Friday 4th, February: The windy days and stuff to do and the back twinge have all conspired to stop me from cycling, well not stop me but rather not persuade me to go out for a ride. I know excuses, but hey, this is something I do for enjoyment and I did sneak a couple of good rides in during the day last week.
But it doesn't stop me from being interested in cycling related stuff. Mind you there was a headline that predictably annoyed me in the Daily Mail: "Taken for a ride: As MPs' expenses drags on meet the member who claimed £4.80 for CYCLING to work". For flips sake don't "they" know that it really does cost money to ride a bike. The TaxPayers's Alliance was quoted with a comment along the lines of why should tapayers pay them to cycle? Now this could have been taken out of context and been a comment more along the lines of why should we pay any expenses to MPs since the rest of us have to pay to travel to and from work. However it is surely better to pay the lower expenses of a cycling MP rather than those incurred by a gas-guzzling MP. There are quite a few in the TPA team, I wonder do they get travel expenses for the non to and from work travel? Their TPA Review 2010 (pdf) is not the most open of documents in terms of transparency of their operations. (It is also not the easiest of documents to open it seems to be taking ages.)
No quick review of the news would be complete, unfortunately without some item about incidents. A cyclist was struck by a car in Cambridge. There is no indication of fault - but of course the cyclist is the most vulnerable and an ambulance was required. Apparently there was also a cyclist injured on the NCN11 path between Addenbrookes and Shelford. The suggestion is that it was caused by a motorcycle being ridden along the path. The theft of a bike in January has also resulted in the release of CCTV pictures to see if it can identify someone the Police would like to speak to.
A "Solar energy farm has been given the green light" - it is for a 35acre plant near Wilburton, off Twentypence Road and is indicated to have 5 Megawatt capacity capable of supplying power to more than 1,200 homes. Here is a WheresThePath link showing Mingay Farm the site of the development - there is a byway that runs along the back so it should be possible to get a good view.
Apparently there are also plans "to create a massive new wetland" near Coveney/Witcham and Sutton, apparently 860acres of the 1,200acres of land has already been purchased. Predictably there are quotes from people opposed to the idea of taking agricultural land out of the food chain. I must have a look the next time I cycle up there. If the Fens closer to Wicken Fen are anything to go by the agriculture consists of fields of turf and polo ponies. (I am not complaining about the turf and hoof - just pointing out that it is not all used for food.)
And finally "Axing speed cameras has caused road deaths to FALL" it says so in the daily Mail it must be true. I like evidence-based journalism, no discussion of regression to the mean issues or the fact that motor vehicles are getting safer, or indeed that the cameras were still in place, just not operational - but hey why spoil a good story about the "War on Motorists". ( I must take a picture of some speed cameras - to use in my Posts!)