Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Sailing along on my bike

I got a new bike for my birthday . . .

my new bike then

It's not my birthday today, the bike was bought back in September a week before my birthday; I was very disappointed that I couldn't ride it away from the shop there and then, I had to wait for a new bicycle to be delivered and put together. The inner 6 year-old me wanted to throw a tantrum in the shop and yell "I want my bike NOW!!!", the grown up me politely said "OK, I'm happy to wait".

On Friday we collected the 'new green bike' from the bike shop . . .

my new bike now

Yesterday was spent buying and putting together the car roof bike carrier, I think Cliff and I earned our "putting stuff together using allen keys" badges. Then in the afternoon it rained a lot, so we stayed indoors in the warm and dry.

But today was dry and sunny . . . it was the day to take 'new green bike' for it's inaugural ride.

Route 11: Wicken Fen to Ely and back

We started our adventure by driving with the bikes, to the National Trust Wicken Fen car park. From here you can choose to follow the National Cycle Network route south to Cambridge or as we did, north out of Wicken Village across the Fens to Ely.

The fen tracks eventually join the route along the high dyke beside the Great Ouse river. You can just see Ely cathedral on the horizon.

The cycle route then crosses the main river bridge and continues along the Riverside, busy with rowers form Cambridge University boat club, narrow boats and river cruisers.

We parked the bikes near a little green outside Peacock's Tearoom and went in for a cuppa and lunch.

Tea comes elegantly served and there is a vast choice of teas! We sat outside in the little front garden to enjoy the sunshine.

Then it was time to cycle back. I was reliving the lovely time I'd had cycling in Holland last year, now I have my very own 'sit up and beg' style bicycle! I was also remembering sailing along on my bike to junior school - I used to pretend my bike was a boat (I was reading all the Swallows and Amazons books at the time).

The sun was sinking low in the November sky but it wasn't cold, it was clear and bright.

As we neared Wicken again, we could just see the higher wooded land on the edge of Suffolk, near Newmarket.

So that was 'new green bike's' first road trip, time to put it/her?* back on top of the car for the drive back home. Cliff's bike has a quick-release front wheel and stows easily inside the car.

I've just checked the distance and to my surprise we had cycled 17 miles! It really didn't seem that far . . . I was enjoying riding 'new green bike' too much to notice!

PS do you think 'new green bike' needs a name? I don't usually name my bike, but she's so lovely. What do you think? Any ideas?


  1. I love your new bike and what a great route you took her on. As a child the sight of Ely cathedral emerging from the fens signified that we were almost at my grandparents. I think I'd like a bike and a bike rack like yours and then I could go on adventures too. I read all of the Swallows and Amazons books as a child and wanted to live in them!

  2. LOVE your bike - what a fabulous colour! Happy pedalling!

  3. What a perfect colour/day/bike/tearoom! I must admit when Mr K bought me my'new' bike I was a teensy bit disappointed with the colour. It's silver and whilst it may outperform my old one it's not red and shiny. These things count! Here's to the start of many an adventure x Jane

  4. Desdemona? Gloria? She is utterly gorgeous. I'm a huge fan of bikes and cycling, I feel your excitement. It was the perfect weather for your inaugural ride. I read all the Swallows and Amazon books as well, I absolutely loved them. CJ xx

  5. eau de Nil? Cleopatra? Cleo to her friends?

    One day ... I dream of seeing Ely cathedral rising over the fens. But I'd be walking.

  6. Celia, your enthusiasm and joy jumps off the screen when I read this. I wish you more happy days cycling the length and breadth of the county. Too many inclines and hills down here to make me want to get on a bike! I'll stick to shank's pony but have to admit to a tiny bit of envy of you having such a wonderful machine to travel around on. Something to be said for green energy eh?

  7. A pretty a green as a grasshopper!

  8. You don't know me but I stumbled on your blog and enjoyed the read, so thanks,Also Many happy return an congratulations on your new bike it Sounds like you both had a wonderful ride, I love Ely, but for cycling I prefer the cover of the rolling Suffolk lanes with thier hedgerows. Perhaps you could give the 'Peapod' bike a Suffolk jornt next :0) enjoy.

  9. Oh Celia, your bike is absolutely beautiful, I LOVE the colour. Is it too much of a leap (!) to go from Grasshopper (as above) to Jiminy (as in Cricket) for a name?
    Happy pedalling! x

  10. I remember the thril of a new bike, happy days!

  11. Celia, this bicycle adventuring looks like fun! I am looking forward to hearing more tales of the road.


  12. What a beautiful new bike. I'm very envious!

  13. I love your new bike - a 'proper' bike! It was wonderful weather yesterday for a trip across the fens and Peacock's tearoom is the perfect place for a halfway stop.

  14. Oh my goodness what a beautiful blog post, that is a gorgeous bike and I hope it takes you on many a lovely trip!

  15. Lovely to see your route on your super new bike! Very smart and so much more comfortable that the straight handlebars. Great photos, you'll have lots of fun.

  16. The Fens are such a great area for cycling although I've only ever approached Ely Cathedral by car or train :). It's a magical landmark. Wishing you many happy hours ahead pedalling.


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