Monday, October 20, 2014

Messing about on the pedals

Friday, Saturday and Sunday – 1st, 2nd and 3rd August 2014: How time flies, and how I keep re-using the same old phrases in my Posts. It is inevitable though.  These posts are a diary of my rides, pictures and thoughts (about cycling) and whilst things often don’t seem to change when you stop to reflect they have changed a great deal and we take those changes for granted.

For me a bad start to the morning is when I get up and sit at my computer to find that the Internet is having issues. Which is what happened yesterday (Sunday in real-time). A friend pooped round at one point and he had been planning on getting some work done – only to find the Internet problems were thwarting him.

But when you stop and think, we haven’t had the Internet that long, even my kids (early 20s) remember not having it and we had a home network when it was still a dial-up service. I won’t go on about black and white TV …

What I will do is include my Summary of my cycling distance so far for the year but bear in mind that my Posts are a bit late – so this is for distance cycled to the end of July.

Distance Cycled  in 2014 - up to the end of July

Month Distance (Km) Distance (Miles)
January    503    315
February    610    381
March 1,085    678
April 1,150    719
May 1,066    666
June    719    450
July    870    543
Total 6,003 3,752

 

Friday, 1st August 2014: This was a POET’s day ride and I had time constraints so I popped out into the Fens along Lodes Way and back. There was not a lot of time to take pictures or rather I didn’t make time – this looks like a Snapdragon and a quick Google search (other websites are available – remember AltaVista!) and hey presto it is Linaria vulgaris – also known as Common Toadflax, Yellow Toadflax or Butter and Eggs…   I think we used to call it Common Toadflax in our Wildflower tests at Primary School.

Wild Snapdragon – Linaria vulgaris – Common Toadflax

There is always something to see and take pictures of.

Saturday, 2nd August 2014: this was a post-chores ride with things to do so again I only took a few pictures. I did ride my usual Podcast catchup route though which included Low Fen Drove Way once Pounds Lane and Biggin Road, Hundred Acres Road and variations on the theme of Lodes Way.

Low Fen drove Way starts off as tarmac, becomes a potholed gravel track, then flat mud and then rutted mud before reverting to a gravelled track.  About two-thirds of the way around the worst bit of the track has a short stretch of concrete track running in parallel. On the Satellite view the right of way is below the two concrete strips. Although you would be forgiven for thinking that the Public Right of Way (PROW) runs along the concrete tracks.

I guess whoever farms the area couldn’t rely on the passability of the heavily rutted muddy bit of track and by-passed it. The concrete bit is not a right of way.  As a byway motor vehicles can use the route and I have followed a 4x4 (Land Rover Discovery) down the muddy bit of the byway, despite the large ruts. I am not sure what the obligations are in terms of upkeep of the surface of the byway. Here is a link to PROW obligations, there is stuff about widths and encroachment but not about the quality of the track itself.

To prevent users of Low Fen Drive Way unwittingly encroaching on the private concrete track route an earth barrier was built (there is a gate at the other end).  It would seem that someone has decided to remove the earth barrier the farmer perhaps.

Low Fen Drove Way

Two Trees off Low Fen Drove Way in a field of Golden Stubble

Sunday, 3rd August 2014: There is still a lot of activity going on in the fields, despite it being a Sunday, farmers can’t hang around waiting for Monday before working the fields.

Dust Clouds from Combining – the grain tractor closes up for the next load

It is not too uncommon to see people ride horses around the area.  In fact over the last two weeks I have passed a few. In two cases the riders were on there mobile phones – not illegal as far as I know. I stop when using my phone on the bike – I do it to avoid too much panting down the line rather than because of the distraction – it can be a bit off-putting for the caller. they generally stick to the country lanes though. Motorists generally do pay attention to horse riders but can’t get too close before they realise there is a horse ahead. As a cyclist I’ve lost count of the number of times I have been passed by a car or van where they have clearly misjudged my speed and pass me close by but are still moving to the other side of the road after they have passed me.  The spirit was willing but their mental powers of computation were pretty damn weak.

In this case the horse rider has a somewhat reluctant dog acting as the guard.  I wait and then from a reasonable distance either gently ting my bell or say hello. Once I have been seen I take my lead from the rider as to when to pass. Horses don’t really like to have a silent cyclist suddenly whizz by them.

Horse rider and reluctant dog our exercising in the back Lanes of Wicken

August is a great time to be out and about though.  I have never been on a canal/river/Lode boating holiday. If I did I would want to take my bicycle and explore a bit as the boat went from place to place. It must be a relaxing way to travel though and also generally away from noisy, smelly, polluting traffic.

Messing about on the Water
or
behaving appropriately on the Lode

Same picture after being got at by Google+ auto-aweseom.

Still Sunday Combining near White Fen

A look back at White Fen

You can’t beat cycling through the Fenland countryside on a summer’s afternoon.

Smile