cycling

wheels

giant

There’s nothing like a new pair of wheels to bring out your inner 10-year-old.

Today I truanted from work to go for a spin on The Giant.

giant by wall

Here it is: an electric bicycle acquired at a bargain price from an elderly neighbour.

I have hankered after an electric bike for ages. We live almost at the bottom of a valley and the long, steep hills have defeated me far too often on an ordinary machine.

A few days ago I spotted a handwritten notice in the window of our local post office. Three bikes were being offered for sale and one of them was electric!

To cut a long story short, I rang the number on the card and was soon chatting to Vanessa, a lovely lady who was having a huge clear out of the house she and her husband have lived in for 31 years.

She told me her children gave her The Giant on her 70th birthday and she used to ride it happily all around our valley until arthritis put an end to her cycling. Old age really can be beastly – she reminded me of my mum, who has had to give up her beloved vegetable plot due to osteoporosis.

Still, when I returned all pink-cheeked and excited from a test run Vanessa did say she felt glad that the bike was going to a good home.

Today I took The Giant for a ride around the beautiful roads where I used to go running before I developed knee problems.

There had been a hard frost overnight, the sky was a translucent blue and all the fields were sparkling as the sun reflected off millions of tiny flecks of ice.

Contrary to what a lot of people think, an electric bike is not cheating. Well, not much anyway. I was pleased to find that I still needed to work quite hard to go up the hills, but the extra whoosh of power from the battery meant I didn’t have to keep getting off to push.

And I could whizz down them with a huge grin on my face, just like a ten-year-old on holiday.

Here’s to a long and happy relationship with The Giant.

giant lodge moor

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90 seconds of Incredible magic

This is fun: a whistlestop tour of Todmorden filmed by Tom Boyden, who’s been cycling around Europe looking at sustainable food projects. It only lasts a minute and a half and it’s sure to give your day a lift.

Julian (my partner) and I are currently crowdfunding to raise money for an initial print run of the book about Incredible Edible Todmorden that I’ve written with co-founder Pam Warhurst. There’s only ten days to go – will we make it? Maybe with your help! You can pledge from as little as £1 and it’s perfectly safe: if we don’t make our target, nobody pays a penny. I’m not making any money personally from this campaign – we just want to get the book out there and spread the Incredible Edible magic even further. You can find the campaign here.