I’m back in the Chilterns again. The weather forecast told me it would be a clear, sunny day so I decided today would be just right for a trip out to Buckinghamshire.
And, by jove, I’m just glad I got up at 5:30 this morning, even though I’d only been asleep for about four hours. For the first time in months I’ve seen at first hand the beauty of the Chilterns in the morning. I’ve been through Chesham, the Lee, Ballinger and now Wendover.
Just one fly in the ointment: I took a detour round the woods above Wendover. They’re everything I’ve come to expect in a wooded area in these parts. But the recent rain has turned parts of the paths into a quagmire. I was too busy trying to avoid them and coming a cropper on my bike to appreciate the woods.
Anyway, I’m bound to see more of the countryside as the day goes on.
One thing about Epping Forest is, you need to know what to wear in what weather. Same goes for the Lea Canal towpath. On Sunday I took a ride up the bridlepaths from the Chingford end up towards High Beech. I discovered that seven kilometres of the paths have been resurfaced over the past few months. The new surface might be good on the horses’ hooves, but the soggy month of February has turned those paths into rivers of mud. Not ideal conditions for cycling.
And the path south of Dobb’s Weir was just as bad. You would have thought the canal had burst its banks, but the last time that happened was ten years ago.
Mud has its place and it’s not underneath my feet or my bike’s wheels. My experience today won’t put me off Epping Forest or the River Lea, though. I’ll just have to choose a drier day for it.