Friday, January 1, 2010

First cycle Ride of the Decade 2010 - clear, sunny and cold!

After a night of reasonable moderation spent celebrating the New Year (and Decade) it was not too difficult deciding to go out and get in the first cycle ride of the new decade. The weather was colder - around freezing and there was more ice around on the country lanes and tracks - but it was also much brighter and clearer as well. I wore an extra layer of clothing to provide some more insulation and then tried to find my buff - tube/scarf thing that can be worn around the neck and pulled up over the mouth and nose if it gets to cold. (You can also wear it as a hat and as a form of sweat band in the summer!). I wore it to help keep the cold air away from my neck. The only problem was that I could not find the buff and with multiple layers of clothing on in the house got rather too hot and was quite relieved to actually get out into the sunlight for some cycling. As it was New year's day there were not a lot of cars around - I did pass at least five cyclists out on the trails. One stopped and asked me where different routes ended up. He had set out on a loop but was enjoying it so much wanted to extend it.

I met him at the Swaffham Bulbeck Lode bridge just after White Fen. Here are a couple of swans coming down the Lode also enjoying the sun. Almost perfect conditions - no wind, sun, clear - just cold.


It was not quite as dark as this picture of Wicken Lode shows - although the sun was close to setting just off to the left of the picture. The Lode does not flow and has frozen over. The path alongside it is has also had quite a lot of ice which made cycling tricky. There were quite a few people out and about taking advantage of the holiday to get some fresh air.


This is what the sky looked like - fairly light - the days are getting longer - helped by the clear skies.


Here is the same picture of the frozen Lode - but including the setting sun. There will be time to cycle around the corner to get pictures of the sunset over Baker's Fen


The next two pictures are of the same scene over Baker's Fen - the first one has been pieced together from four pictures taken in sequence and stitched together using Photoshop Elements. (Although it is windows 7 compatible it does not seem to behave in quite the expected way - or at least how I expect it to behave.)

WF Panorama1.jpg

Pretty much the same view but taken as one picture - the colour is more even.


Further en-route is Burwell Lode near what is locally called Cock Up Bridge (an electrically operated bridge). On the map though it is shown as High bridge - although I am not sure whether that refers to the area or this wallker's bridge - which although not that high does provide the highest vantage point around.


I had not realised but I often stop at or near bridges to take pictures - this spot is called Barston Bridge - where Barston Drove turns into Little Fen Drove. By the time I reached this point the sun was below the horizon with purples and reds in the sky.


More closely in line with the sunset the sky was a slightly peach colour. To give a sense of scale to the right at Electricity Pylons marching from Burwell through Cambridge, where a spur "drops off" some electricity, on to Bedford 30miles/48Km off to the west.


By the time I got home it was dark and below freezing - after around 3 hours in this temperature I do notice my feet beginning to get cold - although not painfully so - it's those cleats!

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