Tan Hill Inn

Teenagers, cycling across the Dales
up country roads in the seventies sun
wheels turning, chests burning
on our way to Tan Hill Inn

Too young to drink then
we'd sit in the garden 
catch our breath and if we're lucky
maybe the northern lights
I'd take photographs
thinking to myself
one day I'll bring my wife here
one day I'll bring my children
if I have any
and we'd cycle home

All the energy I had then
all that drive to ride the Pennine Road
on the longest and the shortest days
sit by that fire, dripping dry
seemed there could never be a time
I couldn't call my friends and ride
up to Tan Hill Inn
skidding home in the snow

I thought it all was endless
it all seemed so endless then

Now my kids are grown
my kids are having their own
there's no energy left
not in these bones
to cycle up those hills
just to sit 
without drinking...


(For dad, Feb 2017)


◄ Trespassers

Death Is The Only Song ►


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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Wed 21st Jun 2017 10:46

Delightful salute to sheer youth, and the bitter-sweet 'halters' of age.

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Martin Elder

Wed 21st Jun 2017 09:35

Great imagery here Tom. Where I lived as a lad there weren't many hills to go up, but none the less there was a sense of freedom going out cycling at a young age even if I only had three gears not like now when I have twenty two!
Great poem

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M.C. Newberry

Tue 20th Jun 2017 20:57

Grand! Brings back memories of my mid-teen fights with
Bowden Hill above the Wiltshire village of Lacock, vowing
not to dismount from my Raleigh Lenton Sports until I'd
reached home a couple of turns beyond the church on its
crest. No pub there!! But the challenge was the thing
when you're fourteen and fit for anything.
The days come back with every remembered turn of the
toe-clipped platform pedals I had fitted to the Williams
chainset driving a Cyclo Benelux derailleur. Yorkie Brian Robinson was leading the UK Cinderella charge in Continental
cycle racing - and I still see his name in magazine articles six decades later! What a hero...then and now.

patricia Hughes

Tue 20th Jun 2017 20:09

Beautiful and a little bit sad.

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