This morning I got up at six o'clock, jumped onto the mountainbike and went off for a ride. It was just a little chilly. There was a bitter but pleasant tang in the air that always reminds me of camping, of sticking my head out of a tent doorway first thing in the morning. The sky was full of blue-grey clouds with an occasional narrow streak of blue sky. On the pull up to the summit of the road over Bellerby Moor three crows were disembowelling a dead rabbit. I got the impression that they flew off far sooner than they would have had I been in a car. Was it because pushbikes, unlike cars, have a human on the outside, or was it just a question of familiarity? They probably see fifty cars coming towards them for every bike. Most of the moorland in the immediate vicinity is used by the MOD for training and is hedged round with warning signs and red flags. However, not all of it is, and close to the summit I dismounted, and climbed a small hillock. It was a place I had not paid much attention to in the past and I was struck by how one notices such details in the landscape when riding a bike. At the top, I sat myself on a rock and ate an orange. On most days I would have enjoyed a clear view of Pen Hill and the other sizeable hills of Coverdale but this morning there was simply a blue-grey haze where the hills ought to be.