Glorious sunshine poking through the trees and dappling the windless path sparsely inhabited by kids, parents, grandparents, fisherman, joggers, teenagers jumping into the less murky patches of water, and dog walkers galore. Every hundred yards or so punctuated by a brand new corner that I'd never seen before. After a few miles it seems pointless to turn back, when should I stop? What should be the point that makes me think "this is far enough, time to head home"?
Then the obvious hit me, as it so often does, that the only logical place to catch my breath before heading home was a pub. I had in mind an idyllic canalside beer garden, all parasols and pints of pale. Just a mile down the road and ready for discovery.
It turned out the first pub I spotted was about 5 miles out of Leeds. A small, vibrant little place with an outside BBQ and enthusiastic if talent-challenged local band being enjoyed by just the right amount of people. A local pub, full of mostly local people, set back about 50 yards from the canal, but with a friendly, inviting atmosphere. Full but not heaving. A few nice beers on the bar, I opted for a Kirkstall Pale.
I do remember the name of the place, but I'm not going to tell you. There's thousands of pubs just like this one all over the country, and whilst I love the craft beer bars of the City Centres, it's places like this that made us fall in love with pubs, isn't it?
Go out there and find them. They're there, waiting to be discovered. Little pockets of joy that nobody else has to know about.
Now I'm mobile on two wheels, I'll certainly be doing so myself.