Wednesday, 16th November: As luck would have it I had a reason to head out first thing this morning on my bicycle – a breakfast meeting! Rather than drag the person I was meeting into Cambridge it was much easier to meet on the outskirts as they were passing by in a car.
This way I got to have a little ride, they didn’t have to queue and they were able to park more easily. In case you were wondering my meeting was not with Matt Baker on his rickshaw (as I write this he is at Bluntisham).
It looks like we will have a long wait for better cycle parking in the station area. The developers will be allowed to move forward “without the securing approval of, and funding for a 3,000 space cycle park”. This was supposed to be combined with a multi-storey car park which apparently is no longer feasible. Unfortunately the report does not highlight what has changed.
While I am on the subject of parking – “Thousands of new homes ‘could create nightmare for city drivers’”. Why do we worry about city drivers and not about the inhabitants and cyclists and pedestrians and schoolchildren? The article is about the Cambridge North-West development and apparently the University will “spend £9.3 million on transport improvements including bus subsidies, highway works, and a better M11 slip road”. Apparently £375,000 will be spent on a promotional campaign for the guided busway. Cllr Belinda Books-Gordon quite rightly say “more should be spent on cycling improvements”. I say much more.
In my view we pay lip-service to the needs of the community and overly prioritise the needs of the driver – and then we are surprised when there are traffic jams. As an example – “Bad parking could end in tragedy” is a recent piece in the Cambridge News about parking and schools. It is simple; lots of cars put off parents from allowing their children to walk or cycle to school which leads to more cars… We say it is impossible and yet why can they manage it in the Netherlands?
They also seem to manage cycle parking in Copenhagen.
I now also know the name of the new building at the bottom of Station Road – Botanic House.
I didn’t take any pictures on the way out, I was on time just. Unfortunately when I got to the Quy Mill there was building work near the leisure centre, which made it impossible to get to the cycle stands. I popped into Reception and they checked with the Leisure Centre and then offered to watch over my park parked just outside the reception area. Then when I walked in the Receptionist pointed out I’d left my front light on. (That’s what I like – a can do approach.)
Next time perhaps I’d better take my helicopter – they have a helipad.
So this picture was taken on the way out. This is their drive, but that tunnel you can see is where the NCN51 passes on its way underneath the A14. The A14 was busy, but the traffic was moving.
On my way along the drive/NCN51 route I stopped to get a picture of the mist. At this point I decided to tack on a small loop out along NCN51 and then back again via Lode and Quy. It was brightening up and it would have been rude not to. (The pictures were taken with my small camera as well.)
This is the shared drive/NCN51 route, there are two cyclists, one in each direction who happened along as I took the picture. Fly-tipping on the foreground, the Church in the background. What does surprise me is how well lit this section of NCN51 appears to be. Although in this part of the world the streetlights do look a little stunted. (It is because of the nearby Cambridge Airport.)
I went through Quy and then along Albert Road to join (re-join) NCN51 – as the sun was brightening it lit the trees over along the A1303.
I liked the scene so I took several, don’t worry I’ve only put three into the Post.
There was still a little mist around. That tower is a cellular basestation – which provides coverage for you mobile phone – even here in the sticks.
This is the junction of Albert Road and the A1303 – it looks like there has been a crash recently. At first I thought it might have been a car failing to stop at the T-junction, although by the looks of things it might have been a car travelling left to right. Perhaps the driver hadn’t realised there was a vehicle turning right and had to swerve to miss it?
A little further on some lovely autumnal Silver Birch trees.
And that is why they are called silver – the bark is quite an unusual colour.
The leaves look pretty interesting at this time of year as well.
After a bit of dillying and dallying it was time to get back. Mind you when I got home I did take a picture of these red leaves on a tree whose name I’ve forgotten – I’ll check with my wife she’ll remember.
Although it wasn’t the longest ride however the weather was good and if truth be told I was perhaps too warm, but it was really refreshing to get out in the fresh air. (I was wearing long trousers – I must be grown up).