I haven’t had a longish ride recently. For one reason or another the time hasn’t been available. So I was pleased to be able to fit in this 55k ride today. “I am Well Pleased” as the Brits say (I have obviously been watching too many of the London Recumbent Club rides on YouTube!) as the weather today was really good cycling weather.
I got my act together but not quickly. I sold the canoe on Saturday and spent some time in the shed yesterday working out how to use the newly available space. I moved heaps of stuff from stacks against the walls so I can add some extra shelving to what is already there. The stack stuff became intermingled with the riding stuff and the riding stuff hard to find. Then I decided to pack a pannier with rain gear – just in case. All this meant I pulled the bike out, shut the shed roller door, opened it up again to find something, closed it, opened it up again …. and this went on for far too long and reminded me of Scott’s trip preparations. In the end it didn’t rain so I needn’t have bothered.
Now this ride may or may not be accepted by Goddess Kathleen the Great as a CLC ride because I didn’t take the real proof picture. There were reasons as you will see. And they may be mitigating.
I pedalled slowly out of Longford enjoying the wind-free, sunny but cool airs. I had two cycling tops on as it really was a lazy breeze that movement created. The “Frosty Boy” top is windproof to some extent and did keep things warm. There are a couple of 5 acre blocks at the top of Catherine Street I am keeping an eye on. Both will be building soon and I am just interested in how the general works are proceeding. Today one block has been fitted out with sheep to keep the grass down – that explains the serious barricades made out of pallets around the trees they planted. The other seems to be digging the trench to take power and phone to the house site – a job requiring a reasonably deep pocket.
Onto Wilmore’s Lane and up Rip, Rack, Roar and Rumble once more. Nothing much changed here other than things greening a little after the recent rain. At the junction with Bishopsbourne Road I stopped, removed Frosty Boy and dug out the camera. Tried for a shot of some water birds in the protected Lagoon. While stopped I also sent a message to our dog-loving neighbour advising I was out for a ride – could she collect Oscar to assist her working in the garden please.
Parked by the rail crossing. Cars going over it actually stopped this morning.
Distant birds. They are black swans. Honest.
I took a couple of other shots at full 42 times optical zoom but the results were rubbish – too much movement.
Cycling on along Bishopsbourne Rd I noticed a number of black beetles scuttling along the tarmac but couldn’t identify them. A stop at the Bishopsbourne Sports Ground toilets was necessary and the Men’s door was firmly locked. A gentle push at the Women’s door and I was in. In thanks to the Ladies, I made sure there were no signs of a visit including returning seat and cover to the down position. I wonder if this is a physiological game being played by the Council. Lock the guys out of their domain, force them to use the Women’s and with thanks and appreciation for their surrounds they take more care? I doubt it.
Down to the church and turn left for the run down to Pitt’s Lane. By now legs were feeling good and speed naturally increased. I think of the battery indicators in electronic gadgets – an outline of the battery and a colour inside showing how much power is left. My outline leg would be almost full at the moment. I stopped at the junction with Pitt’s Lane.
The closest we get to the Tiers today.
The hedgerows here were showing signs of Autumn.
Hawthorn and Sloe berries plus Rose Hips were colourfully displayed. In other places people are busy picking blackberries which are plentiful this year.
Pitt’s Lane is a backroad linking two roads into Bracknell. At the end I turned right heading towards Carrick. Pitt’s is not a busy road and only one car passed on the way to the junction. The road to Carrick is rather busier with most traffic travelling at 100kph. As usual, when a vehicle was approaching from behind one came from the front too and I formed a mobile chicane. Again as usual, I was looked after by 80% of passers by. The two double trailer, double story sheep trucks came a bit close though and the wind blasting off them was interesting.
Some time ago, in another blogging universe, I posted pictures of poly houses being erected. It looked like they would be growing strawberries and as I cycled past today I saw this is so.
It is quite an operation. There are approx 30 of the tunnels shown on the right with another row of 30 behind. Today all have strawberries dangling and a group of pickers could be seen working it’s way along one of the tunnels.
With no wind and feeling good and the leg outline power indicator well above 50%, the undulating back end of the road was soon completed and I popped out onto the Meander Valley Road heading into Carrick. On the way I passed the Mill (on the Liffey River) which has been recently repurposed from a Cafe and Restaurant to an Antique Centre. It will be interesting to see how long it stays open because the bottom seems to have dropped out of Antiques and many of the shops that were around have given up. Maybe old furniture just doesn’t suit modern houses and all older houses have enough (a suggestion I attribute to our Oscar sitting neighbour).
It was then a few seconds of pedalling up to the Carrick Arms and the associated Cafe. Sometimes an old guy is sitting across the road on his pusher seat, watching the traffic go by. He waves a lot as he knows most drivers. I give him a wave and, after a bit of thought, he waves back – but he wasn’t here today. Hope he is OK.
THEN. Horror. The Cafe was closed. This has happened before but the Publican organised an egg and bacon roll. Today it was a different situation as the Pub has new management. I asked for a roll and coffee and it took a bit of chatting before all was OK and the Chef assured the owner he could and would knock up a roll for me. And he did. 2 eggs, lots of bacon in a large Turkish bread roll. Thank you both. The new owners told me that had expected a “soft landing” in their new place in Tasmania (coming from Brisbane). Instead their first weeks were very hectic as customers deterred from using the Pub and it’s Restaurant by the previous owners, returned in droves. So, to cope, they shut the Cafe and concentrated on renovation and re-opening the Restaurant.
During the conversations and the eating and the coffee I totally forgot to take a picture – and I feel it wouldn’t have been polite anyway! Thanks for the roll – let me take a picture of it!! But contribute to the local community I did and did so again on arrival back in Longford by telling others about the place and setting up a plan to return for an evening meal in the next week or so.
The trip back was by a slightly different route to the out but generally it was more of the same and all very enjoyable. I rode 54 ks according to the tripometer thingo and the leg outline was at 50% after the egg and bacon roll top up.
Now to plan Ride #5.