Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Strange goings on along Lodes Way

Tuesday, 13th November 2012: It seems I mistimed this ride – I will still call it a mid-week ride – but instead of Wednesday it turned out to be on a Tuesday. I sometimes use the excuse of a bit of nicer weather to nip out for a ride, on the grounds that the weather might be rotten over the next few days. Oh the things cyclists do to keep cycling eh.

Cycling is best done regularly, when you do it is easy, enjoyable and convenient. When you don’t “guilt” levels build up, but strangely so do the barriers that stop you from cycling.  Which means you feel miserable not getting exercise and yet the miserableness also makes it harder to cycle on anything less than an ideal day. Yet as most cyclists know – a drop of wind and rain never hurt anyone and it can be most invigorating to get out in stormy weather.

For me one way to keep the barrier low is to have one or two rides that are “no brainers”. Which for me means away from traffic, easy to navigate, a few variations to ring the changes and with a bit of nature thrown in for good measure.

That is why the Lodes Way and variations feature quite a lot in my rides. What I have also noticed is that when the weather gets less pleasant they feature even more. So I apologise for continually going over old ground – but it keeps me cycling.

I rather like that clump of trees – standing proud out on the edge of Bottisham. This picture was taken from the crossroads at Lode, looking South-Southeast.  Just next door to a sewage works according to the OS map. It was a grey day – but at least the clouds had a bit of texture.

A clump of tall trees – Lode Crossroads

As I cycled along Headlake Drove a big tipper lorry was blocking the road to Split Drove. At first I though he had just parked up and was perhaps tipping excess water out of the back of the truck. Anyway I squeezed past on the muddy verge and carried on – only to wonder what on earth was he doing. So I took a picture just in case it was a bit of fly-tipping. After all cameras can join the war on fly-tippers, well here in Cambridge anyway.

Tipper truck tipping on Headlake Drove

At the point where Headlake Drove goes one way and Split Drove towards Reach Lode I took another picture of the interesting clouds. You can also see how water-logged the soil was.

Commissioners’ Drain – Lodes Way

When time is short then farmers need to multi-task – that looks like a disk harrow ont he front and a seed drill behind.

Seed drilling along Lodes Way

After climbing onto the Burwell Lode bank, part of the detour while they do the new bridge ground works. I had a rest, that bank is pretty steep. , I also took a picture of what the signs call Burwell Fen (pdf of Lodes Way leaflet).

The view from the Riverbank – well Burwell Lode bank actually

Progress is being made on the new bridge ground works – this is the redirected drain. Water seems to be flowing nicely.

Burwell Lode – New Bridge ground works

After climbing the step of the old footbridge pushing my bike up I used the bridge railing to take a picture of the sunbeams over in the distance. My son used to call these miracles as a little boy – so that is what they are.  (the railings helped me to keep the camera steady.

Sun peeping through the clouds – seen from Burwell Lode footbridge

The other side of the footbridge is a short path which is getting muddier and muddier. At this time of year there are more ornithologists visiting, so the path gets a fair bit of use. It isn’t easy walking along it whilst pushing a bike.

Muddy path – Lodes Way just after Burwell Lode footbridge

I cycled down through to Burwell after circling Wicken Fen and was going to head back via NCN51, after Reach I cycled down Little Fen Drove to have a look at Headlake Drove to see what had been left behind.

It was dark by then but this is what I found – it seems that the truck had laid a bit of tarmac.

A bit of road patching along the Lodes Way (Headlake Drove)

It does seem to get dark pretty quickly – I used both my front light and the camera flash to take the last picture.

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