‘Adventure’. The word conjures visions of mountains, epic vistas, and arduous travel. But not to me.
To me, adventure is a feeling. It’s that sense of escaping and coming across something unexpected. It doesn’t have to be physically gruelling, or unimaginably beautiful. It just has to be an escape and a discovery. With this mindset shift, the scope for adventure opens up and finds me more regularly.
A bike ride in the May sun to get fish and chips, before exploring some of the local bridleways is just the level of adventure that can be planned and executed in less than 12 hours. It’s a small-scale, easily accessible adventure that includes a bit of an escape and a discovery. It’s the sort of adventure that I advocate for, and have been doing for some time now.
Meeting in Huggate’s public car park/nature reserve (no joke – they’re the same place!), Scott and I set off with no strategy. We’d spent an appropriate amount of time faffing, chatting, and fixing a puncture in Scott’s rear tyre, but hadn’t actually planned any route. We just set off and let our legs spin. It wasn’t until we were already on the way that Scott suggested we might like to get a chippy. And there it was: a purpose to the pedal.
The usual traffic of A-roads faded into the distance as we weaved through small country lanes along the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Wolds. After some time off the bike, we spun gently at a pace which allowed us to recall stories of past trips through Scotland, discuss recent life events, and share dreams of leaving the day job behind to cycle full time. It didn’t take long to reach Wetwang – a real place, I swear – less than 10km later and the source of our fish and chips which we slowly ate in the sun.
Eventually, after the shadows of nearby houses had traced around to begin to put us in shade, we began the journey again. Once more, with no plan, we let our bikes decide where they’d take us and eventually decided that we’d chance some unknown bridleways that we’d spotted on the map. They turned out to be overgrown, partially ploughed alongside farmer’s fields, and perfect for just such a mini-adventure. The gravel bike provided enough of a challenge on the terrain to keep the ride interesting and I can only assume that Scott felt the same as he pedalled his hybrid bike behind me. Occasionally, we stopped and snapped some photos of the views, of each other, of the day.
All-in, we probably cycled less than 20km in the afternoon. But, that doesn’t matter to me. It’s never really been about the distance. Instead, putting the emphasis on having a laugh and seeing somewhere new always seems to leave me feeling at peace once again and this chippy ride managed that perfectly.