Chew Magna Lake – 10 miles
I looked at the sign, looked at the trail, and made a step froward. But no, I was on foot and twenty miles was just too much for one afternoon. But I would have my bike again soon and then I would be able to visit the lake.
January, February, March
I bent over the map from Sustrans and followed cycle route three with my finger, all the way to Chew Magna Lake. Only ten miles from home. On my next day off, I would go. But nothing happened.
‘Do you want to cycle to Chew Magna Lake?‘
I received the text with a smile on my face. I was finally going to make it to the lake I’d been dreaming about for so long.
On the first proper day of sunshine, we wheeled our bikes outside of Bristol, following the signs from Sustrans. Country roads wound their way between hedges, inclines dropping down to quiet villages where the occasional car would pass by. The trees were still bare but buds had began to appear and as the sun warmed the earth it felt like winter was finally at an end.
We arrived at the lake happy for a ride out of town. We parked the bikes and went to explore the trails around the water on foot. Streams and pools encircled the footpath providing freshness in this unexpected warm day. We followed the bittern trail, stopping at a viewing point to admire the view and listen to nature around us. There were bird calls we couldn’t identify, the gentle swaying of long grass, and in my imagination the fishing lines of fishermen in the small boats we could see.
We eventually walked away, back to the bicycle for a bite to eat. Our lunch over, we lingered by the lake, the sun warming our skin. I could feel it burn my skin but couldn’t find the resolve to cover my skin. After month of long sleeves and coat, this felt too good to pass.
The afternoon was drawing to a close and my friend had to get back to Bristol. So we unlocked the bicycles and rode away, following another route from Sustrans, another entry into the city, another landscape.