Thursday, June 26, 2014

Three for the price of one–Scenes from three rides around the Lodes Way

Sunday, 27th April 2014: I have several choices to make if I am going to try and write my posts around the time the rides they describe happen. I will either have to dump a load of rides and perhaps focus on the interesting one. Or spend my time blogging, but that means less time riding. Or take fewer pictures, or try to get more posts out per day or combine posts.

Well for now I have decided to combine a few posts and cut back on the words. Which is a shame, there are things that need to be said in support of cycling and I feel I am not spending enough time saying them.

Normally I find motorists on country lanes to be more courteous than in urban and suburban areas. I was pretty horrified, when cycling round this bend in the village of Lode (and part of the Lodes Way. Why, well a youngish bloke in a BWM decided that I wasn’t going fast enough for him, so despite me taking the lane and cycling at a reasonable pace he overtook me going around the bend.

Fortunately there was nothing coming, because whilst he was only risking a scratch or two on his shiny phallic symbol he was threatening my person not to mention any other vulnerable road users round the bend. (Which he was – round the bend).

It makes me wonder just what idiots that I am forced to share the road with.

Yesterday I was cycling through Cherry Hinton joining Teversham Drift from Teversham Drift - - weird naming convection. Again I was cycling at a  reasonable pace. I was going to turn left. I had my arm out and there were no cars coming in from the right. There was however a car coming in from the left at some speed. If I had carried on at the speed I was travelling that car would have hit me just as I turned right.

Obviously I didn’t, otherwise I wouldn’t have been here to write this. I slowed down and she (yes female this time) whizzed by without a noticeable blip of the brakes. She glanced at me as she went through, with a slightly guilty look. 

Two points, she was approaching the mini roundabout as if it didn’t exist and she wasn’t paying any attention to the road I was on. That would have been a serious crash. I can just imagine her reaction – “the cyclist came from nowhere”. 

Now she got caught by the traffic lights however under the bizarre traffic calming scheme cyclists going straight on get to bypass them.  As I went by I looked at her – she couldn’t meet my eye – she knew she’d screwed up.

Maybe I am getting older and the good news is that in 2013 there was a drop in cyclists killed or seriously injured, however I find near misses happening more often that they used to – what is happening to driving standards. Or are we seeing institutionalised bullying of cyclists on the roads. Cyclists Stay back stickers are a disgrace, if buses and lorries have such terrible blind spots then they shouldn’t be on the road in the first place.

Which is why I am pleased to see that the cyclist traffic on and around Lodes Way seems to be growing and is not all MAMILs.  I quite often see older couples out on their bikes, families with young teens are common and how about this – a Tandem plus trailer heading down Harvey’s Droveway.

Taking to the byways Tandem and Trailer (with child on board) Harvey’s Droveway

It seems to me that Bottisham Lode was running fairly fast – but clear.

Bottisham Lode

For a change I cycled down Rand Drove. I wouldn’t normally cycle down here unless I was on my MTB with fatter, gnarlier tyres. I did on my 25mm tyres and only had one unplanned stop, the rest of the time I managed to plough on through the soft peat.

Rand Drove – squidgy peat makes cycling tricky

Someone else had cycled here recently – although with much fatter tyres than mine.

Rand Drove

Having cycled down Rand Drove I then cycled up Harrison’s Drove towards Upware.  There was a couple and their young family (of seven) crossing the road, so naturally I stopped completely.

Young Family Crossing Upware Road

As I said, usually the traffic on these country lanes is very courteous as was this Audi driver.

Traffic Waiting Patiently for Vulnerable Road Users – Upware Road

Reach Lode – Still Water – Circular Ripples

Cyclists of all types use Lodes Way

Monday, 28th April 2014: So much time has gone by that I’d forgotten that the leaves were only just on they way.

Great Drove – Trees Coming into Leaf

This smoke from a fire at the Pumping Station was visible (and smell-able) for some way

Round these parts you often see small planks across the ditches between fields – there was a time when I would happily have tried them out. I was a lot lighter then and the planks look quite weather-worn.

Walk the plan – Lower Road, Wicken

Monk’s Lode – Some leaves out, some not

Preparation for Reach Fair

Tuesday, 29th April 2014: The weather was getting a bit gloomier – but for a change I visited Oily Hall. (Mill Drove)

Mill Drove

Trees Coming into Leaf along Swaffham Bulbeck Lode

More trees in leaf than not. You can’t see it without zooming in, but there is also an irrigation spray beyond the trees.

Mooring at Upware

The repaired bank alongside Wicken Lode has returned to a pretty shaggy grass bank. It is quite hard to cycle along.

Bank Alongside Wicken Lode

Looking back towards Reach Lode there is an overspill section on the bank.

Rustling Reeds – Harrison’s Drove

More cyclists on Lodes Way

And Even More Cyclists

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