Archives for February 2014

Previously: Oh! Deer~SAD~And Sad~Scars Heal

This week 2013 was bitterly cold, getting out was a real treat and seeing Fallow Deer on the move made it all the better. Riding in 2012 and I was feeling down in the grey skies of February, and feeling down after witnessing fly-tipping ‘up close and personal’. On the up side, gravel pit scars will heal and horses seem to have fun.

Week 9, 2013: Oh! Deer!
Week 9, 2012: SAD
Week 9, 2012: And Sad
Week 9, 2012: Scars Heal

Flood Avoidance (With Route)(Just For Cyclists)

If you’re itching to get out on your bike for a ride but are struggling for a route given all the rain, this loop between north Reading over to the other side of Woodcote might be worth a try. It’s a 20 mile route with a couple of lumpy bits to keep you exercised.

At the time of writing it avoided any major problems caused by flooded rivers or (still) rising groundwater, but be warned – many of the roads are in an atrocious state, and not just the smaller lanes. A lot of care is needed. But that all said, it’s better to be out than in!

View Route Map
Link To GPX File.
About The Route Mapping


You could admire the snowdrops starting to show through in earnest now and be pleased spring is here.

Snowdrops on a verge

Spring, surely, has sprung

You could dodge the pot-holes (new and old, often very old) and cut the responsible councils some slack because, after all, the weather’s been awful.

Or you could find yourself wondering, yet again, how it is that so much money is wasted on sub-standard road repairs that fail at the first inclement weather – and from there start to ponder ‘the system’.

Forget all the talk of ‘austerity’. The system is massively rich. Huge amounts of money are sloshing around in local and national government, and vast amounts of that money get wasted. It’s wasted on road repairs that are repairs only in name, obviously, but in all sorts of other respects too. The staggering sums being siphoned out of the NHS spring to mind readily – not least because every passing week, it seems, word leaks out about another Tory/Tory donor with their snout in that particular trough. Whatever way they dress is up, it all comes down to public money being drained away from health care and into private hands for ‘consultancy services’ and management and failed IT projects and the private provision of the previously publicly owned and funded.

In short, a very few people are getting rich out of the public purse on the back of providing ever poorer, ever more expensive, ‘services’.

Nothing about that is news. What is interesting, therefore, is why we put up with it.

Today, riding along debris-strewn roads, I concluded because we’re being fleeced under the cover of politics, and the Brits have a) always been generally disinclined to take much interest in politics and b) when they do show an interest, these days find themselves wholly disillusioned with what’s on offer. And so we give up caring. And so we’re fleeced, royally.

I suppose that does leave us with the question of whether the disillusionment has been deliberately engineered. After all, it suits those who are in a position to do that engineering.

Previously: Camouflage~Bygone Era~A Hard Ride~Death And The Cyclists~Imagined Impotence?

This time last year there was sunshine, some dryness, the mansions of the rich had lost their camouflage and that made me wonder about money. Half term saw a couple of family groups out, which smacked of a bygone era. And my, what a fun week this week two years ago sounds: hard – as in unpleasant – riding; being aware of your death, and pondering impotence in the face of local and global problems.

Week 8, 2013: Camouflage
Week 8, 2013: From A Bygone Era
Week 8, 2012: A Hard Ride
Week 8, 2012: Death And The Cyclists
Week 8, 2012: Imagined Impotence?

1,004 Words

If a picture speaks a thousand words, then herewith 1,004:

Cycling and walking curtailed by flooding

Cycling and walking curtailed

Previously: Regurgitating Drain~Protect The Important~A Pall

This time last year and floods were on the agenda then as now – albeit not so bad. Then and now, thy’re leaving even the ‘destination county’ of Royal Berkshire in a foul state. The pressures of population growth – and the consequences – were also rearing up. The year before, this week saw just a single ride, and that had the prospect of death hanging over it.

Week 7, 2013: Regurgitating Drain
Week 7, 2013: Protect The Important
Week 7, 2012: A Pall