Friday, 8th October: Sometimes life is about choices, the weather forecasters has predicted a brief spell of fine weather, so should I cut the lawn or go for a ride. Well I should cut the lawn, leaves are starting to fall on it, it has grown significantly over the last couple of weeks. The longer it gets the harder it is to cut... No contest really - out for a cycle ride. After the previous day's exploration it was back to familiar territory along Low Fen Drove up to Horningsea and then along to the Lodes Way to Wicken Fen and back. Once again the weather was pretty good with sun and blue skies.
With the days getting shorter in the flatlands and sunset at 18:17 on 10-10-10 (which in binary is 42 - the answer to the Ultimate question of Life the Universe and everything) I routinely carry lights, it only takes a puncture to delay me and anyway cyclists should light up 30 minutes before the sunset here in the UK. Actually I am not so sure quite when you should put your lights on - the Highway code talks about using lights at night - rule 60 and I have seen reference to it being both + and - 30 minutes from sunset/sunrise. Although commons sense suggests that it really depends upon the conditions. As a cyclist I put on my front light as a flasher (the light not me) earlier than I need to. It gets me seen, it does not use much battery energy. I don't find seeing where I am going in the twilight a problem on a bike - rather it is being seen. (The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames suggest lights on at "sunset or when visibility is seriously reduced".)
Except I forgot to take a front light and despite it looking bright and sunny when I set off I was a bit concerned so did not dally too much on my ride. It is a route I have ridden before so I won't bother adding a map. This was the sight that greeted me after crossing the bridge over the A14 on Low Fen Droveway. Rather strange - a "green" fly-tipper. Actually this is of course a problem for vehicles using this road (as it is shown on the map). Whoever dumped this has gone to the trouble of chipping the green waste, a tree I should think, but then tipped it across the road. Weird if you ask me.
The road passes some kennels, you can't miss the barking, before becoming a proper byway - a bit muddy but no deep ruts so pretty easy to ride on my Hybrid. These byways are often working routes and you can't blame the farmers, they have to get to their fields.
The field alongside the byway, not long ago there was hay-making, then ploughing, then shoots of the next crop appeared - now those shoots are growing.
When I got to the Horningsea Road I popped up to see what the new Horningsea Cycleway was like over the bridge over the A14. It has to pass an exit and an entrance to the A14. The exit is light-controlled the entrance is not - so it would seem to be a little tricky for cycling to school. When I cycled back I stopped to take a picture as the road signs indicating that the path is shared-use have been uncovered. Just as I was taking my camera out of its bag a Recumbent whizzed down the "hill" made by the bridge. Here he is (the cyclist) disappearing off into the distance (well Horningsea.)
This is the picture I stopped to take. The brown-leaved tree is a Horse-chestnut - suffering from leaf-miner moth infestation.
Just as I reached Horningsea a People Carrier parked right across the Cycleway - the driver was stopping to gain access to a field. You can just see her getting back in after opening the gate. Am I being picky or wouldn't it be more reasonable for her to park alongside the pavement and open the gate. Yes it would block the road - but as it is she is blocking the road, the gold coloured car had to slow right down. Or maybe inset the entrance gate a little to provide space for the car to stop without obstructing the Cycle way. Agreed it did not take her long to get out and unlock the gate and then hop back in again - but it would not take much to sort out the entrance either.
Despite it starting off quite bright the clouds seemed to have followed me after my ride around Needingworth yesterday. This is White Fen, looking from the bridge over Swaffham Bulbeck Lode bridge. An area of such beauty they stuck in two sets of electricity pylons to march across the countryside.
The route I took was via Upware - although I like the Lodes Way I like to use a different route out to the one I take on the way back. A lot of fun was being had in canoes on Reach Lode.
I took this picture of a boat whilst standing by the Lock at Upware - at first it looked as it if were moored in a field - using the zoom lens makes it clearer that it was actually in the River Cam.
As I mentioned earlier it was getting darker by the minute so not wishing to compromise too much on the distance I got my head down and pedalled around Wicken Fen and back along Lodes Way. I listened to Electric Eel Shock on my Mp3 player - they are a Japanese Garage and Rock and Roll band - it makes good cycling music, (although I suppose you also have to like it as well).