Friday, February 19, 2010

Droves, Lodes, Pubs and the CGB

For a variety of reasons I did not go out on my bike yesterday, it was cold and rainy being the main ones. I do find it harder when the weather is not so good. I can take one element of bad weather but add two together and it becomes much more difficult. So windy and wet, wind and snow or the combination I dislike the most, cold and wet, all put me off.

I had another incentive today, I had a lunchtime meeting at the Dyke's End Pub in Reach - one of my favourite pubs for lunch in the area - delicious food, home brewed beer and a fire. There is nothing else like it to look forward at the end of a cycle ride in the freezing fens. Actually in a blazing sunny climate cycling on dry, dusty roads an ice-cold beer is also something to look forward to.

I also took the longer route which took me past Headlake Drove as I cycled on to Upware. This time I stopped to take a picture of the sign that heralds the start of the Connect 2 bridge over Reach Lode. An interesting coincidence is that the contractor appears to be BAM Nuttall who are also the contractors building the Cambridge Guided Busway (CGB). The CGB seems to be quite a topic for the local paper - "Bus slogan drives home anger over guideway delays". One of the two local companies who will run services over the CGB have put a slogan on the side of some of their buses "Will I be on the busway soon? They invested £3 million in new buses which at one point might have been running last Summer. The article does also mention the fact that no-one seems to be able to name the date - I winder why?

The road in the picture is Headlake Drove which will be one of the very quiet roads that cyclists will get to cycle down when the route is complete. You have to be a bit careful at the moment - the combination of peaty soils, decomposing leaves and recent rain have left the road quite slippery.


If you carry on along Headlake Drove you come to Split Drove where contractors have already been at work. Around a couple of bends some trenches have been dug - I wonder if they are to strengthen the road for the passage of heavy trucks carrying bridge bits? Or at least to ensure long articulated trucks can navigate the road. The road (Split Drove) ends where you can see the bushes to the right, which is where there appears to be a base camp for the Bridge work. (I spotted an office and digger and van - although they might be the archaeological investigators.)


In the opposite direction along Commissioners' Drain the clouds were quite dramatic - in fact there were beams of light shining down from them - what my son used to call miracles when he was a little boy. The HDR techniques has over-dramatised the picture - but in a good way I think.


When I got to Reach I was a little concerned that my lunch meeting was at 12.00 rather than the 12.30 time I arrived so I checked my email and left a message. Whilst waiting for a response I cycled around Reach and took this picture of a boat moored on Catch Water Drain - not a bad little backwater to live by.


It turns out that the date for the lunch was the subject of a misunderstanding - the English language can be quite ambiguous sometimes. It was a confusion about what next week meant. Still it was a good opportunity to take a picture of the pub - the Dyke's End - the picture is even more over processed using the HDR program - it almost looks autumnal.


On the way back to Cambridge via White Fen the chap doing the Lode repair work was working by the side of his digger. This picture was taken earlier. With all the recent rain the top of the banking was churned to mud and so too dangerous to work on. It turns out that he has been doing quite a lot of the Lode work around here and has tickets to drive 14 different types of digger and has a lot of experience - but pretty much after these works are finished he will be retiring although not totally from choice. Sometimes expediency wins out over experience.


After my thoughts on the enmity between motorists and cyclists I saw this piece on "5 million death trap cars on the road". I know that this is slightly over-sensationalised but it does not give me much confidence as a cyclist sharing the roads with those death traps.

1 comment:

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