Saturday, 6 September 2008

Electric bikes to the wood!

Our electric bikes arrived yesterday! We both had to work, but that was OK, as the batteries needed a long initial charge... Today started with rain, but then dried up in the afternoon, so we set off to the wood on the bikes to see how they compared to our normal bikes. Well, they got us there a bit quicker, about 25mins compared to my normal 30min going flat out - though Tracy probably would prefer a slower speed on the normal bikes! This time should come down a bit as we get used to them.

The important thing though was that we arrived there without being tired, so it should be realistic to cycle there this winter, work for a day coppicing and then still be able to cycle home afterwards. The biggest difference is on the hills, of which there are several between Rye and our wood. Hills that on my normal bike I can just about maintain 4 mph can be done on the electric bike at 8+ mph, and you're not out of breath at the top!

Anyway, I'll write more about the bikes in future...

One of the main things we wanted to get to the wood for was to see how things had coped with the rain this week. The answer was "pretty well". The only thing slightly amiss was some water collected on top of firewood drier, which was easily dealt with by putting a bit more tension on the plastic sheet.
Autumn has definitely arrived, though with the weather in August you might think it's been here for a while! Up in the treetops the leaves are turning:
Though this dragonfly still managed to find a sunny spot to rest in for a while:
Over in Sweep Wood we found some hazelnuts on the ground. We didn't see any last year, but we probably didn't look this early, and perhaps the pesky squirrels had got to them first anyway.
There's a few unripe chestnuts down with the recent wind, and they are clearly providing a feast for the squirrels:
I really ought to get an air rifle soon, then after the squirrels have eaten our chestnuts then we can eat the squirrels! ;-)

The boar have been causing havoc at our pond, and recently as well, judging by the cloudiness of the water. The neat channel Tracy usually keeps clear for the spring to flow to the pond had been replaced by two mud baths!
Still, nice to see they're enjoying the facilities! :-) I think some time with a spade will be required soon, as the dam has got a bit trampled again as well.

That's all for now, not sure if we're going to the wood again tomorrow, it will depend on the weather. Next weekend is the Wood Fair at Bentley, which is a big event for us, and my parents are coming to visit the following week, along with my brother and his family. I hope we get some sunshine...

Mike

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