To avoid the traffic we are cycling cross country by many small by ways - lanes, canals, disused railway tracks.
The views are beautiful and we are discovering lots of places that in a car I would ordinarily pass by. Cartmel, then Bentham meeting yesterday nestling on a small hill, then into Settle.
The morning ride took us through more glorious national park and to a tiny hamlet of Ayrton where we found another little meeting house lovingly restored and now a camping barn. We rested in the sunshine and heard some of the history and then cycled on again to Skipton along magical canal tow paths - some very bumpy and rutted that required lots of concentration and some beautifully prepared so we could speed along and enjoy the views more fully.
After Skipton we had our first experience of city riding - as we made our way to Keighley - roads where we were not sure where to position ourselves on roundabouts and alarming experiences of cycle lanes suddenly ending with no where to go.
Life in such cities looks very different from life in the countryside that we are moving on from. We know that there will be more of this to come as we go forward and that our cycling skills will be put to the test. We are hopeful that with some help of local knowledge there will nonetheless be pathways and routes to discover that will take us cheerily on our way.
In each meeting we are discovering communities that have their own history and current life that involves caring for each other and for passers by like ourselves.
I have been pondering what it takes for this sense of self and sense of community to emerge because it seems to me that these two polarities are important to a vision of caring for all.
" If I had understood these ideas before I could have been a lot more effective. In previous jobs I have usually been left to get on with it. Now I have a framework that helps me know what I am doing and why in my work with complex young people and their families" Jenny, Family support worker