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Change Of Scenery

CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
edited September 2009 in Commuting chat
Scuse this ramble; thought I'd share a new experience.

We're having a late summer long weekend break [Thurs - Sun] before our schools go back on Monday. To keep it simple we've gone out towards Oxford so not too far, but I still have to be in work today so instead of a 21 mile commute, it was about 10 this morning. Obviously I brought the bike with me; the rest of em are off into Oxford for the day with the car.

What a difference. You get used to your regular routes; this was totally different and put me in mind of the lanes between Hatton [yo to KB, nice bike...] and Ashbourne from my century back in June. It had the same sense that starting this commute to Bicester had a couple of years ago - new roads, new traffic patterns, working out which roads to take to find my way in from a completely different direction. That was the good bit - unexpectedly the hard bit was the distance. 21 miles feels like a good ride, a worthy effort. 10 felt like a skive, not quite cricket in some ways. Maybe it's because mentally it's a big reduction and you end up thinking it'll be a doddle when it's still 10 miles, which is a bit of a run however you look at it. Took 30m 23s to do it FWIW.

For the first time in about 20 years tho my commute took me through a town centre rather than skirting round the edges. And all at peak period - busy traffic, kids going to school - obviously different here to us - and plenty of busy junctions to cross. Blimey. It's almost a different world. All of a suddent the regular themes on this forum slot into place; drafting, staying with traffic or passing it, awareness, even RLJing (which I didn't having learnt on here why it's a bad thing) - all of it ratchets up the spidey senses to 6.3 [come on, it's Bicester, not London]. And it was fun. Not as much fun as blasting down Poundon Hill hoping that there isn't a truck round the blind bend on its steepest part; once is enough thanks. But fun in a 'try something different' PoV.

Not sure what point I'm trying to make here TBH; treat it as one of my occasional rambles. A change of scenery is nice, riding in town was really enjoyable, having a shorter run in should have been but wasn't really. Here's to the return journey later on.

Posts

  • Good post Chris - it's one of the reasons why I like my commute so much - I go through the entire gamut of conditions: those country lanes around mine (take note Fat Boys :wink: vote of confidence for the scenery!), busy A road junctions, the bridleway, suburban and busy urban all on same journey

    You get a piece of everything and I personally love the variety, and the completely different skill set required for all parts... I guess I'm a jack of all trades when it comes to commuting which is no bad thing.
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    There goes my attempt at 'Most views without garnishing a single reply' then. :)

    Good points; it's the variety, and the scenery. Might be a sign of age but recently I've taken to stopping on the way in and pausing to take in the scenery. The view across to Oxford & beyond is quite superb in the early morning bright sunlight, as is rounding a bend and finding the road blocked by the hunt on a training mission. And so is slipping up the outside of a line of slow moving traffic through the town centre.

    That's all nice, but so too is the change of scenery from the normal route permutations, once in a blue moon.

    I reckon there's a lot to be said for cycling to work. More people should try it.
  • jimmypippajimmypippa Posts: 1,712
    There goes my attempt at 'Most views without garnishing a single reply' then. :)

    Good points; it's the variety, and the scenery. Might be a sign of age but recently I've taken to stopping on the way in and pausing to take in the scenery. The view across to Oxford & beyond is quite superb in the early morning bright sunlight, as is rounding a bend and finding the road blocked by the hunt on a training mission. And so is slipping up the outside of a line of slow moving traffic through the town centre.

    That's all nice, but so too is the change of scenery from the normal route permutations, once in a blue moon.

    I reckon there's a lot to be said for cycling to work. More people should try it.

    I started a thread about silly commuting sightseeing...

    On a bright, still morning it is a lot better than a car...
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    Oh it was all going so well till the ride home through town, when a numpty driver cut me up going into a pinch point - large concrete bollard in the middle of the road, large kerbs to the left. So I caught her at the next but two junctions, much to her surprise, and asked quite calmly 'Do you ever think of the consequences of your actions when you do that...?'. Blank stare, then 'What?'.

    Me - 'cutting me up like that. You nearly had me off. What did you think might happen?'

    Her- 'Well I thought you might slow down to let traffic pass'

    Me - red mist illuminated - 'I am traffic you stupid bint.'

    Her 'Well I pay road tax. You should have slowed down'

    Honestly. You hear about this but I'd never experienced it till now.

    Me - 'Look I pay a sight more tax than you do by the looks of you, you stupid tart. And for what it matters I pay two lots of road tax too. How does that work then?'

    Her - 'Oh shut up'.

    So I leant in and took her censored off her and threw it away. Her face was priceless... - utter shock :)

    Then I did what she wanted, and legged it the other way to put an end to the building traffic queue. Brightened up the trip back I suppose, but I can't believe that there are drivers out there who think that their £140 VED buys them the right to a life. Strewth. One for Rants I expect really. If only it were a sticky... :)
  • jimmypippajimmypippa Posts: 1,712

    Her 'Well I pay road tax. You should have slowed down'

    Next time someone mentions that, I might ask if a VED band-A car like a 2009 Fiesta should be allowed on the road...
  • suzybsuzyb Posts: 3,449
    jimmypippa wrote:

    Her 'Well I pay road tax. You should have slowed down'

    Next time someone mentions that, I might ask if a VED band-A car like a 2009 Fiesta should be allowed on the road...
    Or tractors / JCBs which hold up the traffic far more than a bike.
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    -null- wrote:
    jimmypippa wrote:

    Her 'Well I pay road tax. You should have slowed down'

    Next time someone mentions that, I might ask if a VED band-A car like a 2009 Fiesta should be allowed on the road...
    Or tractors / JCBs which hold up the traffic far more than a bike.

    It's not the money. It's the principle - all road users have a duty of care towards other road users. Doesn't matter about the legal right to be there - you can be a drunk on all fours crawling across the M5 - the legitimacy or otherwise of your presence doesn't change a driver's requirement not to deliberately run you over, deliberate being the operative word.

    Where do you draw the line? Elderly people on electric scooters? Elderly people crossing the road? Hoodies on BMX bikes whizzing about on & off the pavement? Well turned out young lads cycling to school? Well turned out young ladies cycling to school? Well turned out young ladies cycling to work? Nice girls on horses down a country lane [result!!]? Gippoes on horses going to the local tip? I don't know. I do know actually; we all do.

    At what point do these beligerent half-witted drivers believe that another legitimate road user becomes fair game? The answer's obvious, but how do we or anyone else get the message across? That's the $64,000 question.
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