Is it OK if I leave my bike outside?

Would you leave your bike unlocked?

The trusty steed in Devon: would you leave your bike unlocked?

The pub looked so inviting: a country inn, serving real ales, possibly some cider, and a lunch menu that included doorstep sandwiches. There was just one problem – what was I going to with my bike? I thought about leaving it in the street out the front, then noticed the gateway at the side which led to a small covered yard. I wheeled my bike through, and propped it against a wall, next to the bins and underneath a window which, judging by the conversation I could hear, I presumed to be in the pub’s kitchen. I took my phone, wallet and camera out of my pannier bag and then went into the pub.

This would have been unthinkable had I been in London at the time. But I wasn’t – I was in the small market town of Hatherleigh, in Devon. Continue reading

My trusty steed goes on holiday

Enjoying the view near Woolacombe

Enjoying the view near Woolacombe

You have to feel sorry for my trusty steed. The poor thing works hard: day after day, mile after mile, back and forth, through wind, rain and cold. It’s not even as if he gets a break when I’m not riding him; no, he just gets slung in the back garden, without any protection from the elements – not even a rain cover. It’s a wonder he doesn’t go on strike.

So I thought it was about time I took him on holiday.

I’d read an article about the Devon coast-to-coast cycle route on the Guardian website a while back. Described as ‘long distance for the laid-back cyclist’, it sounded pretty much perfect. I’d already been to Devon once before, for a friend’s wedding a couple of years ago, and was keen to go back to explore more. Beautiful beaches, rolling hills, quaint villages, cider, cream teas and ice cream – what more could a girl and her bike ask for? So I pumped up the trusty steed’s tyres, cleaned and oiled his chain, packed my panniers and off we went. Continue reading