Saturday, 1 September 2007

End of August already

August was a good month, personally. It was a good month for others as well. Jill in Juneau bagged her 1000 miles in a month. Another commuter, Jeff, made his goal of cycling to work for a month. Well done Jeff and long may it continue. Jeff's commute is 8 miles each way, but what makes it impressive is that he lives in Phoenix, Arizona and the theme that comes over from his blog is his battle with the extreme heat and the ways to combat it. Back in the UK, Gus from Cardiff, continues his weight loss programme having lost more than a stone after six weeks.

Over in France, the Velib cycle scheme in Paris has also been deemed a success. A friend visited recently and found it worked really well.

I fulfilled the objective of cycling regularly to work plus getting in plenty of cycling on holiday.

In France we explored sentiers, chemins and Velo Tout Terrain tracks. I even got lost in a forest once, rescued only by the GPS showing me where on the hillside I was heading. There's plenty of great cycling in France. One of the more memorable days was sitting eating Neuchatel cheese in a baguette by a lock on the Canal du Nivernais in the Morvan region. That day we travelled 44 miles and saw lots of cycle tourists - a popular holiday in France. That's one for next year.

In the English lake district we had some excellent mountain bike rides. One day we took the bikes on the ferry across Windermere and did 15 miles off road around Wray and Claife Heights. Another day, we did a mixed route taking in a Scottish beer festival at the Watermill at Ings where Atlas Lattitude, a draught pilsner, was a favourite. We also enjoyed a day's outing on bridleways around the Winster valley. Most of the rides concluded with a refreshing drink in glorious sunshine. Definitely one of life's pleasures. As well as fine Scottish ales we had the excellent Hawkshead Bitter at the brewery in Staveley, the Claife Crier and Sun Inn at Crook. A sad note to end the month was that the renowned writer on beer and whisky, Michael Jackson, died on Thursday. He travelled the world writing and speaking about real beer. His advocacy helped bring greater awareness of small breweries and the variety of wonderful beers on offer across the globe. This post is dedicated to him.

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