Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mid-Week and the weather is easy

Wednesday, 12th March 2014: I am getting a little behind in my posting, but never mind, Spring is definitely springing, although as I write this, ten days later, the temperatures have briefly dropped to zero overnight. I have also been rain-dodging on my rides over the last couple of days as well, but I have managed to avoid the worst.

I have also slightly widened my cycling patch a bit, the tracks are getting better (drier), so I am venturing further afield, although not on this ride.

I did have a bad day the other day. When cycling through Wicken Fen I was scowled at by a women with two large black Labradors, which weren’t on leads. I had the temerity to ting my bell gently as I approached.  As sometimes happens, she either felt her dogs didn’t need to be restrained, or perhaps didn’t care. As I slowed and went past, one lunged for me barking loudly. The worst thing you can do is veer away – well on the stretch of track next to Monk’s Lode it is. I stood my ground and carried on slowly.  (To be fair most people shared the track well, I always try to say thank you and if there are young children on bikes then I generally stop and let them go by.)

The other thing that did get to me was as I was cycling down Great Drove (single track) towards Swaffham Prior I heard a motor vehicle coming up behind me, so I cycled on the very edge of the road, beyond the tarmac on a gravelly bit. The Land Rover went by, slowly and giving me space – I waved my thanks. What’s wrong with that you might ask – well the passenger in the front seat then leant out of the window and shouted “cyclist w*nker”.  The very definition of puerile, but not really what you want when cycling on a relatively remote road. It was a short wheelbase Land Rover painted in yellow with black strips.

Those sorts of situations are when I reconsider whether to use a video camera on my bike or not. I was going to a while back, but my kids felt that would be too geeky and teased me for even considering it. Although my son did buy himself a GoPro camera last year – although he claims it is alright because he doesn’t use it when cycling.

Fortunately such things don’t happen very often when cycling along country lanes.

One thing to remember is that although the first signs of Spring can appear pretty quickly it can take a while for Spring to really get going.  Blue skies and blossom can quickly get replaced by snow.  Still it is nice to see the blossom out. You can also see the moon in this picture – near-ish the top right corner.

Vibrant Blossom on the way into Upware

Another sign of Spring is the arrival of daffodils – this field was once used to grow them and they come back every year. – That is the back view of the Five Miles form Anywhere pub. There are a few different varieties of daffs growing.

Upware “wild” Daffodils

They are in good nick and seem to glow in the Spring sunshine.

Upware “wild” Daffodils

Much further along on my ride – heading back through Wicken Fen alongside Monk’s Lode more signs of spring as leaves emerge along the hedgerow.

First signs of Spring – Hedgerow leaves

After all the wind and rain over the Winter months it is wonderful to go out cycling when it is still. It seems to make me cycle faster (on average).  There was a slightly hazy feel to the sunlight – almost like Summer. It was pretty warm too – I was cycling in shorts and a fleece – it was almost 15oC.

Burwell Lode – Hazy Sunshine

Split Drove – more hazy sunshine

I like reflections, when I am in cities I often take pictures of reflections in the windows of big buildings. This time around it was so still that the White Fen balancing pond made for an almost perfect mirror.

Both the pond and the pylons are man-made. Although the Pond is to nurture nature, whereas the pylons are for human benefit.

Pylons reflecting in a Pond

Finally some pictures – some of the results from a Global Photography Competition. Some extra-terrestrial pictures Saturn from only 123 million miles away. Some sub-terrestrial pictures of mineshafts and sewers.  Life for a polar bear in the arctic.  Life for nomad tribes in Africa.

I have taken pictures of lightning – but would like to take more – but these are stunning lightning pictures. Mind you I don’t have any aspirations to take pictures of me being hit by different objects.

And finally – Posters not Pictures.

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