A positive thread

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: A positive thread

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 16 May 2019, 8:58pm

Found some cheap but nice alloy north road bars.
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Grandad
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Re: A positive thread

Postby Grandad » 16 May 2019, 9:22pm

Perhaps you should consider upgrading to a cycling job, guiding tourists maybe

I know someone who sometimes works as a ride leader for an American travel company who provide Americans with guided tours in the UK.

Some of his tales are amusing but others make me realise it can be very difficult at times. Are any members of this forum involved with guided tours?

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Patrickpioneer
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Re: A positive thread

Postby Patrickpioneer » 19 May 2019, 10:36am

Not long back from an hours ride, life can be very cool 8)

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Re: A positive thread

Postby brynpoeth » 20 May 2019, 8:25pm

Did a long ride today, 53 km, with a long stop to eat and read the paper
The right sort of tiredness at last :wink:
Lots of cherries growing, should be a great harvest in a few weeks
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Re: A positive thread

Postby brynpoeth » 21 May 2019, 6:47pm

Got wet cycling home from the train station
Not so bad, changed into dry clothes back home, warmed up some lentil soup

Positive thing is, I cannae remember the last time I got rained on while cycling :wink:
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Patrickpioneer
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Re: A positive thread

Postby Patrickpioneer » 23 May 2019, 6:16am

My big sister came yesterday to care for mum so I could go for a 'long' ride. Up the hills i went on the moors, climbing and climbing, then the sun came out and at one point I could see the sea!
it was blooming marvelous.
twenty five miles, three and a half hours, please don't tell me my average speed :shock:

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Cugel
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Re: A positive thread

Postby Cugel » 23 May 2019, 9:29am

Patrickpioneer wrote:My big sister came yesterday to care for mum so I could go for a 'long' ride. Up the hills i went on the moors, climbing and climbing, then the sun came out and at one point I could see the sea!
it was blooming marvelous.
twenty five miles, three and a half hours, please don't tell me my average speed :shock:


'Tis only the average pleasure quotient that matters. :-)

Glimpses of the sea from on-high, through a fold in the verdant hills dotted with farm and cottage. A quiet country road adrape in wildflower banks & verges, leading home. Wonderful life.

Cugel

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Re: A positive thread

Postby Vorpal » 23 May 2019, 9:46am

brynpoeth wrote:Perhaps you should consider upgrading to a cycling job, guiding tourists maybe :wink:

I've had a couple of cycling jobs, and I loved them, but they didn't pay the mortgage.
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Cugel
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Re: A positive thread

Postby Cugel » 25 May 2019, 9:36pm

Loadsa laburnum! It's everywhere in West Wales just now - and blooming like I've never seen. It must be all the CO2.

Today the ladywife et moi went for a very hilly 30 miler to explore yet more new (to us) local roads. There are so many; and the great majority smooth black tarmacadam, even the teeny-weeny ones. Of course they are painted in tractor wheel daubs of mud or cowclap and include spare gravel for the grass to grow from in the middle. :-)

Every road seemed to be lined with full-bloom laburnums. All the hedgerows too were full of them. Has some Welsh wag uprooted all the mayblossom overnight and put in laburnum, as a strange country joke? We will never know.

Laburnum ride-1.jpg
Laburnum to infinity.


Laburnum ride-2.jpg
Two laburnum sniffers


Laburnum ride-3.jpg
This way for more laburnum!


Cugel, relieved to see some bluebells.

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Re: A positive thread

Postby PDQ Mobile » 25 May 2019, 11:38pm

It's a strange choice of hedgerow planting for sure.
All parts are quite toxic, perhaps the cows avoid it? Sensible things cows, by and large!

A native of Europe. I once camped in the Jura mountains near a small lake and the whole hillside was a dense stand of it, though it was not in flower.

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Re: A positive thread

Postby TrevA » 26 May 2019, 12:03am

Did a lovely ride today with the Mrs. We followed the route of the now disused Grantham Canal all the way from Cropwell Butler in Notts to Grantham. We did 30 miles and probably 27 of those were on the canal towpath. It has a decent fine gravel surface for the most part but the section between Harby and Muston is mostly grass. My wife was on her hybrid and I was on my BTwin 520 road bike with 28mm road tyres. A bit bumpy on the grass sections but passable.

We saw quite a few swans and ducks with their cygnets and ducklings. Delightful. Also saw a variety of other birds and wildlife including a Buzzard, a Red Kite and several Grey Herons.
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Patrickpioneer
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Re: A positive thread

Postby Patrickpioneer » 26 May 2019, 10:20am

I'm just back from a little ride along the lanes and at one point a weasel ran across the road in front of me, its the first i have seen this year. Its the little things in life like this that keep me going out :)

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Cugel
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Re: A positive thread

Postby Cugel » 26 May 2019, 10:55am

PDQ Mobile wrote:It's a strange choice of hedgerow planting for sure.
All parts are quite toxic, perhaps the cows avoid it? Sensible things cows, by and large!

A native of Europe. I once camped in the Jura mountains near a small lake and the whole hillside was a dense stand of it, though it was not in flower.


I wonder if it was a choice or whether the laburnum has somehow been the fit survivor due to it's seed-spreading ability? Some of the hedgerows in this part of Wales seem to have very little maintainance as they are more tree than shrub so don't require the same degree of trimming. If you look at the wider swathes of en-fielded landscape, the fields are often quite small and demarcated with once-hedgerows that are often just a row of trees with some fencing stretched across the line of their trunks. Little maintainance and therefore left to evolve as they will.

The seeds of laburnum are notoriously toxic but what's the actual risk of a beast (or a small human) eating enough for them to be so? It's one of those things that seem to be surrounded with scuttle-butt more than with facts emergent from more scientific studies. But perhaps someone somewhere has collected the actual incident rate for laburnum-poisoning?

https://www.eastleighnews.co.uk/2011/05 ... nt-page-1/

There is a road out here (Boncath to Eglwyswrw) where there were dozens of laburnums three or four years ago .... but they've all now been taken out, presumably by the farmer who has stock in the adjacent fields. Why else, since laburnum (as far as I know) has no commercial value as a timber. But were any of his coos poisoned? Possibly not, but the farmer may be of the ilk that also believes crows eat his lambs so shoots them before they do (which is why no lamb has yet been crow-et, even if many crows do still flap about the place waiting for him to shoot them). :-)

And one must ask - since these thousands of Welsh laburnums have taken decades to grow, where is the tremendous winnow of all the coos and sheep (and innocently playing little children)? Laburnum poisoning should be at epedemic levels!

Cugel

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Patrickpioneer
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Re: A positive thread

Postby Patrickpioneer » 26 May 2019, 11:09am

Cugel wrote:And one must ask - since these thousands of Welsh laburnums have taken decades to grow, where is the tremendous winnow of all the coos and sheep (and innocently playing little children)? Laburnum poisoning should be at epedemic levels!

Cugel


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Re: A positive thread

Postby PDQ Mobile » 26 May 2019, 12:03pm

Cugel wrote:
And one must ask - since these thousands of Welsh laburnums have taken decades to grow, where is the tremendous winnow of all the coos and sheep (and innocently playing little children)? Laburnum poisoning should be at epedemic levels!

Cugel

All that glisters....

I was merely pointing out that as hedgerow plant surrounding stocked fields it is considered to be toxic.
Though I would guess not stockproof!
So a strange choice and IMV almost certainly planted not self seeded.

The poor state of hedges you allude to is often (partly) a product of intensive sheep farming on fields that formerly had more cattle. The sheep tend to eat out the bases of the hedges.

Toxicity in the plant world is very complex, ( no surprise).
Bluebells are avoided by most stock but hungry sheep will eat them without the whole flock going teats up.
Even the humble Buttercup is also lightly toxic and can cause ulceration of the digestive tract; sheep seem more immune than cattle. Cattle though seem to gain some immunity and sometimes actively target some areas of the plant. Horses avoid them totally unless practically starving; indeed it is often hunger that drives the eating of such a species.

((The toxicity varies with Buttercup species, though I have personally not tried them in salad!))

Waterdropwort is a killer of cattle but (mostly) only in spring when little else is green and juicy.

Foxglove is very toxic but always avoided by cattle and sheep.

The list of toxic and semi toxic wild plants is quite long.
And the effects are markedly different according to different animal species.

The Laburnum Arch in Bodnant Gardens is justly famous.

I have a Laburnum in the garden, now grown quite large- the seed collected from a special place and it is a lovely thing.
And while I would not want to see young children eat any of it, it is not something I lose sleep over. Though on an impending visit from a young and urban child I might inform the parents, as a caution.

I personally know of a case where collecting of roadside plants for use in salad resulted in a human fatality.
All consumers (4) were very ill but only one died. Probably Waterdropwort or Hemlock.
All the umbellifers should be treated with the utmost caution.