Of Kissing, Car Traps and Hoggin
Inspired by Mick's semi-century, I tried to have a go. However, I didn't get out of the house until 11 am and wanted to be back in daylight, so I didn't have the time. That's my excuse. Besides, I spent a while exploring the delights of Cambridgeshire's Guided Busway. And my odometer has a manual start/stop which I fluffed, so I don't have exact statistics. Yeah, that's two more excuses.
But I aim to get fit by summer, so it's worth recording. The route was: Eltisley, Papworth Everard, Elsworth, Boxworth, Swavesey, Over, Willingham, Earith, Colne, Earith, St Ives, Hilton, Papworth Everard, Eltisley. The beginning and end were a bit hilly, with a cool 7°C SW breeze that was with me outwards and against me homewards. About 60 km (37 miles) in 3h 45m travelling, 5h 30m overall. Speeds: 16 kph travelling, 11 kph overall. And I was cream-crackered at the end. That isn't good, and there's no excuse; I'm unfit. In my younger days, I reckoned on averaging 16 kph overall, and that was in hilly Yorkshire or Lancashire with full camping kit.
(I'm starting to sound like my elderly neighbour. Sorry about that.)
Another vaguely interesting statistic: Brown Bike has now logged 507 km since I busted the hip. Plus some distance when I forgot to press "start". Ruby Bike and Folder have also done a bit.
Anyhow, here are some snaps.
Crossing the A14 at Swavesey.
Brown Bike and me at Swavesey guided busway station. The busway follows the route of a couple of old railway lines. I intend to cycle the route someday because it uses the old railway bridges and I like old railway bridges. I've designed a couple in my time, but they were ugly modern concrete affairs.
Brown Bike wants one of these mounted sideways on his rack to discourage overtakers. I have vetoed the idea.
This is what a car trap looks like. I used to keep planks in the back of Katie, my Land Rover, to drive her out of muddy holes. How long before local yobs try a similar idea?
The remaining photos show St Ives station.
"Kiss and ride" is cuter than the usual "drop-off only".
Benches are great for less-abled passengers waiting for a bus. These have been placed in a position where they can't see approaching buses nor the digital display that says when a bus is coming. When one arrives, the passengers will have to sprint across the open area.
Two lanes of guided busway, with cycle track on the right. The concrete tracks for the bus tyres are too narrow for my taste, but this cyclist seems to prefer it to the hoggin surface provided. ("Hoggin" is sand, clay, gravel, ash or whatever. It often changes into mud.)
When the buses get going, it might be more sensible to cycle on the right-hand lane, to face oncoming buses. But I suppose they will have to use the hoggin.