If this hadn’t happened to me I would hesitate to believe it !

Many moons ago I decided to do one of the circular cycle rides from an old book I’d acquired.  It was from Ashbourne to Sudbury, I decided I do it reverse (not cycling backwards I add) thus enabling me to use Ashbourne as a lunch and toilet stop.

I drove to Sudbury, parked up and set off, straight away I hit a slight obstacle in the shape of the A50 that was in it’s infancy and had ploughed through my first lane of the journey.  Armed only with my packed lunch and the ancient book, and of course no mobile phone let a lone Sat Nav, I pondered the situation.

As luck would have it Winston, a rather attractive site foreman, came to my rescue and allowed me to cross this expanse of limestone, even taking the time to manoeuvre my bike over the cobbles.  Of course embarrassing as it was, I also had the hi viz jackets at a stand still, accompanied by a wave of wolf whistles (they were still prevalent at that time).  Actually, they probably are still on the go, but at 59 they are not in my life !

Back to the story. We ascended the bank on the far side, I thanked Winston and bid him goodbye.  I cycled on and as the road swung around to my left I again came across the A50 construction site cutting across my country lane, only to find I was barely a 1,000 yards from my last crossing.  Winston wasn’t there to assist me, but another hi vized hunk came over to help me along with another chorus from probably the same wolves!  I explained the book and that hopefully I wouldn’t be back. Indeed, if this was to be the outcome, as I was on the same side to my car once more, I’d most likely just make my way to the vehicle, give up and abandon my excursion.

I persevered and the journey went well.  I can’t quite remember at what stage it would have been, either before or after Ashbourne, but my route took me onto another narrow lane, this with very high sides.  At the top of the banks surrounding the fields were hedges and I cycled this narrow corridor for quite a while, luckily with no vehicles approaching.

Then horror of horrors, out of the blue there in the lane was a combined harvester, with it’s wheels at right-angle to the road.  The vehicle was as high as the hedge and completely filled the gap, the guys surveyed the predicament and then me.  I couldn’t believe I now had this after such a peregrination.

I knew I hadn’t passed any other turn off and explained I only had the book so had no idea of an alternative route, other than to go back.

‘I can help you over love’, he offered, as though it was an everyday event much akin to crossing the A50.

‘ … and my bike?’ I enquired.

‘Sure, just go up this ladder over the top and Pete can help you down the other side, I’ll bring this.’ He gestured to the bike.

And off we went, this bizarre event, I trundled up this ladder, walked over the top and sure enough Pete was helpful guiding my foot into the other ladder, down came my bike.

As I mounted and turned to say goodbye, a horse and rider trotted down the lane.

Turning to Pete I announced … ‘and this I really must see!’

© Jane Calvert 09.01.2016

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