Try refreshing the page to ensure you are enjoying the latest version. I tend to make endless edits and corrections over time. Forgive the sometimes off-topic nature of my blog these days. Walking and enjoying the countryside are vital to my physical and psychological fitness and sense of well-being. They combine to undo the damage caused by an occasional excess of cycling. And, may even stave off another rant! Though I can't promise anything. My long-suffering wife, "The Head Gardener," refers to me as the Imelda Marcos of saddles and saddlebags. She is usually right about almost everything. So it may well be true.

2 Sep 2015

1st September 2015 60mph is the new 40kph.

Tuesday 1st 62F, 17C, light breeze, heavy overcast. Light showers possible.

Lawnmower on steroids?

How many more Septembers can we each count on? Will we live each September as if it were our last? Will others treat our remaining Septembers with the same [lack of] respect as they do their own? The reason I ask is not some "deep" philosophical discussion on the meaning of life. No, it is far more simple than that: When does another's need for speed exceed my right to enjoy another September?

I was traveling along a major roadworks yesterday. The existing speed limit of 60kph [about 40mph] had been reduced to 50kph [30mph] and even 40kph [25mph] but was routinely being ignored. Yesterday, a dozen excavators twirled on the spot while tipper trucks shuttled back and forth. All this on a road which had been reduced to a single track with temporary traffic lights on long stretches.

Many drivers saw their progress being "unfairly" limited by the "difficult" conditions. But who, with a public show of pure insanity, decided that driving at well above the national speed limit was their absolute right. Should I have a jacket printed up asking about my personal allowance of future Septembers? Or will I become a mere blur as they race past me at twice the speed limit? No police presence = no crime.

Half way into my two hour walk the early clarity was suppressed by misty rain. Fearful that it might become more serious I took shortcuts across stubbly fields. Three deer watched me intently until I took out my camera. That was their signal to vanish into the brush. Walking on gravelled forest tracks, after heavy overnight rain, is very different to dry conditions. It takes on a level of toil not dissimilar to that found on soft, sandy beaches. A fidgety, very dark, almost black buzzard was pouncing on a harvested field. It obviously did not enjoy my presence at its breakfast table and quickly put a great distance between us. Another rest day. After a horribly grey and miserable day the sun finally came out at 19.35.

Wednesday 2nd 55F, 13C, bright but windy. Another windy 15m/s day.[30mph] The garden trees are already rocking at 7am. Blowing a gale for my hour's walk. Partially via harvested fields and some by quiet roads. A solitary bird of prey cried wolf while soaring above its personal copse.

It was blowing an even worse gale with fierce gusts for my ride. The most dangerous part is passing an opening in the high roadside hedges and being blown off course. The faster one rides the worse the effects of a crosswind. On one exposed descent I was hanging right off the side with one hand on the handlebars and the other on the aero bars. Even then I was using a lot of road just to stay on the tarmac. Fortunately the traffic was light on the lanes I deliberately chose to avoid the main roads. Only 13 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.