Monthly Archives: November 2012

Friday 30th November 2012.

Quite different, along Banana Walk, today in the freezing mist. The canal was, again, part-frozen, but today the mist was thick along the tow-paths.
Old, rotting leaves, presently in frozen lumps along the roads and paths, tend to be slippy when iced-up, take care if you’re riding over them. There are, too, hardly visible icy patches, that need real care when riding on two-wheels. For some steep paths, that are frozen-leaf strewn, I just get off and walk.
So, a chilly end to November 2012, especially by Radcliffe wharf. It looks cold, desolate and remote, but, a few yards away is a bus-stop!

Thursday 29th November 2012.

Bright sunlight, this morning, over familiar scenes white with frost.
I noticed, yesterday, that the government have allocated (exactly when I don’t know) another £20,000,000.00p for ‘cycling infrastructure’. Whether this is countrywide, or, for an area within a hundred yards radius of Westminster, is also unclear. So I’ll keep an eye out for anything new locally.
There’s nothing yet.
Then again, on mornings like this one, how do you get early-rising workers out of a warm bed and onto a freezing bike, instead of inside a nice, warm, Range Rover, in order to travel to work?
Will, for instance, £20,000,000.00p worth of fancy tarmac do the trick?
It’s not, of course, for me to provide (on a free basis) answers. But today, along the icy, pink tarmac of Radcliffe Canal, there was but one, solitary, frozen cyclist…

Wednesday 28th November 2012.

Clouds and swans, in the sun, this morning at the Red Bridge, Radcliffe. And then, the bike ride almost to Bury, along that tow-path, which was fine and dry today so far.
But, despite the sun, it isn’t really warm – especially at snail-pace on an old bike. So a good, weatherproof jacket – fleece-lined if possible, is a must for the dawdling geriatric. And a woollie hat. And gloves. So equiped, you can go as slow as you like! Which, at rush-hour, traffic-jam speed, is still far faster than any car!
In fact, now I think about it, if you include walking-to and waiting at station or bus-stop, getting to Radcliffe and/or Bury, from our house, is far quicker, even at my speed, on a bike.

Tuesday 27th November 2012.

Cold, damp and rainy this morning and, while on the ride, just about every road surface possible was ridden: The tarmac of roads and tow-paths – puddled mud – loose pebbles – compacted pebbles – cobblestones.
The worst surface is the loose pebble path down by the Archimedes Screw at Warth. The compacted pebbles (older path) are fine, but the new one is a bit green yet! There was plenty of water going over that weir.
From Warth up to Hinds Lane and the megapuddles were back. Not a major problem with mud-guards though.
From Wellington Street up to viaduct level then along the old railway track to meet-up with Bolton Road. This is uphill, but, now and then, as today, you get the wind behind you.

Monday 26th November 2012.

An older picture this morning from a ride earlier in the month. A small ‘chore’ was done, this morning, on the bike, and, once again, Ainsworth Road was rode down and then up. This is good ‘training’. I dunno what for – but it’s good training.
It’s good training, too, for the old Apollo Road Bike that’s been out literally daily, rain or shine, since February. At the outset this old bike was re-cabled and a reasonable saddle fitted. Just doing this makes even a cheapo quite ride-able. (especially saddle-wise) Later, new tyres and tubes were fitted – the originals were ‘the originals – and were perishing daily! Later, brake levers and handlebars were changed, and, even a bell was fitted. (vital on the canal tow-paths)
On this bike, since about February, over 1,000 miles have been quite easily ridden, and, maybe, over 1,000 photographs, of local scenes, taken.
Which all goes to prove that Retirement need not mean retiring!
Try, instead; re-tyring!

Sunday 25th November 2012.

old and windy for a ride round this morning – even the locals were sheltering by the topless bridge!
And, now that the reeds and rushes have died-back a bit, you can see ‘ten and three-quarters’.
On the way back, this morning, a large bunch of cyclists went past – several of them on tandems.
So there wasn’t just me out this morning!

Saturday 24th November 2012.

The weather was almost summery yesterday but, today, is normal! A heavy white frost all over the place. At least it’s seasonal. For those on two wheels, though , frozen, decomposing leaves, are a nightmare. Steer clear!
**Last night, as some film was on TV downstairs and Mrs C. was watching it, I thought I’d watch DVD2 of the Harry Potter series – the one with the big snake. It plays fine on the pc and the picture is ace. But, when Malfoy and Potter were on that podium thingy, casting spells at each other, exactly as a green spell-flash appeared on screen – me light-bulb went!
It’s not really a problem, but the bust bulb is one of those eu regulation efforts that you can’t bin. That’s the problem.
While changing the bulb, today, I also cleaned the shade. With those low-energy (low output!) bulbs the damn things need all the help they can get – I’ve seen brighter lard-candles.

Friday 23rd November 2012.

Mild and sunny this morning and, rather than just a ‘for fun’ ride, a ride with a real, everyday purpose, was done. Hence today’s picture is of an old artefact still standing in Radcliffe. (No!)
The ride was just to Water Street and back, not much, but it would involve coming back up Ainsworth Road. To a fifteen year old BMX’er this hill is next to nothing, but to someone that started cycling when England had Grime factories, it’s a nightmare. Half a mile, or more, of solid uphill.
It was okay.
As well as steep hills, getting back onto main roads is a challenge for the geriatric. But, so far so good.
The next ‘hill-climb’ challenge will probably be Radcliffe New Road – which is monstrous for the over fifties, but, if climbable, will facilitate many things.
Since February, though, the (more or less) daily cycling has paid-off training-wise. It is possible to get back into some sort of shape for cycling, even if over fifty, and the cycle-lanes and routes are a big help.
Keep your chain oiled!
Had a walk to Elton Reservoir early afternoon. The lanes are puddled and there are still a lot of ‘stingers’ about if you’re a cyclist.

Thursday 22nd November 2012.

Windy but mild today along the canal to Withins. Then back to the wharf – to get bombarded by the gulls!
I’m normally on Firefox while writing here, but the latest Opera is awesome. The Opera ‘Turbo’ facility – although really for the smaller machines – does make a difference on the average desktop pc like this one.
There is too, now I’m told, an Arch system fronted by Cinnamon. If possible I’ll test it and report – but I prefer things ‘stable’ at the moment so Mint is the (main) os here.
There were (major) Firefox updates today and it’s fast enough, as always, for very general use.
In Colibri – the Reader-File programme for Linux (etc) the Cover ‘making’ facility saves much time – and gives the programme a well-deserved plug!