October 10, 2010


Yes, the leaves on the ground mean it's definitely time to say it's no longer summer, despite some fairly balmy days in the last week. Yesterday I finally walked over to Cherry Hinton Hall (the first time I've been when there was no Folk Festival in full swing), where I got to watch some very cute children feeding some worryingly large swans. When I think of Cambridge's abundance of green spaces I think of the obvious - Parker's Piece, Jesus Green, Midsummer Common - but I always wish they had a few more trees, and that's one thing Cherry Hinton Hall grounds has an abundance of. I'm thinking this is somewhere I should visit more often.

In other news, a new job just six miles from home has led to me rediscovering an old activity - cycling. Someone said to me it's the wrong time of year to start cycling again, but I think autumn is the perfect time of year, while the weather is cooling off but it's not too icy to breathe. I have to say it feels pretty liberating to be out in the fresh air instead of cooped up in my car on the A14. I love my route, which takes me across the river and through Petersfield to the station, out of town past the hospital and through the fields into the village - I love the way the character of the city changes every five minutes.

What I don't love is the way bus drivers appear to have no ideas about giving cyclists personal spaces, which is why I have today invested in a cycle helmet. The last time I owned a cycle helmet, I was 11 years old and I always took it off as soon as I was out of my parents' sight, so I guess this marks my entrance into sensible adulthood. I'm going to look sooooo cool.


  1. A helmet that'll protect you in collision from a bus... hmm, quite a helmet that. I'm just mentally designing one for you... Got it! Minimum weight, one ton.

    More seriously, I just hope you don't get squashed. Come to think of it, I'd really recommend riding with the Highway Code and a bike in good order, especially the brakes. And not worrying too much about helmets - mass use has never made any noticeable difference to head injuries.

  2. Yes, I should probably clarify that I don't expect a bike helmet to save me from a head-on collision with a bus, or be of much use should I get pulled under its wheels... but there have been enough incidences of buses not giving enough room when passing, or pulling out without warning, that have made my paranoid imagination worry about being knocked off of my bike. In case that should happen, and in case I receive a knock to the head in the process, I would rather have a little protection for my head. This doesn't mean I'm expecting it to happen, or that I'm overly worried about being on the road (if I was, I wouldn't cycle at all).

    I think there is some conflicting evidence about how well a cycle helmet will protect you. What I can say is that I don't think I lose anything by wearing one - except maybe my dignity, but I've never had much of that in any case!

    However, you're quite right, and what's most important is following the Highway Code and making sure your bike is in good working order. That, and enjoying the ride :)