Totally Tasty’s first taste of touring!

17th July 2013 by

At half past eleven on Thursday morning, the first cycling group rolled out from Highbridge Farm, towing Candy  the cooking trailer (named after our training week cooks, Catherine and Andy) soon followed by the second and third groups. We were only half an hour later than our aspirational/ non- negotiable 11 o’clock departure time. The sun shone and there was still a coolness to the air as we headed south down the start of road, shaded by the hedgerows. There was a shared sense of elation, of finally being on the road, the tour being underway. We had woken early, with tidying and packing to do, our group and personal belongings scattered freely across the field.

Our first ride was short, 7.5 miles to Southampton common (a site of special scientific interest) to meet for lunch by the fabled model boating lake (there were no model boats being sailed). This didn’t stop each group from getting lost as we traversed the boundary from the countryside into the city. Our route crossed the M3, and one after the other the cycling teams took the wrong turn down, to the round about entering the M3! We made it


though, the joy of riding again not beaten by busier than ideal roads and wrong turns.

A brief picnic salad (a learning curve on the appetite of a tourer vs training weeker) and we were off again to Green Space community garden, were we met Felicity, Otesha alumni of Wild West fame. We built a bug hotel, a stack of pallets, with the gaps stuffed with rolled card and newspaper, straw, grass clippings, pinecones, flower pots to encourage solitary bees, different pits of stick and wood. By providing habitat this will encourage a diversity of invertebrate life into the garden.



Thank you Felicity for the fresh dug potatoes, the nasturtium, sorrel, beet leaves, parsley, lavender, and fennel, they made our dinner! We ate that night in the common, a feast of fried potatoes, curried beans and vegetables and beautiful salad, prepared together, with lots of laughter mixed in for extra flavour. The sun went down and we burst into song and more laughter, before riding to Ropewalk, our base for the next few days. A cluster of day-glo yellow, shining reflectors and flashing lights, we happily rolled through the dark, quiet streets. Craig, our generous, enthusiastic host, met us and settled us in. We slept in the shed, a line of sardines amongst the spades and rakes, with Tristan stretched outside in a hammock. Friday came, our first day of workshops. We ran through the workshops quickly before leaving, on time, at 8 am…

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