If you are a non-cyclist, or even a cyclist who wears ‘normal’ clothes when cycling, you may have asked yourself a few questions about the garments worn by ‘lycra-louts’. Why, for instance, do they wear those strange jerseys with deep pockets at the back? Usually three of them. Well, there are a variety of reasons, mostly connected with practicality. But I won’t bore you with those.
When the autumn arrives, that season of “mists and mellow fruitfulness”(Keats), I take on a new persona. My instinct to forage and harvest fruits in the hedgerows rises to the surface, and as I wend my way along country lanes, my eyes become sensitive to the store of hidden fruits that lurk within the hedges and beyond the ditches.
Blackberries, of course, are a favourite and available in abundance. This season has seen several kilos consigned to the freezer for winter consumption. But even more remarkable than blackberries are the apples for the picking in the wild. Tell-tale windfalls will reveal the presence of an apple tree (being a ‘good’ cyclist, my gaze is normally at the road ahead!) and you can either pass it by (as most people do) or stop and collect some of its fruits. My, almost uncontrolled, instinct is to stop and harvest some of the windfalls.
Now, I normally ride a lightweight road bike, with no luggage space for anything. Hence the practicality of the three deep pockets for the cyclist-scavenger like myself. And you would be amazed at the different varieties of apple available in the wild, and most are sweet enough to eat off the tree.
I returned home today from a 60 mile ride with empty pockets. My wife sighed with relief!! I wonder what fruits you harvest from the hedgerows? (Yes I’m looking for further inspiration).