During June we’ve been challenged to do one wild thing each day! Working as an Education Officer with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, means I’m very lucky and most days can be found outside hunting for mini beasts or taking our toddler group out to play on our reserves. But this June started with me facing up to getting wild in a completely different way than I’m used to, going on a massive bike ride.
The last time I rode a bike was about seven years ago, when my now husband thought it would be hilarious to brake in front of me suddenly, which of course ended up with me going over the handlebars and having some beautiful grazes on my knees. I don’t know if I would have chosen to go bike riding on a whim myself, but we’ve recently linked up with Sustrans to help children head out on their bikes and play some wildlife games along the way. So for my job I donned a helmet and, along with Alice our cycle leader, and a group of children and parents, we headed off along a beautiful cycle trail in North Solihull. I was really surprised how beautiful the cycle trail was! As we went along we spied a heron’s nest, loads of elderflowers and even a magnificent lake. I have to admit I started my ride fairly wobbly but after a short while got the hang of it. The children absolutely loved it and half way through we stopped in a small grassy glade to play our games. Even though it was raining, the children happily played the games all about birds and the local plants, before hopping back on our bikes to head back.
Going back the way we came, we picked up the pace and the child in front of me pointed out a Canadian goose’s nest, which she’d spotted the day before, as we cruised past the lake again. Back at our starting point I found the two hours we’d been out had flew by; I really loved seeing new wildlife areas I’d never been to before and exploring them in a completely different way to how I usually would. It really is amazing how much nature is right on people’s doorsteps, all the cycle paths we went on were through parkland but only seconds away from houses and flats. The children and families were all really enthusiastic and for some of them it was the first time joining the group. They left saying they’d definitely be back in the summer holidays and one family were even going off for a massive bike ride the next day, I think they’d definitely caught the biking bug!
My first time out on a bike in seven years had left me feeling really happy if I’m honest, I was pleased I could cycle and keep up. But also just getting out in nature, exploring new areas and feeling the wind and even the rain felt enjoyable (I promise I’m not just saying that). Now I’m off to plan what to do for my next Random Act of Wildness…
Want to join in with June’s fantastic wild challenge? Sign up for the 30DaysWild challenge
Thanks to Sustrans for their partnership and encouraging local children to get out and go wild!