Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Soggy tracks, Sunny Skies–Lodes Way

Sunday, 11th November 2012: It seems that the fireworks the night before managed to clear away the grey clouds and Sunday was a delightful sunny Sunday. I didn’t have much time for a long ride – but when the sun is calling in mid-November you can’t say no.

Mind you time was short enough that I didn’t take that many pictures. I think this was when  I bumped into the Lodes Way Irregulars (MikeC and SBC) on Reach Lode bridge. In my hurry I had forgotten that it gets dark early and forgotten to take a front light with me. I think I am going to have to invest in a cheap small front light that I leave on the bike for emergencies.

I rather like the idea of a Knog light – but more from the looks than any knowledge of how good they are. It isn’t even Want it Wednesday! The trick is to decide what I need not what I would like. I am looking for an emergency light rather than an every day (or night) light. In the end I have bought one of these, in olive green to match the Brooks saddle on Maisie,my Marin bicycle.

I don’t think it is a good idea to cycle in the dark without lights and rarely forget a front light. There are odd occasions when I don’t have a light, or the batteries are flat. Apparently “Hundreds of cyclists and motorists caught in lighting crackdown” in Cambridge. Apparently 185 fines were issued to cyclists and 130FPNs for lighting on vehicles. Although 100 of the cyclists fines were LIT scheme fines where the cyclist has seven days to buy lights and so avoid the fine. The latter approach does seem a more reasonable approach. Given the cost of bureaucracy it probably also costs the taxpayer less to do it that way.

I am generally more in favour of rectification and/or training to improve matters on the roads for cyclists and motorists, rather than just fines.

It also seems to me that the larger the vehicle then the greater the responsibility.

My plan was for a fairly quick ride out to Wicken Fen and back, although for some reason, well for a change really, I cycled into Quy and then along Station Road onto a bridleway  (the Drove Way) and then onto the route of the old Cambridge to Mildenhall railway line.

With the recent wet weather it has made beet harvesting pretty tricky, yet they beet farmers have to hit certain delivery windows. This means that many of the tracks I use are a bit chewed up at this time of year. So much for a quick ride – the bridleway was cycleable, although my pedals and wheels spun farm more than is usual. The bridleway is through the gate to the right of the picture.

Temporary Beet Clamp – Station Road, Quy

This is the bridleway, normally it is more like a bit of single-track with a decent hard mud surface and even some berms. The first half was chewed up mud and the second bit was slippery mud – it all made for exercise though. It probably also helps my bike control. One of these days I want to be able to track standhere is how! I can balance for a few seconds – but there aren’t any slopes to practice on in the flatlands – well that’s my excuse anyway. The autumn leaves blazed away in the sun.

The Drove Way, Quy

As it happens and as I have mentioned before the route of the old railway line was also fairly muddy, so most of my energy went on making progress along it rather than in taking pictures. Some more autumn leaves near Anglesey Abbey.

Autumn Leaves along the route of the old Cambridge to Mildenhall Railway Line
behind Anglesey Abbey

Most of the time I can look at my pictures and suss out pretty quickly (if not immediately) where I took them. This is partly because I seem to take the same old pictures and partly because I cycle these routes quite often. There are (or were when it was taken) still green leaves on the trees alongside Swaffham Bulbeck Lode.

Green leaves in November – Swaffham Bulbeck Lode

The good thing about this time of year is that there can be some rather spectacular sunsets and even the so-so ones can be photogenic.

Sunset of Baker’s Fen – Wicken Fen

The scene looks darker than it really was because I was shooting towards the sun – something that is possible when not using a “proper” SLR – my camera is a micro four thirds camera and when you look through the viewfinder you are actually looking at the picture on a small internal screen. It does way with all the prism mechanism. Mind you you don’t want to burn out you sensor.

Sunset on Burwell Lode

One thing – with land being so flat the sunset is predictable and I was able to get back without any issues.


  1. I have the little Cat Eye Loop lights:


    Small enough to drop in my bag so when my proper lights die or I just forget them, I've got something.

    1. They look rather neat - thanks.