Cycling and gaining weight!

Now that I have your attention…..what does he mean ‘cycling and gaining weight’? Surely, the aerobic exercise of turning pedals is all about losing weight…….. Well, that depends. Let me explain.

Jenny and I used to organise charity cycle rides, sending up to 200 cyclists on any of 6 routes, the longest 100 miles, the shortest just 3 miles for little kiddies. We put on feeding stations at regular intervals that served up a variety of sweet snacks, including cakes, flapjack, chocolate……you know, all those things you shouldn’t eat, but justify them because you are cycling a few miles. I used to brag that we put on the only sportive-like event where riders were guaranteed to put on weight……even the 100 milers!

Well, I headed off this morning looking to gain a few kilos. And sure enough, I gained 4 kilos after about 35 miles. How? Well, the autumnal foraging season had begun, and I set off in earnest down into Bedfordshire, carrying my musette (normally a cyclist’s feedbag used in racing events) aiming to fill it with the fruits of the earth.

Walnuts...yet to ripen

Walnuts…yet to ripen

My first stop was a walnut tree that I had spied last month. After consulting a few websites, I calculated they would be ripening early September……but not quite yet. The cool August might have delayed them. So they will spend some time on the conservatory windowsill to see if they will burst open.

Two apple trees

Two apple trees

Then onto a favoured apple picking site, where there are two trees planted on the site where there had been an American War Memorial…..not sure what happened to the memorial

Now greengages in the bag....

Now greengages in the bag….

….but a few metres away, in the hedge, I noticed a plum-like fruit…..and decided they were greengages. We did a bit of checking at home, then I braved the tasting and……well, I’m still here 🙂

The nett result was that I returned home 4 kilos heavier than when I set off, with the stuffed musette slung behind me. I have to admit, I noticed the extra weight as I climbed the hills….

A small sample of all four fruits

A small sample of all four fruits

Back at home, off I went to our local blackberry offerings, and picked about 1.5 kilos. I know I’m a very sad person, but I do take great delight in foraging and, in the words of Richard Mabey, getting my ‘food for free’.

About Frank Burns

My journeys around the world are less about riding a bicycle, and more about what happens when I get off the bicycle. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on September 4, 2015, in Cycling UK and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Wonderful apple picking. How many cyclists do that??

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  2. I know a few….but not many. Most wouldn’t carry the weight.

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  3. The only type of fruit picking we did were fresh strawberries and veggie — snow peas. Brings back lovely memories of hot July.

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  4. I remember those charity rides!

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  5. David, I hope with a sense of pleasant nostalgia!

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  6. Ooh. I love finding free fruit. Jealous:-)

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  7. Wonderful time of year for the forager!

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  8. Now there’s a challenge…… doing a cycle trek living off only what you can forage. Thought for the future…..?

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  9. The best….. especially September, when a lot of fruit is just ready for picking.

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  10. Haha. No. Not for me. Takes too much discipline, which is something I lack

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  11. Today while waiting for a pal to come up the hill, munching on blackberries in the hedge – brill, but black red gloves!

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  12. There’s always a price to pay for picking and eating blackberries…… either torn or stained clothing is the usual penalty.

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