“I think we’ve got a storm brewing!” calls out the man on the electric wheelchair as he speeds by, pointing up to the gathering clouds, wind in his hair and thick west Cumbrian accent trailing behind him.
The winds been gathering pace all afternoon and what was earlier a brisk thoroughfare of dog walkers, bikes and parents pushing pushchairs, has turned into a vista of pointlessness. Roads are senseless when there is no traffic on them, and likewise, cycle routes are purposeless when there are no walkers or cyclists hurrying their way along them.
More often than not, people navigate these paths with purpose – shopping, work, to get from A to B, to visit family or to achieve a myriad of other tasks which preoccupy their lives. The paths encourage intent-ful travel: but there are no spaces at present which encourage purposeless travel, intent free cycling or walking, or just some space to amble around in without any sense of direction. There are few places to rest or recuperate or take the foot off the intent pedal and relax for a while, free from purpose and intentfulness.
Perhaps that may change in the months to come – it’s certainly something that has been an interesting finding from Day 1 of life on the Ironmasters tracks.