Sunday, January 20, 2013

Out of order blogs

Sunday, 6th January 2013: Whilst getting rid of a SPAM comment last night, using my iPad I noticed that one of last year’s December posts had not published – Last ride of Last Year. So I published it which promoted it to the top of the queue – a minor nuisance and easily fixed. However I also noticed that I hadn’t quite finished the Post. So I did, using Blogger on my iPad and that’s where it all went wrong. The text changed size and font, so I tried editing it using Windows Live Writer (WLW) and it sometimes changed the font and sometimes didn’t. I managed to get it into some sort of shape and left it at that. Whilst fixing the posting date is easy – I’d had enough.

So the Post the First proper ride of the year got demoted – ho hum. In real terms it is Sunday and the papers have quite a lot to say about Lance Armstrong’s confessional interview. So far I am not impressed, give how long the deception has been running to try and make a “show” out of it seems to have been a self-serving thing to do.

Also as I sit here the snow is coming down again in the Flatlands – it is persistent, but rather fine so the coverage so far is not deep. There will be some snow pictures in a later post and of course some more of the Got it Thursday posts – with props to Jez of Following the Chainline as it sprang from his Want it Wednesday series of posts… As I am known as an eccentric-cyclist, or maybe as an eccentric who cycles, in my family, I have received a few cycling related things for Christmas – they will start featuring – when I have taken pictures of them (don’t get oo excited though – no new 29ers appeared in my Christmas stocking).

However in my Blog-time world it is still snow-free, the weather isn’t as sunny as it was the day before though – but a “mans gotta do what a mans gotta do” (but only when he wants to) and I went out for a quick Lodes Way spin.

What follows is a series of grey pictures – with some green in them. This is the view of that greyness. By the way I’ve just discovered that I can drag the Open Street Map around again in Chrome. I was on Great Drove looking across East, (I think). The shed is where Headlake drove meets Rand Drove, if I am right.

A Grey Day from Great Drove

This is Great Drove and is near the spot I took the picture from, with Highfen Farm up on the right and New Haven on the left. The road really is as undulating as it looks in the picture. At the sorts of speeds I cycle at I don’t notice it. In a car it is much more noticeable and helps to keep people driving their own cars from speeding. People driving other peoples’ vehicles tend to drive along it much faster – not worried that their engine will jump of its mounts. This the way to nowhere somewhere Upware.

Great Drove – the way to Upware

A bit further round, near Ducketts Farm, on the outskirts of Upware, one of the reasons food is going to cost more this coming year.

Flooding in the fields – near Upware

The telegraph poles head on down Harrison’s Drove – quite a large amount of water.

Flooding in the fields – near Upware

After a short ride down the A1123 to Way Lane I joined the NCN11 route from Ely to Wicken Fen. At the moment I am tending not to take the byways – which in this case would be Dicking’s Lane. In the dry it makes a good long-cut, when it is wet it is a muddy nightmare.

The grey view towards Ely from Lower Road, Wicken

I like trees, when I was young (and skinny and light) I did a lot of tree climbing, I was pretty fearless, heights didn’t worry me. Nowadays I tend just to admire them from the ground. This is Lower Road, on its way to Wicken – the sight line is supposed to guide you to the object of my interest.

Lower Road – towards Wicken

After that it was an uneventful ride back through Burwell, up Newnham Drove – which was awful and then back along Lodes Way. As I was cycling over Reach Lode Bridge I bumped into the Swaffham Bulbeck Cyclist, metaphorically rather than physically. So we stopped for a chat, the SBC was much hardier then me and was wearing shorts, mind you the weather wasn’t half bad so I think I was just being a wimp.

It was turning to dusk, but there was a Barn owl (I think – SBC?) flying around and SBC lent me his binoculars for a look. It was across the rough patch where the Portrait bench sits. Now I only had my short lens with me (14-140mm or 28 to 280mm in 35mm speak) and it was getting darker so as you can see the picture I took was, to say the least, a little blurry.

The owl is there – sitting on a post along the hedge two thirds of the way in from the right. Yes the blob of white. I must take my longer lens with me next time.

Owl along Lodes Way (honest)

We parted ways and I headed out along Headlake Drove, or should I say Spilt Drove (yes ‘cos I nearly had a spill), I wasn’t paying much attention to the potholes and lost my footing on a pedal as I bumped into one. I wasn’t going very fast though and apart from a minor wobble regained my pedal and carried on. You know I rather like this cycling lark – there is nothing like a bit of fresh air after Christmas.


  1. Swaffham Bulbeck CyclistJanuary 21, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Hi JME- yes definately a barn owl- they seem to favour that field.

    I had a great ride along the Lodes Way yesterday afternoon in the snow, although it was getting quite deep on the way home. Fresh snow is always fun to ride through, though I guess it will be a little icy by tomorrow. I'm hopeless with links but I took a photo or two yesterday and they are here : - about 6 posts down the page(Glow worm). Not quite up to your standard I'm afraid but interesting to see Reach Lode now frozen since your visit last week.

    1. Thanks for confirming the Barn Owl, the blur in the picture didn't help me much.

      I like the pictures, which appeared rather small until I logged into Cyclechat, then they were large. I have been thinking about getting some studded tyres - but each time I do I then think well we don't get that much snow and I'd have to keep switching tyres. Although you can get away with just the front tyre apparently - but you do lose traction.

      It has been cold, I had to go to a dinner in Cambridge last week and it was around -4C, last night it was closer to -10C, when even the gritting fails apparently.

  2. Swaffham Bulbeck CyclistJanuary 22, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    I'm really pleased with the tyres, (they are very noisy though on the road!) and although they are a bit of an extravagance, they should last a few years. I seem to need to put in more effort to get to my usual speed so I guess there's more drag. I got to Cambridge and back today without any problems (apart from a frozen gear mech), though the main roads are fine now and the path from Quy to Marshalls looks to have been cleared by some kind of mini snow plough. It was about -9c I think over here this morning.

    1. That is pretty cold.

      Perhaps I will make a note in my diary to get some early Autumn next year. What width did you get? I am not sure what would fit my bike. (Or I will try using zip ties :-) )

  3. Swaffham Bulbeck CyclistJanuary 23, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    They're the 700x 35 size- same as my regular Schwalbe Marathons. Should be about right for you I reckon. My local bike shop in Newmarket ordered them for me and luckily they arrived just before the snow.

    1. I use 700 x 28s so will check the clearances and might give it a go next year. I rather like cycling in the snow. Although as I sit here (Sunday morning) it has all but vanished - two days ago it was 0C at this time, now it is 9C.