Thursday, 22 January 2009

New school

The building site on Robinson Street is where they are building a new school to replace St.Stephen's old junior and older infants schools. An impressive amount of groundwork has been done to level the site between the two old schools. All winter the work has continued through every kind of weather, even when the ground was frozen hard. There are plenty of foundations to see now. New build schools seem to appear overnight, so I anticipate once the foundation work is completed, the structure will grow quickly.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Road Rage (mine this time)

That's what I nearly had tonight. I can see why people, in a fit of pique, lose their rag and do something they regret. Personally, I was so stunned by what happened, I just didn't react apart from shouting 'Idiot'.
I was at the T junction at the end of Beech Street. This place is a magnet for bad driving. It's where I see cars turning right at the no right turn and people without seat belts driving whilst on their mobile phones. I was just about to pull out when a car approaching from behind pipped his horn. I wondered who he could be sounding off at but figured whatever it was, it was behind me. It made me cautious so I didn't pull out so quickly to turn right (for those in right hand drive countries, you need to transpose all the left and rights to get the drift of this). It was a good job I didn't because the driver (a small chap wearing a fez in a silver Toyota Corolla) just drove straight across the front of me turning left down Maple Street. My front wheel was barely inches from the side of his car and me barely spared ending up in a crumpled mess under his wheels.

I didn't have the wherewithal to chase after him to the lights at Bastwell. I should have got his number and reported him for dangerous driving. When will I learn? I really think I need that head cam like Jeff. I was still shaking when I got home.

Monday, 19 January 2009


We used to have indoor bike storage where I worked last. Now the poor old thing has to endure this whilst I work indoors where it is warm.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009


Not that extreme if you live in the Alps, the middle of the continental land mass or some places in America and Canada, but for here 25 miles from the west coast and the prevailing south westerly gulf stream fuelled warmer winds, this morning was getting near to as cold as it gets. Most of my cycling gear is OK for this weather but gloves and shoes were the areas where the limit was exceeded. It was almost as if I wasn't wearing my Thinsulate gloves. I could feel my fingers freezing as I rode along and nothing I could do would warm my them this morning. Any more temperatures like this and I'll be breaking out my ski gloves but it's still some way off needing pogies. My toes weren't too bad but a longer ride would have seen them go numb. One amusing side effect of the icy cold is a numb chin causing an inability to speak, which makes ordering at the sandwich shop interesting.

A couple of other cycle commuters were spotted out today, similarly muffled against the cold. Good to see.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Back en route

Bicycle commuting 2009 recommenced today for me after an extra day off last Friday. The Raleigh road bike is back on commuting duties having successfully passed some shakedown runs over the Christmas break. It's very different from the mountain bike even when it had road tyres on. Somehow the difference is more marked when commuting. A day ride in the country allows the mind to wander and the scenery to be absorbed. In town everything feels more jittery, especially bouncing around on the potholes and patches of tarmac in the road. Today was icy with the temperature never getting above freezing so I was taking it extra careful. Tonight it's forecast to get down to between -7C to -9C. Winter really is continuing in the same vain as it did throughout December. I'm glad Santa brought me an Altura skullcap!

The picture above is Pendle Hill - I didn't have one of today's ride so I thought this would make a nice substitute.