The Filled Nostril Cyclist

I’m cheating for this post as this week has been very mean with the hours it provided (in that there have been nowhere near enough for the things I needed to do) and before I go to bed I have to finish at least three Pogimals for delivery tomorrow…

One of the things I do that you might not know about is I (badly) write a (daft) monthly column for a local magazine.  Initially it was on cycling in the locality and was quite sensible.  Now it’s cycling in the locality with a Pog slant.  Previous columns have charted my conversations with pheasants and my studies on the colours that make sheep baa (they ignore black tops, hate fluorescent yellow).  Anyway, my column was due this week so I thought I’d post that to give you a taste of Country Bumpkinsville.  Or rather, the smell of it… 

The Filled Nostril Cyclist

Early morning bike rides smell totally different to evening ones.  This morning was a veritable treat for my nasal passages.

There is a particular smell when you first step outside the house and into early sun, and it is lovely.  It’s almost worth hauling yourself out of bed for…

Through the first village the hedgerows smelled of…erm…dog pee.  So that was lovely.  I have to say, it didn’t improve much.  Having sneaked through some ‘road closed’ signs I squeezed past the group of workmen busily smoking as they surveyed the road.  I think I probably inhaled the equivalent of a Marlboro Light.  Bleugh.  The olfactory experience improved a little further on when I passed some huge puddles (also known as potholes full of water.  Note to the driver who called me a lot of not particularly nice names the other night when I cycled round them:  I may have lost my bike and drowned in them had I tried to cycle through.  Well, I would have at least got a puncture and / or fallen off.)  Anyway, the smell of early morning sun on early morning puddles is delicious.  Go and inhale one at your next opportunity.

We then progressed to frying onions.  I know.  At 7am.  Breakfast maybe?  Not a whiff of bacon though…there’s no accounting for taste.  On a few miles further and I passed a young lad in a very new looking uniform on his way to work.  He has a smell too.  Aroma de full-bottle-of-aftershave.  I sincerely hoped, for his colleagues sakes that he worked outside… 

Next, past the fish van that was set up and already serving fresh fish fromHastings.  Again, I could have managed without it, but it wasn’t offensive – just a bit…whiffy.

Back into the country and past some stables where the ripe smell of Country Bumpkinsville, also known as horse poo (but quite nice all the same) assailed me.  Then another squeeze past the smoking-like-chimneys workmen who had thrown some smoke making – tarmac breaking tool into the mix.  I actually tried to stop breathing as I passed that.  Double bleugh. 

Back down the hill home, I breathed in and out deeply.  The smells may be varied and some may not be great, but you wouldn’t want to fill your lungs with any of the air in a big city.  And here, well here, it’s just the best way to start the day.      

So there you go people; a little taste / smell of my local area.  Sorry for ‘cheating’ and not writing from scratch.  I have time to do a spot of Pogimal midwifery now though before I completely cremate my dinner…


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