Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rotten Cow Muck

Today's post isn't really about Rotten Cow Muck...I just like to say it. I'm STILL chuckling over that sign last week, and the fact that you can actually BUY Rotten Cow Muck. I can't say for SURE what exactly RCM smells like, but I believe I can guess. You see, when I'm out riding around the countryside, quite often I think I smell it (and I mean in a BIG way). Farms and such are EVERYWHERE. And, there's LOTS of water around here. I'd say to best describe it to you, drive to a large cattle holding area, get out of your car and take a big whiff. THEN, imagine that smell augmented by LOTS and LOTS of water...so whatever goo there is lying around is all rotten and goopy, and probably amplified. I smell that all the time here. Frequently it's quite overpowering, and there's no escape.

But actually, I just have MORE pictures to post from my last 3 rides. We had an amazing weather pattern here since Friday, setting record highs in many places including Scotland. To me it's just AWESOME, and I've now had 3 rides in a row with NO toe warmers, arm warmers, leg warmers, wind/rain-jacket, ear warmers, and cold-weather long finger gloves (which all my rides prior have been needing). My arms and legs actually have a bit of color coming back into them I just noticed tonight!

And so, without further adieu, more pictures. The first batch is from Saturday's ride in the Lakes District National Park.

 Just a neat view not long after I began my ride, just after the fog lifted.

 Downtown Windmere, which is also the name of the HUGE lake I'm working my way around.

 Yet ANOTHER stone bridge, church, forest and river....all in one picture!

Not used to seeing horses lying around during broad daylight. The big one is a normal full size horse, the other 2 are some kind of long haired ponies.The white one REALLY needs a haircut to see, and his hair all over his (her?) body was about the same length. The little brown one was just watching me, and they seemed quite relaxed (as if you couldn't tell).

 Ho Hum...a beautiful lake, forest, mountains and a swan. I like to take as few pictures as possible, combining all the elements whenever I can. Saves computer memory that way.

 Framed this shot between the trees  looking up a valley to the west. The Atlantic ocean is probably less than 20 miles away. The peaks around here were pretty large, and made me think of my recent trip to the Highlands of Scotland.

That rock wall slanting up right to left (the one just below the trees) is actually 2 walls, with THE ROAD in-between them. It's actually a rather long and steep climb.

The next batch is from my Sunday ride in the northern portion of the Yorkshire Dales National park.

 As I climbed up out of Leyburn the road crossed a very desolate stretch of land. Turns out it's military, with multiple firing ranges and such. Not far from here is a guard shack where they block the road during firing exercises. Thankfully they don't appear to shoot on Sunday.

Coming off the top of that no-mans-land stretch and down into the town of  Reeth. Looks like a real speed run. Of course, I'll be coming back home this way, so it's a double-edged sword to be sure.

Yep. That's ANOTHER road slanting right up the hill between 2 rock walls. Long and steep. Again.

A few miles before this Inn I was passed by a couple of local guys (I was taking pictures). Caught them on the climb and we started chatting. Here at the top is a quite popular stop for cyclists of all types (both with and without motors). As you can see by the sign, it's Great Britain's HIGHEST Inn. Cool! And I'm sporting my 2012 Fatty colors, with BARE ARMS AND LEGS! Life doesn't get much better than this!

I now have to admit there aren't any more pictuers of a VERY Scenic portion of the ride. That's because of those 2 guys I started riding with.  You know....when there's more than one guy, it's a race. And so the next 15 or so miles was a race with my new friends Rich and David. Actually Rich and I were pretty close, taking turns pulling off the front and trying to gap the others. Poor David wasn't able to hold our wheels very long, but we waited at the top of the climbs and the bottom of the descents. It was a BLAST though, and I really need to get back and get some pictues of the parts I FLEW through. Also there is a road that has a 25% grade that we bypassed, and I MUST go back and try that.

This is the last picture of the Sunday ride (it was about a quarter mile from where I parked, and I had already said my goodbye to Rich and David about 10 miles back). I've been across this river before (though I have no idea how to pronounce it) but not on my bike. You can see how narrow it is. It's strictly a first-come-first-cross as to who goes...if a vehicle coming the other way is already on the bridge, you STOP and wait. Pretty cool bridge!

And finally, here's 3 shots from tonight's after work ride.

 I came up over the other side of this hill on a WICKED climb up out of Lofthouse. The descent you see here was a BLAST! I can't see her in this picture, but not long after I took this a girl on a Cervelo TT bike came flying down the hill. I started riding but she easily caught me. She left the base just after I did but took a different (ie, farther) route to the Lofthouse climb (I only know this as she asked if I left the base about 12:45 which I did...she said she saw me go. I went North and she went West outside the gates). I stayed with her just a bit before I had to back down and let her go, as she was again FLYING! Those Triathletes are pretty fit!

 In case you hadn't noticed, I seem to have a thing for stone bridges. My route went over this one. We just don't have stuff like this back home.

A panarama of my road crossing another no-mans-land. The road dips quite steeply just off to the right to the bottom of this little valley (yes, there is ANOTHER stone bridge, and YES, I DID take a picture...but won't show it as it just wasn't THAT scenic). Then it climbs somewhat steeply. My way turned out to be the straight road, not the one veering off to the right. Thank you Little Jeannie for getting me home from who knows where once again!

And that wraps up yet another edition of my visual journal of North Yorkshire. Cathy, sure hoping your cousin Gary wakes up soon and fully recovers from his injuries! I'll never ride Foxen Canyon again without thinking about it. Have a GREAT week everybody!



  1. great photos and story- It would be cool to go ride there, except for the crappy rain,wind and cold. but then your pictures make it look like its sunny all time time!

    1. Yo Greg...today (Weds) it's warm and sunny AGAIN! But I worked 10 hours today, hoping to do only 6 again tomorrow and ride again, before the weather shifts back to 'normal'. The forecast high for Saturday is 45F (BRRRRRR!) Oh, and cold's best friend Mr. WIND will be here too. I can hardly wait.

  2. FANTASTIC photos Matt! I really love the one of the bridge ;) Actually that pic of the bridge with the woods and old church or something in the background could literally be a postcard. Thanks again for sharing all of these!

    Still sending Gary positive thoughts! So scary.... You wonder what he is actually processing - if he can respond to some things. Peace to you all as you wait with him.

    Had my own scare yesterday. Was driving with my daughter after picking her up from school, rounding a bend in the road when a van suddenly appeared in my lane coming directly at me. Yikes! There was a car parked to my right, so I had no where to go. She just smashed right in to me. My poor poor little Prius left pieces and fluids all over the road, but very luckily neither of us was injured. Just a very long day of police, firefighters, tow trucks, insurance agents, body shop, rental car, procuring and installing new car seats in rental, etc. Thank goodness for seatbelts and carseats!

    Thanks for the "Pencil" explanation Barbara! I was baffled....

    BOONEN!!! I was hoping for good things from him this year :)

    Have you seen ANY cycling over there Matt? Lots going on right now!


  3. Hey JD....I rather liked how that particular shot came out...there was fog still and the church is in the mist behind the trees.

    VERY SCARY about your accident! Gosh, so glad you and your daughter are ok..but don't you just HATE it that your nice car is WRECKED because of somebody else? (hopefully it's not totaled). I live in fear of that...my lovely 03 VW TDI is the best car I've ever had...however it's bluebook value surely won't replace it if someone were to total it (one of my friends who also HAD a TDI just had that happen a month ago...he's still trying to figure out what to buy with the $8000 the insurance co. gave him for his 02...his car was in beautiful condition, and now he must look for a car...buying used is always a risk if they didn't take good care of it, and sometimes you figure that out too late).

    What was the deal w/ the lady? Was she just not paying attention? On the cell phone? TEXTING? I think texting OR any use of your cell NOT hands free should be treated like drunk driving...mandatory loss of license for 6 months for FIRST offense along w/ a $1000 fine, and go up from there for multiple offenses. It's the ONLY way we're going to stop people from doing it, as it is SO dangerous to everybody, but bicycles/motorcycles particularly.

  4. LOVE these pictures. Makes me wish that I had stuck with my painting class!

    Rotten cow muck = compost. Non-rotten cow muck = lots of bad smell. Yeah, seems backwards, but that is how our english language is.
    Still sniggering over those farmer pencils, actually.

    Janann, so glad you and your darling came out of this okay! If your insurance is as good as mine was, no worries -- my resale value was more than I actually had paid, and I was able to replace my car for just my deductable. Oh, but it will be her HER insurance, won't it? Your agent will make sure you are taken care of? But Matt is right, finding that replacement is the biggest chore! Thank goodness for online shopping!

    This racing season has been a great one so far! Except that neither Garmin nor (especially) BMC have been getting many placings. Do you think Boonen will pull it off on Sunday? I will be up early watching. Hard to choose between Tommeke and Fabian, but I think seeing Tommeke make a comeback would be great! Hope that you are not working Sunday Matt, so you can ride early then watch the Tour of Flanders online.


    1. Hey Rae....unfortunately, riding here really sucks early (as it's COLD and FOGGY). It doesn't get 'reasonable' until around 10:30am...so after my 5 hour ride, whatever race is going on is over. And this weekend Sunday is the best day of the forecast by far. I'd like to ride BOTH days, but we'll just see how it turns out.

      Calf Pencils...what's next, Lamb Protractors? I wonder what they (the pencils) look like? I do have to admit if I were in a buying mood and had to choose, I'd go with COMPOST over ROTTEN COW MUCK every time. So much in a name.

  5. We've had some good news for cousin Gary. Originally his insurance carrier denied him coverage to be flown home to the trauma center in Memphis to continue his care, saying that basically his care here is fine and they don't need to incur the costs ($20k) to send him home. Although of course his family and friends all live there and being out here is costing his sister and Dad a bloody fortune - this IS Santa Barbara, afterall!! Plus he needs to be in a healing circle of people who will constantly visit and encourage him. Anyway, he works for Fed Ex as a software engineer (I think) and they have taken up his cause, trying to work it out with the insurance co (Cigna) but promising to pay for it themselves if that doesn't work out. They hope to take him home tomorrow or this weekend! We're going down tonight to say goodbye. Fingers crossed that this part all works out. There are a lot of people in Memphis wanting to see him and be part of his support team. Again, thanks for all of your good wishes!!

  6. Wow, I never hoped or expected the RvV to end up like it did! How devastating to see Fabian crash out! Beyond being extremely sorry for his pain and dashed hopes, losing the head to head between him and Boonen (not just today but next Sunday too) this year is such a disappointment.
    I was cheering for Tommeke at the end but glad to see Ballan and Pozatto fight for it.
    Props to NBCSports for carrying the race live, and staying with it past 1030 to show the podium. Seeing it on my TV was delightful.
    HOWEVER, as much as I have loved P&P in the past (and they did teach me well) everytime they mention the Tour de France during the spring classics I want to scream! If they were explaining how this is a different type of road racing with different tactics... but always describing the riders in terms of TdF potential just gets on my nerves (truthfully they've been worse about that in the past few weeks than they were today, but... and boy are they both making a lot more mistakes in their commentary this year, esp. Phil. He called Ballan the champion of Spain, for one outstanding example!)

    And, NBCSports producers, what was with being on a multiple-ad break EVERY SINGLE TIME the race hit a climb except the last? HELLO! This is the Tour of Flanders, it is all about the climbs! coming back to the race halfway up or near the top just isn't what I am looking for. So, I kept Sporza open on my laptop so I could see what NBC was missing. Sure wish that I could fully understand the Sporza announcers.

    Cathy, I hope that your cousin had an uneventful transfer. Still keeping him in my prayers.


  7. So glad that Gary will be heading home! I'm sure that his family and friends will be so relieved to have him home. Here's hoping that the move goes well. Let us know.

    LOTS of running around to deal with the accident this week. Because the police report clearly said that she was in the wrong lane, my insurance company (and the police officer I dealt with) said that her company should be taking full responsiblity for this one. I've been at the police station to fax the report, uploading photos etc. because apparently the girl is now saying that it wasn't her fault. Not sure how this can be.....she admitted it at the scene to police. BUT, her insurance will not even do damage assessment, etc until they "establish liability". And yes Matt, I cry for my poor little Prius that I loved so much :( I'm hoping that it can be fixed, but since we're still determining liability I really have no idea...
    Not sure if she was on the phone or not. I could see the van coming, but couldn't see through the windshield. Not sure exactly why she didn't swerve out of the way otherwise though - as there was LOTS of room on her side.

    NOOOOOOOOOOOO Fabian! He has got to be SO disappointed - am I! I wanted to see a healthy on-form Boonen and Fabian really battle it out the next 2 weeks. Hope Fabian heals quickly and well - he has big goals at the end of the summer too.

    Extremely pleased for Boonen! He really deserves a season like this to prove he has gotten his act together again. He just looked thrilled and I was thrilled for him. What happened to BMC?? Ballan played it right and we knew that he wouldn't be able to contend in the sprint, but where was everyone else? SO much hype about the most amazing Classics team ever.

    Garmin's game plan seemed to be going perfectly until JVS crashed into that barrier. What the heck was that? It looked to me like maybe Haussler might have been slowed by that as well.

    GREAT to see it in HD on NBC though! Looking forward to next weekend.

    Have a great week everyone!

  8. Janann, you KNOW that her insurer is looking for a way to stick you (and your insurer) with some of the liability--to reduce their cost. Especially since a Prius is probably pretty expensive to repair or replace. I wonder which company it is--so if they don't do right by you, I will be sure to NOT ever be their customer! (I am sure that they are now quaking in their boots!)

    Haha, I got an email just a few minutes ago from NBCSports--promoting their live broadcast of...the Tour of Flanders! on Sunday April 1! a little late for April Fools!

    BMC also got 4th with Greg Van A, so really not a bad showing--but you have to wonder just what is up with Thor and Gilbert (well, I know Gilbert has been ill, and he is clearly trying).

    Sky really failed, as did Garmin (Haussler in 30th best placing!) Respect to RSNT for getting 11th with Rast, though, as well as 21 & 24 after their disaster! Way to go!


  9. Hey JD, I sure hope you're not with "THE GOOD HANDS PEOPLE"...(won't specifically mention them by NAME, but we just finished our own little hassle with them over our rental condo...OUR plumbing had a leak, caused damage to the unit below. Plumbers came out on our dime and fixed OUR plumbing...repair work was authorized on the unit below, came to a few thousand (had to have dehumidifiers and such as it's concrete walls/floors)...turns out the GOOD HANDS PEOPLE did EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER to get out of paying for the damage...but THE GOOD HANDS PEOPLE certainly have good hands when it comes to TAKING OUR MONEY! Jeannie did some research during our multi-month ordeal, and turns out THE GOOD HANDS PEOPLE are the WORST at paying out claims. So all those lovely TV ads claiming what GOOD HANDS they have are total BS. Unless they are actually referring at how good their hands are at TAKING (and KEEPING) your (our) money. Long story short, Jeannie (who is tough as nails I might add) did not give up and fought them to the bitter end, and they FINALLY capitulated and paid the claim (which is WHY WE HAVE INSURANCE ON OUR CONDO btw)...and as SOON as everything was finally paid, we moved ALL our policies to another company (we HAD everything with them...home, condo, cars, earthquake policy, etc). So it's their loss for being such tightwads on a seemingly VERY simple OUR UNIT, OUR FAULT claim. Not that I'm upset or holding a grudge with THE GOOD HANDS PEOPLE tho...oh no. But I wish you luck for a speedy resolution to your 'broken' car issue.

    And Cathy, any word on Gary?