Saturday, January 19, 2013

First proper ride of the year–only two weeks ago!

Saturday, 5th January 2013: Well first things first – my BSOD problem is certainly more manageable at the moment. My desktop computer has been stable for several days now. On the balance of probabilities I feel I know what the problems are related too. However I am still not certain quite what is happening. In the meantime I am keeping a close eye on the Admin logs and tracking down issues as they occur, whilst of course keeping up a high rate of backups.

I am afraid cycling stuff has come and gone in the press, I have had to leave it to other to comment on. My enthusiasm for cycling, photography and fair play for cyclists and future cyclists has not diminished.

I am pleased that The Times seems to be still maintaining its Cities fit for Cycling Campaign, despite the change in Editor. What is disturbing is that The Times has also reported the Fifth cyclist death already in 2013. As the article points out, cycling is still inherently safe, but it appears to be getting less safe.  Given the concerns about Climate change, obesity and pollution, to name but three things, we want to encourage more cycling not less. So the recent increase in cycling deaths will only serve to scare cyclists of the roads and scare potential cyclists away.  This will make the roads even worse for the vulnerable road users, for the non-car owners and p*ss more money away by burning petrol and further decrease investment in public transport.

Worryingly children don’t get the opportunity to get out and about – why – well in part cars. As commented by Tanya Byron – children are 'raised in captivity’. Just as worryingly some parts of the press still seem to refer to the desire to make our towns and cities more pleasant places to live through the introduction of 20mph limits as “War on speeding motorists”. What tosh.

The good thing is that here in Cambridge the detailed work for the proposed citywide 20mph has been given the go-ahead. Although the Police seem to be still reluctant – “20mph limit must be clear before we act, police warn”. Which to me suggests they are lukewarm about the idea. The same issue does not seem to worry them when it is catching cyclists on pavements with unclear shared-use signing. (Cambridge cyclist receives criminal record for cycling on the pavement, also commented on in “Cambs Police arresting cyclists for trying to stay alive?” and here with pictures – “Cyclists Branded Anti-Social For Trying to Stay Alive”.

The other news that has caught my attention is of the Lance Armstrong – Oprah interview.  The whole thing seems rather stage-managed – and too little too late. One quote attributed to him is that he suggests that he didn’t cheat because cheating is getting one over on someone and “everyone was doing it”. I wonder if that is how the cyclists who refused to take drugs and consequently lost opportunities for a careers as a professional cyclists feel about that.

In another bit of TdF news – one leg of the Tour de France 2013 will start in Cambridge. On July 7th 2013 the third stage will being in Cambridge apparently. I do hope I will be able to go along for the show.

As I sit here the weather is cold and as I have a minor sore throat I have chickened out of cycling this afternoon.  Mind you we haven’t really had much snow and I have been out cycling a few times in temperatures of –4oC this week.

At the start of the month – my first ride after the Christmas period was in glorious sunshine. As per usual it was a ride around Lodes Way. It was wonderful – just to get out and get a bit of fresh air and vitamin d.

Swaffham Bulbeck Lode along Lodes Way

I also passed a group out for a bit of shooting. Nowadays given the concern about firearms I rarely see guns except on television and in Airports. When I was a kid it seemed to me that most farmers had guns and it was not unusual to see farmers out walking their dogs with a shotgun under their arm. (I have even had one waved in my general direction – as a kid growing up in the Mendips we weren’t too at all bothered about rights of way and footpaths.

This is a field on the road towards Upware – at the moment it is being used to grow turf – and a trailer came by an deposited a bunched a people with shotguns and dogs. There must have been something around to shoot at because I heard the bangs as I carried along the Lodes Way.

A Shooting Party – along the Lodes Way

A little further along and there was plenty of evidence of the rain we have been having. The good news is that the Lodes way track, in the main has stayed pretty dry.

Lodes Way – Newnham Drove Crossroads

And finally it appears that some pesticides should not be used on flowering crops in Britain as the harmful link to bees has been established. Let’s hope that it is not too late.

And really finally, as a boy we used to make dens, in the woods and up trees. Tree houses have always had a mystique about them – even now if I owned a forest I would really like a tree house – which is kind of weird. But check out these tree houses – who wouldn’t want one?

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