Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gray Days in the Fens

After the puncture the other day I have taken two steps. The first was to replace the rear tyre and inner tube. I would normally patch the inner tube a few times and if it had been the summer I would have continued to use the tyre. However the puncture was caused by a piece of flint or grit and although the tyre had a reasonable amount of rubber remaining it also had a large number if nicks and cuts in the rubber. So it seemed prudent, given the state of the roads, to replace it. I am happy with its performance to date, I have gotten a good distance out of it with minimal problems. I have also re-started carrying my rack pack, which has a pump, patches, multi-tool, and spare inner tubes

The tyre was a Schwalbe Marathon plus and I have replaced it with the same make and type - in my experience they really are very good. It might not be the fastest tyre, it might not be the lightest tyre - but it has been the most reliable tyre I have used without sacrificing too much performance. The only really gotcha, is that the tyre needs to be carefully seat on the rim, not difficult, but I have found if you don't pay attention then when the inner tube is inflated it will peak out from under the tyre and if you don't spot it soon enough will burst.

The weather has gotten a little colder here in the flatlands. I sneaked out for a ride in the morning - to fit in with other commitments in the afternoon and evening, the roadside puddles were iced over. Although the air temperature was around 2C when I set off. For a while despite my excellent Altura gloves my hands were also a little cold - I made the mistake of not being warm when I set off - my you after a short while I had generated enough heat to warm up my extremities.

When I have other things to do but want a decent (for me 50Km/30miles) cycle ride then it is usually Wicken Fen I head for. But when I am on a tight deadline I tend not to stop to take too many photographs. This is the shared use path through the Fen which forms part of Sustrans National 11.


Sometimes when I cycle over this bridge when it is icy or dark I do worry about sliding into the Lode - but never have. There are some works taking place elsewhere in the Fen and so the vehicles are chewing up the paths quite a lot. There is a sign apologising and indicating that the paths will be repaired once the works are over.

It was a very gray day so I took this field picture with the plough lines emphasising the size of the field almost vanishing into the distance.


On the way back through White Fen a digger had appeared - although the driver was parked up and sitting in his van - not sure why. I presume it will be part of the ongoing Lode upkeep work.


A quick spring home followed by a quick shower and a snatched lunch and yes I made it to my daughter's school in time - phew!

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