i went out cycling with steve yesterday, we’re training partners i guess; and there is always a tendency to half-wheel on the climbs which is good for raising the heart-rate. i often suffer on these rides but like to give the impression that i’m perfectly fine and within parameters. anyway, he was heading to taunton so i came out for about 20 miles before looping back; taking in some of the meatier mendip climbs. blagdon is a particular stinker, a wall, in fact (climbs 771ft in just under two miles, ramping up to 15% at key points), but afterwards you get the reward of a lovely descent down through cheddar gorge, one of the most amazing places in the entire country. all of which is fine, and lovely, if painful, but wasn’t by any means the most eventful part of the ride.
riding across the top at dundry i was in front, steve was about two bike lengths behind, when a chicken leapt out of a full hedgerow and attempted to either a. kill itself or b. rugby tackle him off the bike. there were feathers and a lot of chicken noise, steve went to the side, nearly fell off, was profane, but no harm done to foul or rider, bar a few ruffled feathers. it’s one of the more exciting animal-encounters i’ve had (or been witness to) on the bike. i’ve been chased by dogs a lot, not yet caught, but close enough to feel the hot breath on the shaven legs. here are a few more:
nb; not sure who said it, but ‘taking a dog to the tour de france is like taking a shark to a swimming pool’.