My last morning ride came with an unexpected pleasure in the form of a little fatty robin I came across on the road. Not that I ‘d say the bird in question is rare or difficult to spot; but it was there, it was beautiful, and the encounter if you can call it so had some kind of intimacy about the way and the scenery and the slightly rough weather conditions at the moment it took place.

Erithacus rubecula by Bernard Dupont at Flickr

Rides are becoming a bit more adventurous as the winter little by little comes in. Roads are dangerous —always; now much more, even intimidating to tell you the truth. I learned it the hard way a few weeks ago.

These days, one very small slip of the mind is all it takes for you to be off and out and bruised if not broken. Concentration on the bike is king. Beware each and every moment if there’s wet on the road, on your tires; dirt in the form of pebbles, or fallen leaves, rocks, twigs, whatever. Mind the bumps and potholes; factor in the sharpness of the oncoming bend and the varying width of the road and find the right line while bending —incline at your own risk. And pray for gusts not to enter into the equation as the unknown.

Riding is less fun this way. But then there is the increased silence and quiet on the road and the thrill of both solitude and grayness on the hills, along with the welfare you get from those sunny winter mornings whenever you chance upon one on the right side of the mountain if you do.

And the robins of course.