Now that I live in the Lincolnshire, most of my riding is on the 36, with easy bridleways and country lanes. Although I’m not literally in the Fens, it is some distance to anything that approximates to a hill, and the nearest patch of woodland is almost completely flat and featureless.

But the other night, my stepson insisted we should all go out for a walk in the dark, with the vague idea of spotting shooting stars, and he led us to an area near to the river where there seemed to be several sloping paths.

So today I took the 24" Muni out for the first time in months to explore this tempting network of challenges.

On my way there, down by the riverside, and poddling along the top of a flood bank, on bobbly grass, I was confronted by numerous cattle. I clapped my hands loudly and most of them skittered away. I met a few more, and they reacted in the same way.

But then I met one that stood its ground. I clapped my hands and made shooing noises, and all it did was lazily turn round and walk ahead of me, slowly, insolently. With its back to me, I could clearly see that it was an uncastrated male. Not a full grown bull, but enough for me to be a little nervous of how it might act.

I kept riding towards it and it stopped and turned towards me. I slowed right down, hesitated, hit a tussock of grass, lost concentration, and the uni went forwards and I fell backwards onto my drinks bottle. The young bull ambled away. I swear I could hear bovine chuckling.

A few minutes later, I was exploring the “network of sloping paths” only to find that it offered little entertainment. I then spotted a gap in what appeared to be a high hedge, and I rode through it. It wasn’t a hedge, but a small patch of trees, with a fairly well-trodden path through the middle.

There were low branches and I was ducking and weaving, and having fun for a few seconds - then I came to a multiple obstacle: a couple of tree roots, a sharp right turn, a post on each side of me, a timber across my path, and a drop of a few inches onto mud followed by another sharp turn.

My brain was taking all this in and I hesitated before deciding to go for it. Then at the last moment, as I increased my speed to carry me over the roots, I saw that between the two posts were two strands of barbed wire! I bailed out forwards, instinctively put my hand out, felt my palm hit a metal barb, withdrew my hand and landed heavily with my belly pushed into the barbed wire.

Fortunately I was uninjured, but it could have been nasty!

And to cap it all, towards the end of my ride, a gobby little kid shouted, “Are you a circus clown.”

There is always one isn’t there!

What a load of bullocks.

Good to have you back btw.

Glad you weren’t hurt, always nice to read your write ups.

Happy you weren’t hurt badly and the bull didn’t give you any bull. It’s always so disappointing to me when people haven’t progressed past the clown remarks, oh well, :frowning:

Thanks, Mike. Your write-ups are always little pieces of literary art. The bovine chuckling sentence was a particularly nice piece of imagery. Again, congratulations on your new family and much happiness to you.

Thank you.

Nice write-up Mike. I’m not a big fan of cattle - there are always a few cocky ones round here that just stand their ground and act aggressively, with or without a scrotum. Actually I think cows with calves are statistically more likely to be aggressive than bulls - and they’re all quite a bit bigger than us!

And watch out for fences :stuck_out_tongue:


In my youth, riding a mountain bike on a night ride (moonlit no lights) in a neighboring town of Carlisle Massachusetts, I found myself being chased out of a field of tall grass by a large dark bull. I cleared the fence by the road on the bike … but when you’re 15 and lost in the woods at night, hopping an electric fence because you see the road -well it was stupid. Watch out for that bull dude.