I feel a bit guilty writing this post. I had plans, for an amazing post showing you all this special little piece of Yorkshire, which is a World Heritage Site and rather wonderful, particularly to knitters – unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to manage it just yet.
We decided a few weeks ago that it would be lovely to cycle to Saltaire along the canal – it would probably be about ten miles, but we thought quit flat and easy-going.
We were a bit wrong! While I'm reliably informed that the towpath is significantly better than it used to be, it will still rather challenging in places. Once we got past Rodley, what was a path, became incredibly rocky and uneven – making cycling feel rather bone-shatteringly tough and putting an awful lot of strain on your arms, just to hold you up.
Eventually we made it past that, and a few miles later, I took a tumble. Not quite sure how it happened – I was trying to get onto a raised part of the path, which was really just solid mud – I braked due to said mud, back wheel slid out, bike went sideways and I went off. Thankfully, I was on the opposite side to the canal so I didn't go in the water and smacking my head on the floor made me rather glad I had a helmet on. The helmet also meant that my first concern was any potential damage done to the Brompton (yay none!) rather than my noggin.
I'd crunched my left side and hurt a bit, so we got off and walked for a while. We started cycling again later, on paths that were pure mud. And wet mud. Cycling in mud, is not fun. You have no grip and I was terrified of taking a tumble again (and getting even more mucky – I was covered in streaks of mud at this point anyway) and this bit was just impossibly stressful.
By the time we got to Saltaire a few miles later, we were absolutely knackered and didn't have the energy for going around the mill or exploring the village. We ate our packed lunch and wandered off to Don't Tell Titus for some much needed refreshment:
Then we went home. On the train and bus – bikes folded and carted around as luggage.
I am 100% aware of how pathetic this attempt was! I'll blame it on not being used to the distances, which we have since bettered, falling off, and the terribleness of the towpath in places, leading to every single part of my body hurting. I hurt so much that when we got off the bus in Headingley, I hurt too badly to cycle the five minutes home and instead walked it.
We will be sure to go back again soon, tour the place properly, take oodles of pictures and share the woolly goodness with you all. I do feel rather embarrassed that all I have to show for this excursion is a picture of two pints taken on my mobile phone. Not my finest moment!
But on the plus side, at least we know where it is now and now easy it is to get to/from there on the train 🙂