Bimbling (a.k.a Pootling)


Commuting to work is great, it saves fuel money that can be used to buy bikes (and bike-bits), but the several hours of work in-between seem to spoil what would otherwise be a cracking ride.  Using every ride as a serious training session, powering up inclines like ‘Cav’ or treating every long straight as a time-trial and going for it ‘Wiggo’ style can get repetitive and boring.

Sometimes what you need to do is bimble with your significant other…..

When our 7 year old has a social event in his diary that doesn’t involve us, we take the opportunity to bimble.

Today we set off on a bike ride together and the route was decided at each junction, we greeted other bimblers with a smile and nod.

Half-way round we spontaneously called in at ‘The National Arboretum’ near Lichfield and soaked in the D-Day commemorations; watching the old soldiers pay their respects to the many memorials. I even saw a length of the Burma-Siam railway which was immortalised in the films ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ and ‘The Railwayman’.  This railway also appears in one of my favourite books ‘A Town like Alice’ by Nevil Shute. A section of the ‘Burma-Siam’ was brought to Staffordshire from Burma as memorial to the thousands of Allied troops who died building it. I walked thoughtfully along it, something I didn’t think I’d be doing when I woke up this morning.

I also looked at ‘The Memorial Wall’ that lists every member of the armed forces killed in action since 1945 a sobering sight indeed, unfortunately they still add names on a far too regular basis.

Interestingly if we had gone in the car we would have had to park over a mile away from the main entrance due to the large numbers of visitors commemorating d-day.  As it was we cycled up to the door, locked up the bikes and strolled in.

If I had been concerned with average speed, Strava segments and the like then I certainly wouldn’t have stopped at The National Arboretum – I would have missed something thought provoking and interesting. Obviously I’m not not suggesting you cycle there, maybe you live hundreds of miles away (I’m just lucky to live near it) but you must have something local to you just as interesting,  something that you ignore as you power past on the drops.

We cycled 26 miles in total, my wife’s longest ride to date and the smile on her face was priceless.

So while serious riding can be fun, sometimes you have got to ditch the K.O.M chasing and just bimble. Enjoy the mechanics of cycling, the splendid views, a local attraction and the connection with your partner……