Wednesday, June 6, 2012

King Harold and Queen Boadicea–Lode

Monday, 28th May 2012: Oh dear I do seem to be slipping backwards – this ride was over a week ago.  Excuses, well yes I have a few; The Jubilee, London, the weather and a mild attack of the lurgy. The good news is that I have been cycling and so have a few posts in the bag, so to speak. Including a video recording of the sound of the cuckoo and a picture of a fox I almost bumped into on my travels (cycle).

So I will make this a quick post with fewer words than usual. Although my browser does seem to have quit a few open tabs which I will also try to sort through. I did mention in a recent Post how I was starting to find listening to The Archers a bit gruelling.  I can’t quite remember when I started listening to it, but I think it was after I got my first “transistor” radio and used to listen to radio 1 in the morning before going to school and Radio 4 in the evening whilst doing my homework. As Radio 1 was established in 1967 and I can remember listening to Tony Blackburn then I think it was pretty much when I left Primary School to go to my local Grammar School which turned Comprehensive a couple of years later.

I also remember listening to The Archers on Sunday mornings when I was a student after the “night before” and I needed something gentle and not too noisy.  One of the great things about the tale of every day farming folk is that you could miss a series of programs and quickly catch up. A bit like being away from home as a student and then getting back and finding that things were pretty much the same as when you left.

So I am a long-term listener  of 40-odd years – not all the time and is wasn’t until DAB came along, I had a Psion Wavefinder and I was able to record the program that I started listening to pretty much every episode. Thankfully the Beeb then started making it available as a Podcast (October 2007).as the Wavefinder had its foibles and the low signal strength meant that I had to stick the Wavefinder in a top floor window to work.

I accept it is a “soap”, however unlike the sensationalist TV soaps it has a more gentle approach, like real life. Let’s face it real life, well mine anyway, doesn’t feature weekly crime and blatant infidelities and the like and quite frankly I don’t look for that in entertainment. Which is why I don’t watch soaps on TV. So I was not very happy to see that an EastEnders producer has taken over as acting editor of The Archers whilst the long-time Editor has taken time off to travel. Oh dear – he is promising “bigger and darker plots”. Perhaps the time has come for me to take a break.

Being a Monday I had a late afternoon ride up to Upware and back along the Lodes Way and met Queen Boadicea and King Harold along the way. As it was a quick ride I wasn’t intending to take many pictures but it would have been rude not to take pictures of the scarecrows on my way through Lode. Finding information about the trail has been quite difficult – here are a couple of blogs that refer to it – “The UK at its very best…” and “No run is a bad run”.

So what greeted me as I turned into Lode – a Beefeater.

Beefeater guarding the road into Lode

As I had set off not intending to taker many pictures I carried on through Lode without stopping and then thought – that was a missed opportunity – still I will take a few more on the way out. I did stop on the way out of Lode on the newly re-surfaced Fen Road. They have top-dressed it, which doesn’t normally fill me with joy as it makes the road harder to cycle along and passing motor vehicles tend to ignore any speed limits and whip up the stones to punish and cyclists who dare use the roads.  They had used micro-grit though and as the road isn’t that wide I cycled nearer the middle which would have slowed any vehicles down if there had been any.

Fen Road, Lode – newly top dress with micro-grit

A quick stop along White Fen Road to take a picture of the blossom – now blushing pink.

White Fen Road – blushing pink May Blossom

As I reached White Fen I realised I had been under a misconception all these years.  I hadn’t realised that the Safety Bicycle dated back to King Harold and the Battle of Hastings.  That eye’ll sting in the morning.

King Harold riding along Lodes Way on his bicycle

At the other end of White Fen I noticed that the Information Board had had its information changed.  It is a minor quibble, however the “You are here” points to the wrong side of the Swaffham Bulbeck Lode.  I am not sure about those comparative timings either.  A bicycle can average more than 4mph.

New Information Board White Fen

After White Fen I cycled towards Upware (Great Drove)  in order to return along the Lodes Way. Although we have had far more rain recently farmers need to water their crops when they need to be watered – so there was a bit of irrigation going on.  It was either that or secret experiments on water powered, sustainable-energy, aeroplanes.

Salad leaves being irrigated on Great drove (near Upware)

This plane seems to be running out of runway.

Salad leaves being irrigated on Great drove (near Upware)

Another brief stop – to highlight how we try to fool people in the flatlands. As they walk down this “road” – Harrison’s Drove, they start leaning – they have yet to make all the poles lean though. The bumpy road sign is playing its part. Although it has been the subject of some puerile behaviour.

Harrison’s Drove, Upware

Alongside Harrison’s Drove the silage making had started.

Field being cut for Silage – Harrison’s Drove

On my way back, having looped through Wicken a brief stop for a picture of the clouds reflecting in Burwell Lode.

Clouds Reflecting in Burwell Lode from the Lodes Way Footbridge

And another brief stop to have my picture taken on the new portrait bench alongside Reach lode. The bike looks in better shape than I do! (It was a sandal and shorts day – and glorious.)

Self-portrait on the Reach Lode Portrait Bench (Lodes Way)

Almost finally as I returned to Lode a picture of the Oil seed rape which is going over – the sun really has been strong and the flowers have had their brief show.

Oil Seed Rape field near Lode

And finally – Queen Boadicea and her Corgis! I hadn’t realised how there was a long tradition of keeping corgis in the royal family.

Queen Boadicea and her Corgis – Lode

And finally – no pictures – the Post went on longer than planned as it was. It was glorious though and as I have a meeting coming up that needs some serious thought it was an excellent contemplation ride as well.

 Winking smile



  1. Take care on NCN11, White Fen Drove (the tarmac road to the NE of the balancing pond and bridge).

    Right next to some new patching there are giant cracks cunningly filled with grass. I lost a wheel down one at the weekend!

    Fill that hole is my next stop.

    1. Thanks. I like cycling along roads with grass down the middle - they tend to be much quieter roads - but not when the grass is covering up deep cracks.

      It will be interesting to see how quickly it gets sorted. For some reason I had assumed that it was a private road. Those sorts of cracks are dangerous, especially at night.

    2. I have added some pictures on a recent Post - my 25mm wheels will fit.