It was bright, a low sun in the sky lighting up the remaining golden autumn leaves on the trees. With hardly a breath of wind, no frost, and not a chance of rain, it was the perfect day for a bike ride in the Peak District. There was just one thing missing – people!
There I was, cycling along the Tissington Trail on a weekend, when it struck me I hadn’t passed another person for 2, maybe 3 miles, and the people I had seen earlier tended to be older, there was a distinct lack of kids about. However, this wasn’t a day that delivered howling gales that make you lean sideways into the wind to stay upright, or even hailstones stinging your face red raw. It was a beautiful, dry sunny day in November, so where was everyone?
Maybe it was a bit colder than a summer’s day in August, but an extra layer of clothing, and a pair of gloves was enough to keep you toasty warm. Maybe it was a little bit muddier than a summer’s day in August, but mud can be washed off, and what’s so wrong with getting a little bit muddy now and again?
When the difference between a summer’s day and glorious autumn or winter’s day are so small, why is it so quiet out and about? Are we conditioned as humans to hibernate during the winter months, but feel obliged to get out ‘in the fresh air’ in the summer?
I’m not complaining, I’m just puzzled. I really shouldn’t write this article, and encourage other cyclists, walkers and horse riders to spoil the serene experience of having the trails all to myself. Although if you are reading this post, on this website, I suspect the vast majority of you will be here because you already know just how beautiful the Peak District can be outside of the summer months.