Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Shortcuts on a hot day in the Fens

Wednesday, August 3rd: It started of a hot day and as I was supposed to be presenting to a bunch of people I decided against cycling in and used the bus instead, mind you I was still pretty hot when it came to doing my presentation.  It was the right choice though as you can see from the University weather monitoring page. with the temperature reaching almost 300C. After a day stuck indoors I felt entitled to a ride as it got a little cooler.

This is the route, for some reason I found it hard going and felt out of energy when I reached Wicken Fen. So I cheated and to a short-cut along a footpath.rather than head up through to Upware along the Lode. It seemed to do the trick along with having a drink.  Here is the route I took, as you can see I set out with good intentions and headed up the NCN11 route alongside the River cam. (That is the NCN11 route that just stops.)

Here is the Bike Route Toaster Link of the map as shown below. (I have now added over 100 maps to Bike Route Toaster – how time flies when you are having fun eh?) The route is 50Km/30 miles in length and the River Cam bit can be a bit busy at the weekend, as can getting through Wicken Fen. When it isn’t busy it is very pleasant though.

If you’ve seen yesterday’s Post then you’ll see that I have switched back from my long lens to the 14mm – 140 mm lens. However what with getting tired half way around and nipping out for a “quick” ride I wasn’t really intending on taking lots of pictures – what can have changed in a couple of days.

This is the River Cam, the bridge is where the A14 crosses the Cam to the North of Cambridge. The name on the bridge relates to rowing although as this blog suggests Newnham don’t have anything to boast about

This field had crops in it on Monday – they are not hanging around.

I did pop up the byway to the edge of Stow cum Quy Fen. To the right of the person walking you can see a small fence enclosure. It is not protecting a  small sapling, instead it is protecting a Stone commemorating William Ison who was struck by lightning in 1873 whilst making hay.

Along the disused railway line near to Lode the Linseed (or Flax) fields look pretty ripe. You can see evidence of last year’s crop in places on the field to the right.

On the left hand side of the disused line is another field of ripe linseed, this one looks “cleaner”. I can’t remember what was grown in either field last year. Although I could probably look at my old pictures and find out.  Of course if could be that more powerful chemicals were used on this side?

This field, just past White Fen,  was full of beetroot a couple of weeks ago. Come to think of it I haven’t seen much beetroot along the road sides this year. Either the farmers have better trailers, or less was grown.  This field is ready for the next crop to be drilled.

The Lodes Way  is still a work in progress, with various bits and pieces being done around the NT parts of the fen.  More effective barriers are being put in place with concrete bases, at least that is what it looks like. This is the approach to the reach lode bridge.

I had a moment coming down the other side of the bridge. It is not really that steep, but when you live in the flatlands you forget your descending skills!  The track surface has one or two dips in it and my front wheel seemed to dig in and wobble. Which made it harder to miss the pole in the middle of the track. I did wonder whether my front tyre was a little deflated, but it was fine when I checked it after getting home.

It looks as if the old gate between Newnham Drove and Lodes Way is going to be replaced with something a little more cyclist and horse friendly. This was much easier to take a picture of with my shorter lens.

As I cycled up Harrison’s Drove I found myself flagging and  had to stop and rest when I reached Wicken Lode. At that point the will to cycle seemed to drain away and I couldn’t face the idea of cycling along to Upware and around the long way. So I cheated and took a short cut  by turning left along Wicken Lode which took me to the join of Wicken Lode and Monk’s Lode.

The join is where there is a small bridge over which the NCN11 runs. There is also some mooring and you occasionally see boats moored up for an overnight stay. There was a boat there as I passed by. You could also see the new wind pump ready and waiting for action. It will be used to pump water with the right ph into the fen to help the ecological balance.

You can tell I was feeling low in energy as I didn’t even find the energy to stop and take pictures. My energy levels picked up a bit though and I did cycle along Black Droveway, which is sort of between Reach and Swaffham Prior and is the track shown in the picture.

I still felt tired when I got home, but there was no underlying problem, the next morning I felt fine.


No comments:

Post a Comment