Monday, May 16, 2011

Cycling on Plan B

Tuesday, 10th May: Another day of meetings in and around Cambridge. It started off on a bad foot (wheel).  Normally when I have a meeting I try to cycle slowly so as not to get too hot and bothered in my work clothes.  This means that I have to allow more time to cycle.  The trouble is I was late and had to be across town for 8.30am.  I was wearing trousers that could convert into shorts by unzipping the legs. The advantage is that it means I stay cooler more easily and don’t need to put on cycle clips.

Actually I don’t use clips I use fluorescent ankle bands – a bit like this. The problem is that the bands sometimes come loose, or don’t quite keep my trouser legs clear of the oily chain.  They are good at night though because the movement is more noticeable in a car headlights.

However when I walked out of the house it felt quite cool and it was early in the morning so I foolishly went back for a cycle jacket. By now I was even later, which meant I needed to use my planning contingency to get to my meeting on time. Plan A is leave plenty of time, Plan B is cycle much faster on the more direct road route (versus cycle paths) and get hot. (There is also a Plan C – do B and don’t stop at lights etc. Fortunately I have never had to resort to Plan C)

I soon learnt I didn’t need the jacket, but it would have taken time to stop and take it off and pack it away. I also found that on one road as I was cycling at a respectable speed my wheels got caught in the ridge of a manhole cover which led to a hairy moment at 20+MPH/32+Km/hr. One of the reasons I don’t like roads is that manhole covers can be really dangerous for two-wheeled vehicles, it was the same when I used to ride a motorbike. The good news is that I got there on time, although as I was zipping on one of my trouser legs the zip got caught up – what is it they say, ah yes, more haste less speed.

I couldn’t resist stopping on Parker’s Piece to get another picture of OLEM though. (See yesterday’s Post for why.) This looks even more like the landmark I saw from miles away.

There was a chance to get a bit of fresh air between meetings – the oilseed rape has lost some of its strident vibrant yellow colour – it is still pretty yellow though.

This is on the Tins Cycle path near the Sports Centre (David Lloyd). Those weeds don’t miss a chance.

At the bottom of The Tins just next to the new bridge  are some signs I have not paid much attention to the warnings about ducks and toads (or frogs?) before – do they attack cyclists? It also looks as if the blue cycling sign pointing towards the station has been clouted and bent. Also the Press Release suggests that The Tins path will be improved up to Cherry Hinton High Street. I normally join/leave it from the path alongside Kathleen Elliot Way, I must check out the rest of the path the next time. It emerges on Railway Street.

At one point in the day I had to negotiate the East Road/Newmarket Road roundabout. I went underneath, but I think it would have been safer to remain on the road up top. I was home before it got dark tonight though.


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