As I pedalled out of Longridge today I had no intention of going up Beacon Fell, but that is where I ended up, don’t ask me why.
Next week is the climate crisis meeting in Glasgow, so cycling and recycling could well be on the agenda. My carbon footprint today should be low providing I don’t switch on the central heating or eat any meat. Life is becoming complicated, with all manner of ways of going green. If we all recycled and if we all cycled instead of using our cars … but that is not going to happen. Pollution in our cities decreased drastically during the first lockdown, when nobody was going anywhere. Apparently the roads are busier than ever now. So what does our chancellor come up with in his budget to reduce global warming? A planned increase in fuel duty is cancelled because of fuel shortages and high prices. He has also cut the flat-rate tax on domestic flights to zero to encourage more flights. Those two decisions don’t look good for our green credentials in the international climate debate we are hosting next week. A case of business over environment. We will never reach our modest carbon reduction targets.
Anyhow, that is not why I’m on Beacon Fell. I’d been feeling rather guilty as I had opted out of a planned ride around the Guild Wheel yesterday with Martin. https://phreerunner.blogspot.com/
I’d woken up to monsoon rains and a dismal forecast, so I contacted Martin in Manchester to wimp out of a ride in the pouring rain. He agreed and I think cancelled his plans with others. By 11 o’clock the rain had stopped and there was a brief interlude of a couple of hours before the torrents returned — we would have been OK. Elsewhere in the NW there were floods and they have my sympathies. I still felt guilty and disappointed that we’d missed our ride.
Today looked like a repeat, weather wise, and I idled the morning away, but by one o’clock it was still just dry and bright, so I roused myself for a short spin around the lanes. Somehow cycling is not as spontaneous as going for a walk or run, all the faff of different clothing and oiling the bike etc. It is too easy just not to bother, especially for some brief exercise. But I need the exercise as I feel I’m becoming unfit and flabby from my enforced inability to walk far, Plantar Fasciitis, which seems to bring on red wine drinking and snacking.
The road out to Chipping seemed to fly along, maybe I had the wind behind me. Soon I was on quieter, more relaxed lanes and just went where the bike pointed. Before I realised it was pointing up Beacon Fell. So I dropped into my grandad gear and puffed my way up. I have been a little concerned recently by getting out of breath on any marginal incline, so I looked upon this ascent as a bit of a test. I’m due at my doctor’s practise for a proper test in the near future. Needless to say, I made it and pulled into the visitor centre/café at the top. It is half-term, so there are a scattering of outdoor type families taking to the pathways. The café is open as a ‘takeaway’ so I buy a coffee and sit at one of the outside tables. The coffee is not as good as usual, I wonder if they have changed suppliers and gone for a cheaper brand, I don’t say anything.
It’s nearly all downhill back to home but I come across a few interesting diversions which may show up on my phone camera.
As well as the gloomy global climate predictions I’m also concerned about the steadily growing Covid infections, hospital admissions and deaths. A close friend had a close encounter with a Northern Casualty Department last week, third world is how he described it. I’m just glad I’m booked in for my booster vaccination tomorrow.
Get recycling and save the planet.
Get your booster and save yourself.
Our Government a. Don’t get the urgency.
2. Need the money from their buddies for their next campaign. 3. Are a joke.
Yes there is a whiff of inadequacy and corruption around our ‘leaders’
Surely in these days of medical advancement one should be able to get a “heel replacement?” That bike will be worn out before long.
That bike is 35 years old, I’ll be worn out before it.
I bought my bike in 1985 or thereabouts. It’s at the back of the shed somewhere. I’m hoping to sell it one day as a classic. I’d be laughed at if I tried to ride it now. Recycling and booster shots, good advice – and stay out of A+E if you can help it. I’ve been reading stuff by health workers caught up in this latest phase of the crisis and getting nothing but brickbats from our leaders instead of the funding and the competence of vision they deserve. 3rd world sounds right. I worry it’s just another step towards privatisation – make the service so awful to use, those who can afford it will go elsewhere.
Hope the booster went okay. I’m due to be called next month.
Baffling decisions by Sunak and infection rates are worrying to say the least. Rain has been relentless here. Glad you found a window to get out on the bike.
I think much of Sunak’s budget will not stand up to scrutiny in the long run. Headline grabbing schemes with no financial backing. The monies for Boris’s “Levelling up” nowhere near levelling the monies lost by the Northern authorities in the austerity years.
The bike I’d have used for the Preston Guild Wheel ride, had it taken place, is a 1990 model, so very much a youth compared with yours, BC. Thanks for letting me know about the monsoon around Preston, Don and Liz were also affected, so we agreed to postpone the ride. I should have gone to the Peak District instead, but I made do with a short ride from home in very dry conditions.
Anyway, I’ll suggest a new date. I don’t like cycling in rain, so further postponements are possible if Preston’s monsoon season continues.
Take care with the heel. I’ve managed a few 5km walks on mine, and it does seem to be slowly improving. My physio says I should do short walks, and he advises an assortment of stretching exercises. I’ll see him later, after my booster jab, and he may put some tape on – that worked well for a few days when he did it last week. Anyway, good luck with your own efforts to get better.
Thanks Martin. It is still raining here!
Yes we can do the Wheel sometime.
My heel is improving, but I found a short walk yeaterday was painful. So will keep cycling.