British summer weather asserts itself.

6 thoughts on “The End of Spring

  • Hi mate, great post and images, imagine what it will be like when you get inspired :)

    Its a beautiful part of the world that you live in and you certainly show it at its best. I hope that international travel returns soon so you can have a little bit more peace an tranquility.

    Also than for the link re the kayak paddle in your last post, could be just what I am looking for.



    • hey Stephen, thanks for checking in, and the kind feedback! It is a lovely area, at the moment I, and many friends, seem to have withdrawn into something of a shell until september.. it’s kind of normal for that to happen to a degree every summer, although usually just peak season of July and August, this year is different… the roads feel dangerous with so many huge 4x4s hurtling around, and the visitor demographic is somewhat skewed towards many of the kind of folk that would I imagine would normally be in places like Benidorm. Kind of underscores what the Spanish have to put up with in a normal year…!

      Do shout if you have any q’s about the greenland paddle, I made a couple. I sold my greenland-style kayak a few years ago but the paddles are still propped in the corner waiting for me to get around to building a traditional skin-on-frame kayak.

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