Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A pinch and a punch - a day of two halves - the first half

Tuesday, 1st March: It is a bit of a cliche, but how time flies, here we are in the third month of the year already. I wish that Spring would start bouncing a bit more though. The grey days are back in town it seems. Today I had a lunchtime meeting in the Wrestlers, Newmarket Road. There we have it the truth, my hobbies, cycling, photography and supporting local pubs. So my plan for the day was to pop out on my bike at lunchtime,take a slightly convoluted route, maybe take a few pictures along the Riverside, enjoy the Thai food and real beer served in the Wrestlers and then go home and get some work done.

It started well. I set off only slightly later than I needed to in order to get there relatively calm and collected. However as I was slowly ambling around (on my bike) enjoying the fresh air and being out after the previous day cooped up in the house it occurred to me I had forgotten my bike lock. Now Cambridge is a pretty safe place, day or night. I have certainly lived in some rougher places, but it ain't a safe place for bicycles as I mentioned a few days ago cycle theft has been increased over the last few years. So there was no way I was going to risk leaving my bike unlocked. So I set off home and much to my annoyance found myself now going to be late. In desperation Ieft my bike behind and jumped into the car. Fortunately I was not too late for my meeting and the lunch as delicious. As I was driving I did not get to try the beer. I will have a pint or so and cycle, but I stick to coke when driving.

Afterwards I went for a quick stroll past the Tesco Supermarket down to Riverside to take a few pictures. The route is both a cycle path and pedestrian path. Unusually the path is not "shared" with a white line down the middle to delineate the cycling and walking bits. As you might neither cyclists nor pedestrians seem to take a lot of notice of the delineation.

This is where the path emerges onto Riverside - there is a nice sweep of Willows showing a bit of green on the other side of the river. The blue cycle signs indicate where to go and which NCN routes you are on (11 and 51) and that the railway Station is 2.25 miles away. It seems to be the scourge of paths such as these that they have to have Posts across them to block the way to motor vehicles, a reflection on the modern car-centric society I suppose. At least they have reflectors on them to reduce the risk for unwary cyclists. I still wonder how easy it is to get a double width pram or bike trailer through though. As a cyclist you need to be careful, you can pick up a bit of speed here as you reach the pavement and unsuspecting pedestrians.


I have tried getting decent night pictures of this bridge, well here it is during the day, with a backdrop of Willows - in fact it made me think of a new collective noun for willows - "a waterfall of willows". This bit of the Cam has a fair number of boats moored.


I nipped across the bridge to take a few pictures looking back across to Riverside. I must admit some of those boats do look as if they need a bit of spring cleaning. From this angle both of the red-painted longboats look as if they are lying at an angle with the bow slightly up in the water compared with the stern.


These are a few Copenhagencyclechic stylee pictures. This is a popular cycle route, being useful, picturesque, wide and car-light. You do get cars along here but after the bridge was put in they have blocked it as a through route for motor vehicles. I have just had a quick look on the web and cannot find the Cambridge Cycle Chic equivalent - so there is an opportunity for a budding cyclist/blogger/photographer. St Andrews in Scotland is represented though along with London, Sheffield and Brighton.


Look at this well behaved cyclists and pedestrians, maybe it has something to do with the design of the bridge as well though, with the two paths being physically separated in the middle of the bridge. Cyclists coming down from the bridge need to be aware of the random poles stuck in the way though.


The same bridge, this time during a brief moment of calm. You can tell it is well used by the cycle tracks visible on the red tarmac.


Riverside has a few "upscale" apartment blocks overlooking the river, like this one.The Tesco Supermarket is behind it.


At this point I have a confession to make. Having had my original cycling plans thwarted, by my own forgetfulness I decided to bunk of for a few hours in the afternoon and go cycling, which is why there is (will be) a part 2 to this post.

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