28 Jul 2014

28th July 2014

Monday 28th 68F, 20C, almost still, bright overcast. The winds are forecast to be light today. Yet again
thundery showers are possible while the heatwave continues. I was just reading that it is a bumper harvest but prices are lower than five years ago.

Thanks to the harvest I was able to enjoy the firm perimeter of a huge field. Battling my way effortlessly through the untidy stubble of the recently departed, oil seed rape in my big walking boots. The trekking sandals were reserved for walking on roads. I was enjoying new vistas, out across the local landscape, thanks to the steep slope up to the top of the field. A farmer in large, wellington boots and shorts was eying me from across the field as I trudged back down the much gentler slope to the main track. Minutes later a 4wd arrived with a loaded trailer and sailed straight off across the field. Quickly becoming lost from sight in the rolling contours. Once I leave the road it is extremely rare for me to see anybody, at all, on my walks. The air felt sticky and hot again today with just a hint of mist. Sunny periods between large splodges of thinning cloud bode well for another sweaty ride today.

And, hot and sweaty it was. Despite the heat I detoured up a couple of hills just for the fun of it. 16 miles. Thank goodness for lukewarm showers!

Tuesday 29th 68-77F, 20-25C, breezy, sunny out of a cloudless sky. It became steadily warmer on my walk. Thanks to the forestry work in clearing the fire breaks I was able to access a whole new area I never knew existed. There were several large birds of prey circling. One complained at my presence in its territory. A hare seemed to find me amusing and played his own game of tag. Stopping at intervals to stand sideways before bounding away again in a jolly rocking motion from side to side. This went on for several hundred yards. It was lucky the sun was out because I hadn't a clue where I was when I finally emerged from the shady tunnels beneath the trees.

The picture is of two massive Beech trees on the edge of the forest. Both trunks must be five-six feet in diameter at the base.

Though quite breezy it was another warm ride. The new Shimano SPD cleats have made a great improvement in foot security for climbing and sprinting out of the saddle. 20 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.