To get an early start this morning on the bike, I had to battle the rush hour.
Now, in a small community of about 1200 inhabitants, you wouldn’t think that should be a problem. But then Kimbolton has a secondary school, a Prep School and a Primary School, as well as a small industrial estate and numerous businesses on the High Street. But once beyond the parish limits, the going got much easier…..
I headed west, first into Bedfordshire, then into Northamptonshire, and wound my way through dozens of little villages, through rolling countryside, crossing numerous swollen rivers, until I arrived at Naseby Old Vicarage Tearoom (tantalisingly close to the site of the famous battle of Naseby, which proved to be the downfall of King Charles I).
Once beyond Brixworth, with its beautiful Saxon church, I found myself crossing the old estate of Cottesbrooke Hall, its parkland still preserving the open aspect of so many aristocratic estates, with tree lined avenues, gated roads, and flocks of sheep roaming at will. Red kites were in abundance and, amazingly for mid-January, the birdlife was in full song. In the absence of a prolonged cold spell this winter, much of nature hasn’t yet realised that winter is upon us.
On the return, I chanced by Kelmarsh Hall where, close by, there is a Buddhist Centre. It hosts meditation sessions, retreats and study courses. But it also has a cafe which is open to all, and is a particular favourite amongst cyclists.
After 6 hours on the road, I managed to get back home just before the heavens opened. A rare example of the ‘winds of fortune’ being on my side.