Hot and Sandy

Travel writing, pictures and stuff for people I know. Quite a lot of cycling talk, and some semi-controlled ranting. Hiking, outdoor and two-wheeled stuff, perhaps a little computing when it's worth talking about. Meandering thoughts.

Thursday, August 24

Blowy Day

Nasty ride in today, into a howling head-wind that was jabbing my face with drizzle. Legs felt leaden and sluggish, and I ached. Not sure why, but it was the most autumnal day we've had since spring (if you see what I mean). First day in a long time I've had to sit up and do rev-counting and ankling to get me through. Yurgh.

I was looking round the web for a map of prevailing winds. The idea is a GCSE Geography one: in immediately post-industrial London, if you were looking to build a luxury home then you would build to the West or North-West, because this is the origin of the prevailing winds (and the newest and best railways). So it was less likely that your swanky new pad would be choked by smoke and fumes. For the plebs and dock workers, the South-East of the city was fine: they didn't have a lot of choice. When the Tube was developed, this partly explains the poor coverage south of the river (although there are also geological reasons, which I may Google in more depth later).

This is why Kensington, Primrose Hill, Hampstead, Highgate, Notting Hill etc (and all the Royal residences) are to the west of centre - and why the rents to this day are skewed in the direction of the "clean" side of town - perfect for "taking the air" and avoiding pea-soupers. Unfortunately, it also provides a meteorological excuse for my ride being difficult. Up the river valley (don't have to be a genius to work out that the Thames flows downhill, dur), and into the prevailing wind.

While mooching, I found this (need recent Java). Brilliant stuff, from my very own UCL. His blog is pretty interesting too. Am listening to jazz, Collateral soundtrack and lots of Duran. Sweet. Also read a nice Amer'can report on a London visit. Bl00dy tourists ;-)


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