Sunday, January 31, 2010

Yet more bleak Fens - the GPS still works, but complains

It is amazing how time flies, especially as you get older - it seems like no time at all since we were welcoming in the new year and new decade and already it is the last day of the month. My Garmin Edge 605 GPS still continues to work, but still complains about the low battery level. despite that it operates for 2.5 hours at least in recording mode and over 16 hours when just on - not bad for a low level of charge in the battery. I am not sure quite what to do next:

  • it is either the battery charge level detection that has gone wrong or

  • has a programming fault or the battery has a problem, say a drop in voltage but still capable of storing charge

    (which would throw the battery sensing circuit but could still allow the GPS unit to function - they are pretty tolerant of precise voltage levels)

  • a loose cable from the battery to the battery monitoring circuitry.

If it continues to work I will probably do nothing - but the next step is to see how long it will continue to record data before turning off. I am also going to send an email to Garmin support and post a note on one of the Garmin forums.

I also need to replace the bottom bracket on my Marin. I am not sure how far I have cycled on the Marin Hybrid - but probably around 5,000Km/3,000miles. I am a little surprised that the bottom bracket has gone so soon - but the bike does take a lot of punishment when cycling on the farm tracks. When on rough ground I generally stand on the pedals using my legs to take the bouncing which puts load into the bearing. I am hoping it will last a little longer though and then I will replace the chain and rear cogs as well and put some new mudguards on. I want to avoid all of that before the worst of the winter is over.

We have not had any more snow, it is colder though. The weather report suggested +3 during the day and -2C during the night. As I type this it is 0C. Yesterday's sprinkling of snow has melted in most places but is still in evidence in the shade. They have also gritted the roads after the reports of a number of accidents yesterday.

Funnily enough what got me out was, everyone else had gone out and the need to check out the GPS. I set off later than I had wanted so stuck with a quick zip through the Fens, but I did try to take some different scenes. Here are the remnants of yesterday's snow.


I did cycle up along some of the droves - this is a picture overlooking Commissioners' Drain by Split Drove near Reach. The water level is quite high. despite it being a bit gloomy the clouds in the sky were nicely lit by the sun.


This track does not have a name on the map I am using - although it is a continuation of Headlake Drove - it has been well used by the farm vehicles and there was a lot of the peat mud on the road. It was quite tricky cycling on the road not sure whether it was slippery mud, ice, frozen rutted mud or potholes causing the bike to jink around. Nothing untoward happened though, except for getting thoroughly spattered by the mud - the bike got its fair share of mud as well.


This patch of water lies on the Washes near Upware - it is quite shallow and is the first to freeze.


Some more bleak ploughed fields, although the clouds looked ominous it stayed dry.


Behind this ploughed field is Fodder Fen with the River Cam behind. I liked the pastel skies behind the clump of trees.


After passing through Wicken Fen it was time to negotiate the Highland Cattle. There was a young calf on the track is I approached it shot of, startled by me cycling by. Fortunately his mother did not see any need to chase me. If you look closely you can see mud all over the bike.


The skies were nicely reflected by Burwell Lode -these walkers on the bridge stayed fairly still as my camera took the seven pictures for the software to combine. It was still so the reflections of the clouds stand out.


Yesterday I saw a deer as I was passing down towards Burwell - it stayed still long enough for me to get my camera out and take its picture as it walked away. I saw another deer today, but was not quick enough to take its picture so yesterdays deer will have to do.


Once again my toes were like blocks of ice so the bike will have to wait until tomorrow for its hose down!

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