08 March 2009

Not the best week...

After a rather long run of birding blogs it’s time to catch up a little on the cycling - and one bit of birding too!

So far this year I’ve covered just over 440 miles on the bike on my daily commute to and from work. Apart from the run of snowy weather a couple of weeks ago I’ve also managed to stay dry for most of the 90 rides I’ve completed - that all changed on Tuesday! On the ride home from work I got well and truly soaked! Not only did it pour down with rain but it was very, very windy and at times there was also a fair amount of sleet in with the rain. I got wet, the sleet stung my face and, to cap it all off, I could hardly make any forward progress due to the headwind! Not the most enjoyable of rides.

Wednesday morning’s ride in to work was equally enjoyable - I suffered yet another rear wheel puncture. And, to add insult to injury, it was on the same section of cycle path that all my other recent deflations have occurred. This left me with the option of either stripping the rear wheel and tyre out of the bike and repairing the flat at the side of the road or walking the last 1½ miles to work. I chose the latter and now wish I hadn’t. Walking at a much higher pace than I would normally, in shoes I use purely for cycling, left me with a badly blistered right foot! Next time I’ll go for the roadside repair!

Having had time to reflect on the latest puncture whilst repairing it at work and also riding back home at night I decided it was time to take action... I’ve written to the local council about the amount of glass and general road debris that is on the cycle path and have asked if “urgent consideration can be given to “road sweeping” the cycle path”. I await a reply.

Straight after work yesterday afternoon Lynda and I went out for a short walk along the river Derwent at Ambaston. Not only did this add another 2½ miles to Lynda’s walking mileage - I cycle as much as I can; Lynda walks as often as she can - but it also added another bird species to my “10-Mile List”, a Whooper Swan. The Whooper has been in the area for a while now and I thought it was high time I went and tracked it down. In the end it was easy enough to locate the bird but walking for 2½ miles with a badly blistered foot was somewhat painful. As a result of the bad foot, and the rather dodgy weather forecast for today, that has been the only birding I’ve done this weekend. Next weekend we’re off to Thetford Forest with our RSPB Group so it’s fingers crossed for good weather and good birds again.

My “10-Mile List” now stands at 98 species.

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