I’d like to go faster, but then again, it’s great having distractions.


May 5, 2016 by welshcyclist

There is no doubt I am a slow coach as a cyclist. Very often, I decide to make a real effort to pick up the pace and get home or to work that bit faster. Yes, I’ve got some of the gear, a Garmin vivoactive watch, that helps me record all sorts of data about my trips, including the dismal 11.4 mph average speed, by the way, that’s one of the higher readings. But there is so much going on as I travel up and down this beautiful Neath valley, especially now that spring has sprung.

Last Monday, I was in the frame of mind to push those pedals towards home, after my night shift, trying for a quicker time than usual. However, the sun was coming up and approximately three quarters of the way home, it was splitting the trees when I heard the rat tat tat of a woodpecker in the trees alongside the road. I hear these tappings quite regularly at this time of year, as the male woodpeckers declare their territories, but usually the sound comes from off in the woods, with no chance of seeing the woodpeckers. This was right next to the road, in a set of dead trees alongside a filled in canal bed. So I just had to stop, turn around, and gently creep toward the source of the sound. Hoping to see a woodpecker hammering the dead tree trunk, I was of course disappointed as the woodpecker saw my approach and high tailed it across the road deep into the woods. But I did see him, a lesser spotted woodpecker, quite a small bird to make all that racket.

Then further along the road, I noticed a large shadow cross over my head, looking up I saw an old friend, my black buzzard gliding across the road effortlessly. He is a chap I have been seeing for a few years now, he is very distinctive, almost black all over. When I first saw him I believed I had spotted an exotic visitor of some sort. No, just another buzzard, but what a beauty?

If it had been tootlepedal on this trip, no doubt, he’d have pictures to show for these two meetings, but my mobile phone camera is wrapped up in two layers of plastic sandwich bags to protect it from any deluge, so I hadn’t even tried to get it out and into action. All I have is the visual memory of these crossing of paths. What a thrill, though, to have the pleasure of seeing such things as I cycle up and down this beautiful Neath valley.

Safe to say my speed was hindered to a very great extent. My usual 11.4 mph dropped to 8.7 mph., but how does one cycle on and ignore such sights and opportunities, I just can’t do it! Or am I just looking for the chance to slow down, stop even, struggling with my breath, heavy legs? I’ll leave that for you to decide, my faithful reader.




7 thoughts on “I’d like to go faster, but then again, it’s great having distractions.

  1. tootlepedal says:

    There are cyclists whose only views are their own front tyres. Dull people. Keep looking about.

    • welshcyclist says:

      Thanks tootlepedal for noticing my post, I agree, I am never going to speed up while there’s so much to see. Most of those riders you talk about, don’t even see me, let alone the wonders that are on offer, and completely free. My garmin watch measures speed to 100ths of a second, but it takes me a minute to put my gloves on after I’ve pressed the start button, and actually start to pedal. The watch doesn’t start to record if I press the start button with said gloves on. Doah!! Also, this technophobe, has yet, to learn how to download his vivoactive data to computer, for my faithful reader to see how really slow I pedal. So much to learn, so much more to see, not enough time to do any justice. Cheers.

      • tootlepedal says:

        I have a handy Garmin that lets me push the buttons with gloves on and it doesn’t record my speed while I am dawdling about taking pictures. My kind of device!

      • welshcyclist says:

        When I stop, I have to press the same button to stop recording my time, but of course, I have to remove my gloves to do so, but on top of that, I, usually, forget to press stop any way. This technology is so complicated, lol.

      • tootlepedal says:

        I see your difficulty.

  2. scunepo says:

    Always look forward to your posts. Especially liked this one. Thanks.

    Your commute sounds wonderful.

    A Zen saying comes to mind when you speak about your speed. “Nature does not hurry yet everything is accomplished”.

    • welshcyclist says:

      I like that saying, it holds the truth, I will try to store it in my mind. Thanks for popping by my blog it’s great to be noticed, cheers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog Stats

  • 15,771 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 32 other subscribers


Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

Tom’s TDA

Africa on a bike saddle

Travels On A Bike 2

Follow Garry on his travels


a wee blog about bikes

Bike Like Crazy

whatever the weather

The Vicious Cycle

A man searches for meaning...between leg shavings

Chronicles of a Travel Addict

Solo, ethical travel with a literary twist


A fine WordPress.com site

Performance Bicycle Blog

Behind the scenes at Performance Bicycle

Cycling Dutch Girl

the only certainty is change


Cycling | Travel | Adventure | Podcast

Tim's cycling blog

mostly about cycling and cycle commuting

%d bloggers like this: