Posts Tagged ‘woodlands’

More exercise-2

Sunday, May 24th, 2020

Thursday I did another photographic ride, quite a lot on various footpaths and exploring small park and woodlands, more than covering my ten miles but at a more leisurely pace. The temperature was well up in the twenties and there was little or no wind and it got very hot in the sun. The pictures here come from this ride.

It was too hot on Thursday night for me to sleep well and I woke on Friday not feeling at my best, with a slight stomach upset and feeling just a little chesty. It was a pleasant temperature – 19 degrees – but rather windy as I set out at 10am for my exercise ride. Wind is a pain for cyclists though it helps to have it behind you but it always seems to be more of the time against, and adds to the effort. I’d decided on a route through some back streets and I got lost, ending up in a dead end behind some houses.

I stopped and got the map out, and found I had cycled too far up a hill and would have to go back around 600 metres. Next I had problems with my gears, finding a very steep short rise and being unable to change down to my lower set on the smaller chain wheel, and coming to a halt. Eventually I managed to move the chain, but made several unsuccessful attempts to start of the steep rise before having the sense to ride across to get started. I struggled up, and at the top simply collapsed. My heart was racing, I was panting heavily for breath and felt slightly sick and rather shaky, and I had to keep sitting on the pavement for around five minutes before I felt well enough to get up.

I thought about giving up and turning for home, but decided since the hill ahead wasn’t as steep and I’d now got my gears more or less sorted to try to carry on. I crossed the main road and struggled on up the hill until I was more or less at the top and then stopped. I was still feeling pretty rotten and decided there was no point in carrying on. I turned around and made for home by a slightly more direct route. For the first half mile I didn’t even have to pedal. But I didn’t quite make my ten miles, just a little over seven before I reached home for a rest on our sofa.

Perhaps I will have to rethink my exercise schedule, though it may be enough just to make myself take it a little easier on the hills and give up and walk rather than forcing myself to ride. It would be easy to avoid hills altogether by staying in south-west Middlesex, one of the flattest areas of the country. All the hills here are man-made, railway and motorway bridges and a little over-generous infill of some gravel sites and none present a great challenge to even elderly cyclists.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


HS2

Friday, March 13th, 2020

Lord Adonis has a lot to answer for, a rival to Failing Grayling who also served as Secretary of State for Transport – from 2016 to 2019. Adonis regards himself as “the architect of HS2” and published the original plan around ten years ago during the then new Labour government. It is down to him that we have the pigs ear which is HS2 rather than a modern railway that would be a great asset to our infrastructure.

Some protesters came with trees

HS2 as presently planned is crazy. It doesn’t connect with HS1, so we will eventually need to build a new connection there. It doesn’t run into Birmingham New Street, and the time saved by the faster transit into Curzon St will be lost for passengers requiring onward services there. And while the high-speed trains will be able to continue their journeys on existing track further north, they will actually be slower on these than the existing tilting stock.

One campaigner was dressed as a tree

There were alternative routes that would have worked better and certainly been more friendly to the environment, but these were dismissed under Adonis apparently without proper investigation. And it would have been better to have started by sorting out existing northern routes where the need is greater. We already have two working routes to Birmingham from London, from either Euston or Marylebone.

London-Birmingham is really too short a trip for the huge cost of a high-speed 300km/h connection to be worthwhile, they saving in time been too short. Currently the fastest services make the journey in 1 hr 22 mins, and that time could almost certainly be shortened by relatively small changes in to the existing route and signalling. The distance is 161km and the current average speed of the fastest services is only 118 km/h, using trains capable of over 200km/h.

Chris Packham gave me 3 acorns to plant but we have too many trees in our garden already

The protest at Euston led by Chris Packham and The Woodland Trust was over the environmental damage being caused by destruction of ancient woodlands on its route, taking place at a time when the whole HS2 project was still in doubt and was precipitated by the imminent destruction of South Cubbington Wood, due to be destroyed on 9th October. This is one of 30 classified ancient woodlands among a total of 108 woods to be wholly or partly lost to HS2. And the felling was put on hold.

Since then, the project has been given the go-ahead by Boris Johnson and is likely to be too far advanced by the time we get a new government to make some sensible changes. But I have a horrible feeling it may just end up as a huge white elephant.

More on the protest: HS2 threatens ancient Woodland


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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