Stamp here

I think one of the many good things about cycling is that it allows you to wander around the countryside alone without being regarded as suspicious.

I love to walk accompanied, and generally prefer it, but I love to walk anywhere anyway, so will happily walk alone too. In cities this is easy, and I have enjoyed hundreds of solitary city wanders. But these days I think it’s harder in the countryside: there’s always the lingering paranoia that people regard you with suspicion, unless you have a dog with you, which is the necessary passport. Oh for a dog (and currently, oh for a wire fox terrier, having idly researched my dog-of-choice, though I still love spaniels and Airedales).

So if a dog is a passport to the country, a bike is at least a visitor’s visa: you can’t quite always get so far, in the sense of wandering along obscure little paths, but you can at least zip along the lanes and appreciate your surroundings.