Bolsover | Turf Farms & Gravel Pits

Bolsover was initially settled by the Scots in the early 1800’s.  Farmers.  Mill owners.  They were a hearty lot.  Fiercely independent.  It was a hard life back then.  And, still is.  The soil here is sandy and dry.  Not suitable for large scale, commercial farming.  Much of the land is used for cattle grazing.

In recent years, there have been new uses for the land.  A growing number of turf farms and gravel pits are popping up.  The cottagers have resisted the gravel pits.  They are concerned about the increased truck traffic and changes to the water table.  Still they continue to pop up.  Within a 10 km radius of the cottage there are 3.

I cycled over 80 km today and passed all three production sites.  I decided to spend a few hours on my favourite roads to the west along the eastern shoreline of Lake Simcoe from Brechin to the north and Beaverton to the south.  It was warm.  Almost summer like.  23 degrees Celsius.  And, there was very little wind.  Imagine that.  No wind.  It has been several weeks since I have enjoyed a windless ride.  My pace was faster.  I stayed down on the drops most of the time maintaining a steady 27-30 kph pace.  Faster at times.  There were several flat sections I sped along at 35 kph and once, at 45 kph.  That is fast for me on the Roberts.  Having to battle the wind for 2 weeks has strengthened both my legs and, resolve.   There is a lot to do here.  Chores.  Gardening.  Repairs.  Fishing.  I choose to cycle.

I am more comfortable on the drops.  Almost prefer the position.  I notice when my pace slows either because of a headwind or small grade, I get out of the saddle, increase the pace for several pedal strokes and then sit back down.  I’ll also do this when I want to increase the pace.  I don’t remember doing this previously.  Today, I cycled over 80 km and maintained a steady pace the entire time.  This is what the wind has done for me.  Made me stronger and more aerodynamic.

I will ride again tomorrow before dismantling and packing up the bike ready for the flight home on Friday.  This time, for my last ride, I will head north and east to Canal Lake.  Some of the roads are rougher.  But, the weather is forecast to be the same as today.  Warm.  Clear skies.  And, no wind.

There are no turf farms or gravel pits on the roads to Canal Lake.  It is fishing country.

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