Yesterday it didn’t rain. Perhaps only the third day of the summer that no drop of rain landed on my head in this northwestern area of Britain. Because my bike detests rain and has a habit of throwing me like a bucking horse in wet weather, my wife hides the bike lock key, but not yesterday. My hair was in need of shearing so off to Mold (Yr Wyddgrug) I cycled. It is a good 18 miles because I go along country lanes including steep climbs up through Higher Kinnerton to Hope Mountain. Other times I go via Pontybodkin, where I expect pixies to leap around with such a village name. I enjoy the solitary ride because it allows my imagination to wander over the hills too. Plot problems and character developments swirl around in time to my rotating legs. Unfortunately, another cyclist came up alongside me for a chat. Now I do enjoy nattering with other cyclists and the distance does fly faster, but my dodgy hearing means I only catch the drift of what they are saying and I often get it wrong. It is no good wearing hearing aids when on a bike: it’s like having your head in a tornado. Anyway, the fellow cyclists said:
Are you going to Bala?
No, Mold for a hair cut.
But eveyone is going to Bala this weekend?
Why, what do they know I don’t?
It’s the Wild Wales Challenge.
Then I remembered another cyclist last Sunday telling me the same thing. 600 cyclists converge on Bala for a 88 miles race from Bala to Barmouth and back via minor lanes. Sounds good although I don’t race and don’t like crowds! The route is appealing though and I’ll do it on my own one day in the autumn.
We parted near Penn-y-fford and after arriving in Mold climbed the stairs to my barber. I was fourth in line so looked for a magazine. As in many barbers they were all of motorbikes or cars. I can’t be that different from the average male – can I? I did find a copy of Escape Velocity magazine in the sedimentary layers of the magazine pile. It was one I had put there back in May. It looked as if at least one other longhair had glanced at it. Emerging with a colder head I hobbled (still wearing bike shoes) to the library and asked for a form for suggested new books. The book stamper said no one ever asks for such a form, so they don’t have one! However, she gave me a sheet of paper and a pen and so I retrieved a bookmark I made earlier and copied the ISBN for Exit, Pursued by a Bee and other details. I gave it to a different book receptionist, blonde, smiling and chatty. Terri said she’ll pass on my book information and she too is a writer! Small world. Not only a writer, but used to be in the British Fantasy Society, a speaker at FantasyCon and has ebooks to sell. She thought the BFS had closed so I did her a favout with the good news that it hadn’t and it is always good to chat to a fellow writer.
Feeling lightheaded and nimble, I chanced a steep return up Leeswood hill and now my legs refuse to cooperate for Saturday.