We've had some good weather round here lately, and while it's tempting to stay at home and tackle the endless round of Things To Do, I have managed to sneak off for a couple of little bike rides on our local trails.
I confess they haven't been very speedy bike rides, as I often seem to find myself off my bike, taking photographs of flowers. I just don't know how it happens.
I don't always know what they are, and I keep meaning to find out, but then something else distracts me and I forget again.
These are old railway trails, and I love the way they cut through the hills and look out over the countryside.
On one of my recent forays, I came across preparations for a local bicycling festival - it all looked very exciting and on the way home I saw someone driving with a penny farthing on a bike rack on the back of their car.
Occasionally there's an old station, or a dry stone hut, or even another cyclist, but mostly it's just me and the flowers and the weather.
Today was the first non-snowy day without visitors for a while, so I finally retrieved my bike from the garage, pumped the tyres up, and set off for a cycle down one of the old railway trails that criss cross the national park.
I used to do this fairly regularly before, but they're a lot closer to home now. Our old house was on top of a hill and surrounded by city roads, and our new one is perched on the side of a hill surrounded by narrow roads with windy bends, and on the whole I prefer my leisure cycling to be flatter and involve a lot of stopping to take photographs.
I did question the wisdom of choosing today for a bike ride. It was raining all morning, and I squelched about the garden as I got my bike ready. But there was a brief break in the clouds which convinced me that it might not rain all afternoon, and I set off (clad in plenty of waterproofs).
The sky was at least a little more interesting than the blank dull grey that it's been recently. I do like to see scudding clouds (although I prefer little fluffy white ones scudding across a blue sky). There was a lot of water on the trail too, and at times it was like I was cycling through a river.
Needless to say, between the rain coming down, and the puddles coming up, I was drenched. I don't actually mind being drenched on a bike ride, as long as I can dry off and get warm straight after, but this was quite ridiculous. Even after removing my (supposedly) waterproof walking boots and two pairs of socks, my feet were still leaving wet footprints on the floor.
I'm quite pleased I lasted for 11 miles. I've not been on a bike for months, and while this was flat, it was also quite hard going with the rain and the wind and the puddles. I was quite pleased to get home and dry though, and gained a new appreciation for the rain when I spotted this double rainbow behind the house.
Rainbows aside, I'd quite like things to dry up a bit soon. Between the rain and the snow, and our many visitors with their extra cars, we've ended up with quite a churned up moat outside our front gate. I'm very grateful for my wellies right now.
Sit down and make yourself comfortable. I'm Jenni, and I write here about our new forray into country living, which includes growing food, knitting, baking, wandering around the fields, and seeing which local cafe serves the best cake.