Mood Inversion

February 15, 2019

I have to admit, I did wonder this morning why I’d agreed to meet someone in Bigtown at 10 am – cutting right into my most productive working hours. Especially when I opened the curtains and realised that despite some giddy talk from the BBC weather presenters about springlike weather, it was actually pretty frosty out (fortunately, not icy enough to make me regret removing the ice tyres although had I had a winter bike …)

misty morning

But it’s hard to beat a temperature inversion for making for a gorgeous ride down the hill and into town. Partly because Bigtown looks better when its veiled in mist (don’t we all), partly because, well, just look at it.

It’s interesting to actually feel the temperature inversion too, not just see its effects. It was distinctly colder by the time I’d reached the river valley, as well as mistier. The frost was gone where the sun had hit it, but only just

And by the time I was riding home, buoyed by the enthusiasm of someone who’s putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to Bigtown cycling, it was really jolly nice indeed. Perhaps not the giddy heights promised by the weather forecast, but definitely a bonus for February, when you take what you can get, weather wise

Some days, work just has to wait…

Spring forward

April 1, 2014

Obviously the whole ‘putting the clocks forward’ thing is just a strange act of mass self-delusion and has absolutely no effect on anything at all except to confuse livestock and children and certainly does not give us an ‘extra hour of daylight’…

evening light

… but it does mean that my ride back from the pub looks like this, and for that we should be grateful

evening light mist and trees

(it was only after I had taken this photo that it occurred to me that shoving my front wheel into a blackthorn hedge in order to get a clear view across the field wasn’t the most sensible idea I’d ever had after yesterday’s shenanigans)



What Goes Up…

February 28, 2013

Some idiot – or at least non-cyclist – decided in their wisdom that the best place for our local doctors’ surgery would be the village-on-a-hill, which enjoys the sort of location that is usually reserved for hilltop fortresses, or possibly windfarms. Whichever road you take, the only way to reach it is up, but for us the most direct route involves a particularly heart-breaking climb, the kind that employs every kind of mind game on the poor cyclist from false summits to the old ‘going-round-a-bend-and-suddenly-kicking-upwards’ trick.

village in the mist

It was a frosty and misty morning, and I had been glad to have my ice tyres on as I made my way through the river valley (especially when 50% of the traffic I saw this morning – i.e. one car – decided that the narrow stretch of road with a substantially icy verge would be the ideal spot to overtake me. Well done spotting I had ice tyres on at 40+ mph) but as I crossed the bridge and started the ascent, I definitely felt every one of their thousand grams* and I was glad I’d allowed extra time to cool down and get my heart rate back to something approaching normal before my appointment.

mist in the valley below

But when I emerged, I was pleased to see that the sun had almost – but not quite – burnt off the morning’s mist giving me a chance to capture the way it lay in the valley below

And then there was nothing for it but to set off, and enjoy the ride down.

road downhill
* the additional kilo of rider since I last climbed it may also have had something to do with it…

Freeze Dried

November 10, 2012

misty morning

Looking out on a bright but chilly November morning, I wondered what it was that was lying under the washing line on the frosty grass …

… ah, my best merino base layer. Obviously I’d grabbed the washing in a bit too much of a hurry the other day and it had had a good soaking

And was now stiff as a board

frozen merino

I’m hoping Howie’s make their tops as solidly as their reputation implies.

Cattle in the Mist

October 27, 2011

There was a moment yesterday morning when the sun struggled through and the whole countryside started to steam gently

Since then we’ve had nothing but rain, interspersed with heavy showers. A break in one of the latter has at least given me a chance to have a go at one of my favourite post-wet-weather activities, de-flooding the road outside the house. It takes a surprisingly small amount of leaves to completely block up the storm drains, turning the road into a minor canal. Fortunately this means that only a small amount of poking about with a stick very quickly clears the blockage with a very satisfactory gurgling sound and within half an hour the road is back to road (albeit wet road) and I can feel like I’ve done my bit.

If only everything was as easy and as satisfying to sort out, Mr Cameron and his big society would be onto something. Sadly, there are very few other problems that can be resolved by poking them with a stick, whatever the more disciplinarian wing of the Tory party might believe.