Real Men Sow

Common Ground Between the Allotment and Riding My Bike

Regular readers and those who have the misfortune to know me in real life will be aware that aside from the allotment, my other passions in life are fishing and riding bikes.

From time to time I do try to make the odd tenuous links between these hobbies, like deciding whether I wanted a rain soaked allotment or dry bike trails, and thanking the allotment for making me feel manly again following a pathetic summer of fishing.

I’m afraid I am finding myself doing it again.

A Change in the Weather
Riding to work this morning, I really noticed a change in the weather. I don’t mean a ‘brrr, its cold today’ generic kind of thing – we’ve all been saying that for ages – but a definite, measurable dip in temperatures, almost as if I could pinpoint it as the very start of winter.

I think it’s only when you’re really out there, regularly being part of the outdoors, do you truly feel these shifts. I don’t notice them pootling along in my little car like I do on my bike at 7.30 in the morning.

It occurred to me today that being on the allotment is the same. I notice all the tiny giveaways that I might not in normal life.

The Common Ground Between Cycling and Allotments
Lots of similarities between cycling and working the plot became apparent. Of course, there are the obvious ones, like both activities being good for health and the environment, but I reckon there are a couple of others too.

I get to see much more wildlife close up riding my bike and working the allotment, and it has helped me develop a greater appreciation for the beauty of animals. I’ve raced hares down the country lanes and seen barn owls fly within a few metres of me whilst on my bike, and made friends with a blackbird and admired a rare wasp spider on the allotment.

I once read on a cycling internet forum that ‘…the weather’s never as bad as it looks out of the window,’ and I think this can also be applied to the allotment. There is something exciting about getting kitted up in winter clobber and getting outside for a good old dig, just as riding through the frost in several layers is a real buzz.

There is also a certain grace to both hobbies. Watching a strong, smooth cyclist is a pleasing sight, as is the gentle way in which an allotment holder potters about, tending to plants and helping them on their way.

I’m sure there are loads more comparisons I can make. Cycling and growing veg are two outdoor activities after all, but these are the ones that came to mind on my way to work today.

Thinking more about this now, I reckon I may invest in a basket for my bike.Then I can harvest and cycle. Now that’d be perfect.

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  1. Liz RJanuary 4, 2012 at 5:59 pmReply

    Thanks for this post… I found it when I googled “allotments for cyclists”. My quest is to find out whether it’s practical to take on an allotment if my only means of transport is a bike. Do you think it’s feasible to transport things to and from the allotment by bike? You mentioned getting a basket to start harvesting by bike, but I’d also need to transport tools. This strikes me as being a bit problematic! I’ve also never had an allotment before and am not very green-fingered, but I figure I’ll cross those bridges when I come to them.

  2. Real Men Sow » Blog Archive » Could You Go Car Free on the Allotment?February 21, 2012 at 7:20 pmReply

    [...] was in response to one of my daft cycling / allotment hybrid posts that I’m prone to writing from time to time, and considering the amount that I use my car on my plot, got me [...]

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About Real Men Sow

meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope. However, over a decade later, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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