12 Jun 2017

12th June 2017 Wrong-sided by the Sun.

Monday 12th 60F, 15C, bright and breezy start. Expected to be a little cooler today with a risk of showers. Just a short walk along the lanes in a blustery gale as jumbled clouds raced across. Dark masses accumulated but it stayed dry until I made it safely home. Only to dump a very short shower on my heels.

A pretty, village pond enjoying quiet domestication.

A morning of gales and repeated showers which continued into the afternoon. I headed off to the shops via a detour along the lanes. A young chap went past on a racing bike and I tried to follow. I cranked it up to 19 and then 20mph but he was leaving me well behind.  I just don't have the legs for it any more. Hardly surprising with my limited mileage these days. Fortunately it stayed dry. Though I was being pushed around by the wind or fighting a headwind. There didn't seem like much of a tailwind on offer. Only 11 miles, returning heavily laden. Down to 6.5mph over the last stretch.

Tuesday 13th 55F, 13C, heavy grey overcast but almost calm. The forecast is dry, but with strong winds again later. The ducklings disappeared into the reeds on the far side of the church pond just as I arrived.

After another busy day without a ride. So I decided to go out at 6.30 to explore the evening before dinner. A 20mph rush with the wind along the main road, up a long drag and then hard left and back along the empty rural lanes. I can't remember the last time I rode in the evening. The sky was very dark at times but with a golden wash on the crops making familiar scenes almost magical.

The sun was on the wrong side of the sky and illuminating whole new vistas. Even when the sun disappeared behind clouds the light was softer than I usually enjoy. I came out of a stretch of extremely rattly cobbles to discover a gaggle of club cyclists in their smart uniforms gathered just around the blind junction. Perhaps they were steeling themselves for the cobbles? They all seemed very cheerful as I rode on towards home into a headwind between rocking trees. I wonder how many mad tricyclists they come across on their travels? 12 miles.

Wednesday 14th 58F, 14C, bright and not so breezy. Walked along the marsh and back through the woods. Saw [and disturbed] several deer. Windier now but almost continuous sunshine. Too busy for a ride.

Thursday 15th 61F, 16C, bright, sunny and calm. Showers forecast for this afternoon. The sky is milky from persistent vapour trails. Short walk but no ride.

Friday 16th 61-68F, 16-20C, bright and breezy but rather cloudy. Possible showers. Returned from a short walk to find several baby wrens on the doormat. Their mother had built a nest in the timbers above the porch. She was still going back and forth to the nest while the babies scattered amongst T.H.G's potted plants. Seconds later, huge rain drops fell from the sky. Though it was over just as son as it started. I left the wrens to sort themselves out as soon as the doormat was clear enough to go indoors.

I have hay fever again with violent sneezing and a bin full of damp hankies. I'm a martyr to Ragweed. [Ambrosia artemisiifolia] I sneaked in a late afternoon ride to the shops in a gale. Thanks to the wind it felt almost chilly at 68F. Seven miles.

Saturday 17th 59-72F, 15-22C, bright and very breezy again. A walk to the village in bright sunshine with a gusty wind. The baby ducks were absent again. Rode to more distant shops with a tailwind allowing 18-20mph. A Bullfinch was shouting from the fence surrounding the supermarket car park. Total chaos in the supermarket due to one woman with two trolleys filling the belt. Why couldn't she stuff her bags at her car outside in the sunshine? Head wind coming home and a struggle to maintain mid 90s cadence. 16 miles. Too warm trying to work outside in the sunshine at 72F.

Sunday 18th 62F, 17C, rather overcast but expected to brighten and be rather warm again. It was already a "sticky" 67F on my walk as the cloud cleared to sunshine and constantly changing, cloud shadows on the crops.

I paused at a field entrance to find a small baby bird at my feet. Probably a Great tit judging by the colours. Meanwhile the parents were chattering their alarm from the overhead trees. So I left it them to their own devices. No doubt the tiny thing is already being treated for PTSD with a few favourite "buggy" snacks. Taking of which, the McLardy's packaging has been shredded by the verge cutters. What you might call accelerated decomposition to increased bio-degradation. Or an even worse mess if you prefer. No ride today.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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