Tuesday, September 15, 2009

No news ... is no news

One of the great things about having a cycle trip planned is it provides a reason for getting out and about on the bicycle - not so much for my family, but for me. Before I had chosen, or booked a trip to India my wife gave me a book on India for Christmas as encouragement to go, because I had mentioned it. As my son is going along as well I will need to just nudge him to do a little bit of cycling before we leave, I am not worried about his fitness or ability to cycle 120Km in a day, but cycling is a more pleasant activity once you have gotten over the saddle sore phase. I am not sure what physiological changes take place, but, for me anyway, after not cycling for a few weeks I do feel a little bruised after cycling, particularly the day after, but after a week or so of cycling the pains recede as the "sit bones" get used to it, for more information here is an article on Bike Biz. Many non-cyclists assume that it is because of the saddle being too hard - personally I find that a firm saddle is better than a soft and squishy saddle. I use a Brooks leather saddle (B17 Ti), in fact I have two, one on my Brompton and one on my touring bike, the touring one went to Thailand/Cambodia/Vietnam with me and was the cycling equipment high-spot as the hired bikes were not! The theory is that after around 100 to 500 miles the leather moulds to the cyclist, certainly I have found mine to be very comfortable, my touring saddle has probably done around 9,000 Km / 5,600 miles including over 200 Km/ 125 miles in a day (with me on it of course!).

So with a trip in the booking stages I am getting flights/visas and jabs sorted. I visit the Nurse tomorrow to discuss what I might need - I have seen conflicting advice on the need for anti-malarials, but will use them if recommended. At the moment it seems that there is a sale on flights which is good.

Because of other commitments I am "restricted" to shortish cycle trips which tend to centre around Wicken Fen - here I have been going "off-road" on a short piece of track called Harrison's Drove. There are actually two on Google maps they are slightly parallel but separated by the various lodes. The one I am talking about is the one that heads to Wicken Lode. It seems that another cyclist had the same idea as we passed on the track. This bit is the easy bit - although you have to watch out for where the concrete slabs at the start of the road/track no longer align.


At the end of this bit of reasonable track there is a nice path across the fields, although I am not sure it is a path or not, I have not cycled along it, but would if it were allowed.


The track then turns to a rutted bit of green road. The National Trust use if for access on their tractors/land rovers. When the weather is dry it is fairly easy to cycle along, as long as you take the deep ruts in-line. When it is wet, some ruts become very muddy, not so bad on a MTB, but very tricky on my touring bike which has thinner tyres. I have come off once or twice on this track, but generally, you know the going is tricky and can respond and roll into the vegetation. When I have a bit more time for a longer trek I will pop up to nearby Thetford Forest, which has various classed of runs for a longer ride. The choice I have to make though is whether to drive there with my MTB in the car or cycle on my hybrid. Generally not driving always wins out it just seems wrong to drive to cycle when it is not so far away. I really ought to cycle on my MTB, but the thought cycling on roads with knobbly tyres is off-putting.


Now off to cycle to the Cambridge railway station for a meeting in London, the thing that will annoy me is if there are car spaces but not cycle spaces - arghh! Oops better look on the positive side it might never happen.

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