Saturday 5 March 2016 12.00 GMT
this is NOT the kind of combative, agitative piece that I tend to draw attention to…
(and the author responds several times in the comments section to say that the headline was not her choice – and that the piece is much more subtle than that.)
It is a much more subtle, and gentle piece, and a (perhaps?) welcome break from the confrontational.
Bikes are mentioned often, as are trains – but especially walking…and cars.
It’s a piece about the appreciation of the countryside, and the comments are worth reading – and are for the most part, calm and respectful.
Why am i posting this instead of working through the Kings Cross gyratory consultation and the excellent posts so far on Cyclescape….?
You may well ask!
When the poet and essayist Edward Thomas set out to cycle from London to the Quantocks for the book that would become In Pursuit of Spring, published in 1914, he wrote: “I planned to go under the North Downs to Guildford, along the Hog’s Back to Farnham, down the Itchen towards Winchester, over the high lands of the Test to Salisbury; across the Plain to Bradford, over the Mendips to Shepton Mallet, and then under the Mendips to Wells and Glastonbury, along the ridge of the Polden Hills to Bridgwater, and so up to the Quantocks and down to the sea.” It’s hard to imagine describing a route in such topographical terms today.
From the comments :
Will we get a follow-up article on how the railways ruined the seaside?
Here’s something from the height of the railway age, just before the invention of the motor car.
Nothing to do with the seaside but appropriate to the theme of the article.
“From a Railway Carriage”
Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.
Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And here is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart runaway in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill, and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone forever!Robert Louis Stevenson 1885
RTB1978 10h ago
There is something depressing about slogging your way up an enormous hill, sweat running down your back,
panting like a labrador only to find a car park at the top with round people in lively anoraks waddling about.
Try cycling across France, from north to south. Cycling is the ideal speed to travel and you get a great feel for the landscape –
having to work to get up a hill helps you appreciate it. Whenever I’ve done something like this everything feels so much more
real, as though my office life was just a dream. You see the landscape gradually transform on your journey. France is great for this because large parts of it are so empty and there are lots of small roads where you hardly see any cars.