20 Sep 2015

19th September 2015 No chequered flag!

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Saturday 19th 55-61F, 13-16C, almost perfectly still but rather cloudy. It was supposed to be a perfect day for a ride but somebody had to show off and add showers to the forecast. Though the winds should stay under 20mph today. I think I'll do a quick shopping trip for the essentials before deciding on a longer ride. There isn't even enough bread left for pre-ride toast!

Not a bad day with light winds and some sunshine. Rode down to the rural coast and then looped back via the shops. Lots of hills but two days of hedge clipping had taken its toll and I wasn't up to a long ride. Still going quite well for 30 miles. Heavily laden for half of it. The lanes were empty but the roads quite busy. Several birds of prey were soaring and/or calling.

Installation art. The materials are said to be almost worthless but the art is "priceless."

I am still waiting for them to finish the superb new cycle paths alongside a rather busy road. Though never on the UK scale as regards traffic volume. They are laying huge, district heating pipes and other services over several miles. So are using the work as an excuse to lay cycle paths protected by granite sets. The solid kerb stones will help to avoid the paths being used as an extra, [mud and gravel laying] lane by farm traffic. It is too early to say if these will be two or one-way paths. The pipes are still lying on top of some some stretches and most of the paths [and pipes] are only on one side of the road so far.

Despite the traffic using this 50kph [30mph] stretch as a race track there was never any protection for the cyclist until now. Not even a dotted line to cower behind and the potholes would embarrass a world class, extreme MTB 'r. Cavers often had their eye on them, when the forecast was dry, because flooding was a constant danger. Laying the pipes has cost the lives of quite a number of mature trees and hedges. Though the latter will soon regrow if left to their own devices. In fact they really seem to thrive on a good crew-cut. Often growing considerably in both girth and variety of species at the expense of their previous, foolish height. There's a moral in that story for a chronically, non-dedicated, 10' hedge clipper, like me. I wonder if I could bribe the farmer to take a yard off the top while he's slashing his field hedges?

Sunday 20th  51F, 11C, bright and fitfully breezy. Gusting to 12m/s later which is very nearly 25mph. Wet all day tomorrow so I ought to make the effort while I can. A walk would be a good start to untie the knotted muscles from all the extreme gardening. Warm sunshine and a niggling wind as I walked mostly by way of stubbly fields. Two deer were dozing in a quiet corner but remained unmoved by my presence. Hundreds of ducks moved away across the pond as I sneaked past trying to use sparse  vegetation as cover. It didn't help that the field had been ploughed right to the edge of the pond. Dozens of pheasants scattered as I approached the woods.

A lot of traffic on the road for a Sunday. I had to keep hopping onto the verge on the blind corners. As deliberately blind [drunk?] drivers cut tightly to the inside to ensure they maximized their braking distance to literally suicidal levels. One driver tried to cut in but overshot by a full vehicle width into the opposite lane! As luck would have it there was no bus or lorry routinely cutting the corner in the opposite direction despite the double white lines. Most of them need a white stick in place of their steering wheel! Complete lunacy or sheer laziness of thought? Is it a racial tendency to completely ignore the rules of the road? Or is it just more Janteloven? "Traffic laws are for other people. We know better and won't be dictated to by even bigger fools than us!"

Is it really any harder work to drive "the long way around" in the safety of the middle of their marked lane? I have been advocating for years that drivers should practice driving in the middle of their own lane. Not only does this give them a far better view of the road ahead on every corner but they get to subconsciously practice their driving skills on every single corner. Any drooling, suicidal fool can take a "racing line." So that they cut in on the [often completely blind] apex and then automatically overshoot on the exit. They do it all the time and every time and it makes them look like the damned fools they really are! Yet they probably brag to their equally smug and deluded "driving" friends how well they corner.

What they never realise is that racing circuits are always one way traffic. That racing circuits have no double white lines. The vast majority of racing circuits have very wide and bare grass verges so that the drivers can see right across the corner to monitor for obstructions. The sooner these sad, pot-bellied, idiot "old boy racers" are taken away from their car's manual controls the better.

Mmm! McSlugbait.

It seems that any fool can afford an Audi. Perhaps they should have IQ and driving tests before they are allowed to buy one? If they can't corner without using the opposite lane then they are unfit to drive. There are no variations on this simple rule. None! Now tell that to the literally hundreds of morons per day driving in the opposite lane on the local blind corners. Has Audi spent a vast fortune perfecting the handling of their cars so that their moronic owners can cut every outside corner and overshoot on the exit of every inside corner? The absolute proof can be found on all the local corners.

Rather than Audi attracting better drivers, than average, the converse seems to be true. The owners actually believe the hype and the Audi rally pedigree and drive accordingly. They really do think they own self-driving cars but haven't noticed the lack of all the vital sensors. They race down every straight and crawl around every single corner with an appalling and dangerous line. One absolutely guaranteed to overlap with their drooling Audi doppelganger coming straight at them in the opposing lane. No doubt the low noise levels inside the car are further lulling these morons into a false sense of sensory deprivation. Fully comprehensive insurance removes all sanctions for driver error. Knowing that they are surrounded in class leading safety devices must add to the wonderful sense of ownership without [the least] personal responsibility.

I enjoyed a ride into the wind to take some pictures in a village near the coast. Several large, old farmhouses are up for sale for relatively small change. There are many fine old houses too. Only 17 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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