I have less than 2 months now until I do the National Three Peaks by bike and foot. It’s starting to hit home just what a challenge it is going to be and that I ought to be doing some serious training. I feel quite confident about the cycling as it’s a normal part of my daily routine. I cycle to work each day, a round trip of 19 miles. The brilliant thing about cycling is that it has this practical side to it, in that it can get you reasonable distances quite quickly but it also allows you to be in touch with the countryside through which you travel. So I hear the shrill call of the Curlew, I can gaze at the swan on its nest and I’m not travelling too fast to stop and count the 40 or so swallows which are avidly feeding over a small sewage works. They’re obviously replenishing themselves after their long journey and preparing to raise a brood or two in whatever summer we get. However, my trip to work is fairly flat, no very flat with the three inclines being over 3 railway bridges. So the other weekend, recognising my need to get some hill training in I cycled to Margaret Wood for the Open day. This is 26 miles away and I end up about 1000ft higher than I started. It was well worth the effort though. The bluebells were beautiful, the new pond is looking fantastic and Vince from head office keeps hearing new species of birds each time he comes. This time it was a Lesser White-throat and last time Willow Tits.