May 28, 2014 by welshcyclist
If that’s a criminal offence, then “book me Danno”, and there seem to be quite a number drivers out there, who are of that opinion! Riding through Neath, a quiet enough town, traffic wise, a minority of them make you know you are not welcome on their roads, drivers of cars, buses, lorries, they all send out the same vibes. Ignorant of how dangerous they can be to a cyclist, like myself, often leads me into a stream of expletives, directed at them. Taxi and bus drivers, the ones you’d expect to be the safest, are, in fact, the worst. They have no hesitation about driving dangerously close as they pass.
It’s enough to make my hair stand on end, but can I give up? No, because I’m simply addicted to riding my bike, and there’s a part of me that says these ignorant idiots are not going to stop me doing what I love to do. Ride my bike. It reminds me of my late father in law, who was a local insurance man for the, also passed, Pearl Assurance company, now amalgamated into what’s known as Phoenix. He collected premiums door to door in Belfast, throughout the troubles, even at their worst. Despite being a catholic, his round was mainly in the protestant enclaves of the city. His customers, loved him and when danger threatened sheltered him in their homes till the trouble passed. In the end the gunmen in those areas understood that to harm Dessie would cause too many problems on their home turf, so they left him alone.
So, I’ll keep riding my bike.
Further, my ride home, after a long night shift, Bank Holiday Monday morning, last, makes it virtually impossible to stop riding.
It had been raining steadily all night, if I’d had any hopes of it stopping as I cycled homeward, they were dashed completely at roughly the half way point, when I realised I was absolutely soaked to the skin!! That didn’t worry me in the least, much to my colleagues, family and no doubt others on the roads,( save for the more and more fellow cyclists I continue to see ), incredulity. Basically, they all think I’m a nutter. Well I don’t give a ……..! I love to ride my bike.
So, I was in this frame of mind, as I continued into the second half of my homeward commute, when seeing birds flitting to and from the hedgerows, annoyingly so fast, that these old peepers of mine couldn’t identify them , and yes I’m a closet twitcher as well, I started to think how different it was when as a boy, I used to see so many different varieties of songbirds. Today, I thought, where have all the bull, green, and gold finches gone? Yes, I see the very occasional one, back then they seemed to be ever present. My grandfather’s allotment/garden use to be full of them, too many to mention here, that’s where my love of birds began, looking out into that garden allotment, seeing them all flitting in and out of the surrounding bramble and blackberry bushes, simply magical days.
I was going through all the different birds I could remember seeing so often back then, when, as I was passing the old Rheola bike factory site, I thought of the whitethroat and the blackcap. When, amazingly, coincidently? There was a blackcap, sat on the boundary wall of the site. Just for a moment as I sailed by, there he was in all his splendour! His black cap, of his defining name was raised, and I couldn’t help but think how similar he was to the Dartford warbler.
What an absolute treat, to see such a bird of my childhood, and just when I was thinking about those times? Strange, eh?
Unlike, Tootlepedal, I failed to get a picture, so I’ve copied a picture from the RSPB internet site for my reader’s delectation, and by the way, the blackcap is also a warbler like the Dartford! Something else I’ve learned.
A beautiful image, don’t you think? But it fails to capture the true beauty of this little chap.
That’s another idea I had while cycling through the rain, I want to paint, capture scenes on canvas. Why? Because, I want to!
Out of the blue, as they say, my faithful reader.
Oh, how I love to ride my bike!