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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Swarming bees


There was I sitting in the garden yesterday out of the heat, quietly reading my book when I noticed a few bees, far more than usual, then the air was thick with them and they eventually settled on a tree,  They swarmed again and finally settled on the rowan tree.   Luckily a beekeeper, Bill,  lives nearby so he was able to come over and collect them.  He said it was a big swarm of about 40000 bees.

The first time I've experienced this.







Friday, June 16, 2017

Brixham and a good book.



We stayed for a few days on a site  between  Brixham and Dartmouth, 
and the Dartmouth to Paignton steam railway is a must visit.  Not only the joy and smell of travelling on a steam engine but there are fantastic views as it runs close to the sea.













Dartmouth's old shop.




The entrance to Dartmouth 



Like nmany seaside towns there are narrow streets



Brixham harbour.




and a plug for this book.  
I've read many books about long cycling trips and sometimes they can get a bit boring because basically you get up in the morning, get on the bike, ride, eat, sleep and do it all again tomorrow and the next day etc.  Not all the long distance riders are good authors as well as good cyclists, but  Mike is a journalist first and foremost so he knows how to put a story together and thats what he's done in this book.
There is very little detail about his bike and kit but he tells a good tale of his experiences as he cycles around the coast of Britain.  Its a great  read and flows well, so well that I finished it in four evenings.



Friday, June 02, 2017

Champions League Final 3rd June


Cardiff is the host City for this game which is held in the 75000 capacity Millennium Stadium.
Probably the final has a global viewing audience of 380 million people in over 200 countries with prize money of $108 million.

Cardiff being a relatively small city makes it easier to police and lock down, but its not without some disruption for the residents. But the hotels, restaurants and other businesses will have huge benefits.

There are official campsites set up in the parks




and some not official ones!



The campsites and hospitality areas are in the Castle grounds and it is surrounded by a" ring of steel "








The castle  and streets have been decorated.





There's more in the Bay area and armed Police are very visible especially after recent events.







There's even a floating football pitch.




The water taxis getting ready.




The rear of the stadium, but a quieter place for the TV stations to interview the pundits.



Thursday, June 01, 2017

How many bikes do you need?


To the cyclists this is never an issue but often it is for non cyclists.

However the formula for deciding this is  n + 1 [where n = your current number of bikes]

The reason why this came up was that I was at a loose end on a sunny afternoon and decided to wash my bikes and my wife asked asked the question.  I dont know why, as she has asked it many times before, so she should know the answer by now.

Here's my "stable".


Dawes Super Galaxy
Genesis Croix de Fer

Raleigh Competition

Boardman MtB

Only one of them is "new" and thats the Genesis, built up in 2015, the Dawes is 1994, the Raleigh is 1980 ish, and the Boardman was cobbled together from bits and pieces.


The top two get regular maintenance as they're used for long rides and the Raleigh get taken out on dry sunny days.
The Boardman is the workhorse, and is used on a daily basis for shopping etc and gets taken for granted,  so when I washed and cleaned it I found that 1. the front wheel bearings were loose and 2. so was the bottom bracket.  After the wash it got a bit of TLC to make it right again.

The moral of this post is to regularly wash and clean your bikes as its the best time to check them over for wear and tear and to spot if any bits are loose.


Monday, May 22, 2017

A little tour

We've just had a couple of weeks away in the van. 
 Originally it was to visit a friend in Essex, who we haven't seen for many years,  but then as we were having to travel from one side of the country to the other we thought we'd make more of it and visit places.

We stopped off outside Welwyn Garden City for a few nights and visited St Albans.

Here the Pilgrims shells have been incorporated into the walls of the cathedral


St Albans clock tower





Built in the 1920's it's very spacious and well maintained, but talking to local people this has a price in that the Community Charges are high.


After Welwyn we moved on to 
where our friend lives and had the luxury of being the only people on its one campsite. 




Brightlingsea  has some very old and interesting buildings, some dating from the 16th Century.


This house is reputedly the oldest timber framed building in England and dates from the 14th Century.


This is what I was really interested in, the creeks and coastline of Essex.  This area is famed for its oyster industry.  Pete, our friend, who's a keen walker, took us on walks to places which we would probably never discovered.






This was one of the highlights for me, an old fishing smack in full sail, and with the traditional red sails as well.  Not the best picture, but we were out cycling and I only had my point and shoot camera with me.


Then it was on to Norwich.

The remains of the old  city walls.


Up the coast to Cromer
home of the famous "Cromer crabs" which of course meant crab sandwiches for lunch!!



Is this a '57 Chevy??


Croquet is still played here.


Crab fishing boat.



The final stop was Warwick on the way home,
with a campsite which is next door to the racecourse.  
We were lucky as one day there was a race meeting on.



And finally another friend who came to visit.


Many thanks for Wikipedia.