Phew, I managed to cycle somewhere further than a trip to my local papershop yesterday. It was not that far, but I did not quite cycle as the crow flies. What managed to get me out and about? - well work actually. I had meetings in London and even on a very bad day the thought of driving to Cambridge Railway Station would be just too much. Despite cycling into the wind it was great to be out and although the weather forecast was not that promising I did not get wet. There were a few spots of rain but nothing to worry about.
The other positive factor was that I was travelling during the off-peak hours (cheap) and so instead of having to lock my bike up in one of the three cycle
dumping grounds parks I could leave it at Station Cycles a nearby cycle shop instead. What has off-peak got to do with it. Well Station Cycles opens from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday (except for Wednesday which is 8am-7pm they are also open at weekends as well). I used to find that if I was in London for the day I would get back after the shop had shut. I seem to remember that they opened at 7am when they first opened, which was great as I could then catch the 7.15am train. This time around I could wheel my bike into the Shop and then walk into the Station without having to waste huge amounts of time searching the area for a place to lock my bike up. It costs £1.50 a day and means that I can cycle my Longstaff in, a bike I would not be keen on locking up outside the Railway Station as it was built for me and would be difficult to replace. It also meant that I didn't have to carry a heavy lock with me. I didn't bother with a pump and repair kit either, I took an aerosol inflater, they are not that good, but fine in an emergency. They inflate the tyre with air and goo with also fixes the puncture.
In case you were wondering, this is what one of the cycle parking areas look like - this is just in front of the station.
This cycle park is actually split in two - this is the other side, the Cambridge Guided Busway (CGB) will be available to the left hand side in the background. You can see why it is better not to leave a decent bike here! Although a man who bought and sold stolen bikes using Gumtree has been brought to book.
It seems that the CGB might actually be running this summer with BAM Nuttall completing the landscaping on February 4th. Then there has to be some shenanigans over the "defects" or should that be "alleged defects" and who fixes them. In the event that BAM Nuttall don't then Cambridgeshire County Council have another company in the wings. Quite what this means for the high-quality cycle path I am not sure - electronic signs to warn of flooding along the path perhaps or more barriers to stop reckless cyclists!
And finally it would seem that our leader (well one of them) MP Julian Huppert was misfortunate enough to have had a bike accident whilst cycling in Australia and now has a 6" titanium plate in his arm. I thought the idea was to replace bits of the bike with titanium. I wish him a speedy recovery - it is frustrating waiting for a bone to mend before you can resume cycling.