….and the first hibernal wink

Forgive me for repeating myself (only if you are one of the few habitual, persistent readers of these ramblings….) but cyclists who think that the three cavernous pockets on the back of their cycling tops are intended for stuffing spare tubes and patches, mini-pump, energy snacks, discarded bits of clothing…….well, they have no idea of their untapped potential.

Cav using the full potential of the back pockets.....and much more!

Cav using the full potential of the back pockets…..and much more!

I’m a natural forager. If I pass an opportunity for picking up anything worthwhile along the road, I endeavour to stuff it into one of my back pockets. In the past I’ve come home with books, high-viz tops, gloves…..even a hand drill. And many is the time when the glint of a coin has caught my attention, the largest denomination being £2, on the way into the centre of London.

Today, the first day of winter, I was stopped in my tracks by food. Yes, free food…..lying unloved and ignored by the roadside. During the autumn, I try to fill the freezer with blackberries and apples, but it is unusual to be picking up good quality windfalls this late, and in December. By this point, they are usually lying half eaten by the birds, and rotting on the verges and in the ditches.

This little harvest has now been cooked, mixed with blackberries, and prepared for the freezer…..to supplement the hibernal diet when things get tough……IMAG1006


About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on December 1, 2014, in Cycling UK and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. LOL! I don’t stop fer nothin’! Can’t notice much keeping that 22 mph average.

    I’m just Joshin’ of course, we stop for apples on family rides all the time.

    • …..apples, blackberries, cobnuts, chestnuts, sloes…..and the list could go on…..but not all are equally tantalising. And, of course, there is limited space in those back pockets…..

      • Coconuts… Now that’s funny.

      • ….read it again…..it says “cobnuts” 🙂

      • LOL! Oops. We call them acorns this side of the pond – I had to Google them, never heard the term so my melon simply defaulted to coconut. My bad.

      • OK, this may be a case of two nations divided by the same language, but cobnuts this side of the pond are more akin to hazelnuts. The acorn, on the other hand, is the fruit of the oak tree, and more likely to fill a squirrel’s larder.

      • Nope, just a case of my doing a quick Google image search for “cobnut”, looking at the photos and saying, “hey, that looks like an acorn”… An international incident this is not. 😉

      • A friend of mine cycles the regular commute to work through countryside lanes shared by cars etc.
        If there is anything that had life in the morning but is lying on the tarmac without same in the evening, it goes into his Carridice Camper Longflap and is prepped for the pot or freezer for cooking later.
        He has not been to the butchers for years!

      • Phil,
        I too know of people who habitually pick up roadkill………I’m not sure I’d fit a dead pheasant into my back pocket!

  2. I don’t think I’d particularly want a dead pheasant or squirrel in my rear pocket… I have been known to return with back pockets hanging heavy full of chestnuts during the autumn though. Actually I wish all my clothing had three rear pockets like my cycling gear, it’s just so handy!

  3. Well, the Scots would know all about free fruit! My dad used to make crab apple and bramble jelly. All for free! Well not really as he had to buy the sugar.

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