Here in the Uk we have 250 varieties of apple. Most of them free.

Here in the UK we don't have much land, so it kind of gets re-cycled a lot. By that I mean for some decades an area will be fields, then it may be a country estate, back to fields and so on. In Surrey there is evidence of such change all around us. Old tumbledown buildings, paths to nowhere, or names hinting at old greatness, such as Mogodor. It's a pretty ancient place put to a variety of uses, but for me the fun is not in finding old estates, but the trailside food that I can consume right then, or turn into jam or pies later on. Foraging for free food holds enormous appeal. Free scoff is money saved at the cafĂ© say I.

This year all the old orchards from the old and dismantled country estates seem to have really bloomed. Whilst the houses may have gone, having been turned into housing estates, schools, or golf courses, the content of their gardens often still exist, especially the apple trees. This particular apple I found on Walton Heath, right on the singletrack, and in all honesty I've never noticed it before. 2013 has certainly been a good fruit crop year. This particular one was odd. On the ground the ones I ate were lovely and sweet, but off the tree bitter. Naturally I took home the bitter ones for my family to try.

So this year on my rides I've scoffed on bilberries over on Dartmoor and Leith Hill, blackberries everywhere, and apples galore. Missed out on some pears I spotted, and oddly the nettle crop this year didn't seem that good. And do you know why I'm spotting these things? Pootles that's what, pootles. Yup, shock, horror, on some rides I just amble around seeing what I can find. Most of the time it's just crap; old water bottles or crisp packets. If there's room in my pack they get picked up to go in a bin later on. Good finds are few and far between, but they exist. £50 in coins, a decent Camelbak runners bottle, dog leads and hiking poles leant against trees. Such finds are OK if I can carry them, but not half as good as, say, finding a hidden stash of blackberry bushes or hillside of bilberries. Why? Because with those I can bring my children back to later on in the week, and then my find becomes a social event. Bilberries are especially popular by the way.

So you STRAVA addicts, or those where every ride needs a minimum of ten participants charging around the countryside, why not, just one day, plan an amble out? Indeed 'amble' and 'plan' are not cohesive; don't plan, just get out your oldest bike, put on some old clothes, and go for a pootle. You'll see things differently and it may well give you the motivation you need to get through a grey winter.