Sunday, February 23, 2020

Low bridges and driverless buses

Hi, howya doin' ?  I hope you haven't been blown away or washed away.  In the past, one of my dreams was to live in a house on the banks of a nice river.  Just lately I'm beginning to get over any regrets about not achieving that.  I'm rather more pleased that we live near the top of a small hill.

Long time no post.  Well I've been busy playing with toys, surviving dry January, and doing no boating, but all that will change very soon.  You can't keep me away from waterways though, hence the picture of St Ives (Great Ouse, not Cornwall ) bridge I took last week.

Last time we cruised under it on our  son Richard's boat there was a lot more headroom.

That was in 2017.  The river last week was nearly up top the top of that wall, and looking the other way . .

was a bit like looking over the sea.  You could just about make out the snaking top of the river bank.

Now perhaps more interestingly, we used a great service to get there from Cambridge.  Half an hour from Cambridge to St Ives (or vice versa) using the Cambridge Guided Busway.  Using what I guess is an old railway track, the buses zoom along across country and through gravel pit parks at very nearly 60mph all the way.  "What's special about that?", you may ask.  Well, somewhat disconcertingly, the bus driver doesn't have his hands on the steering wheel for a lot of the way.  The front wheels of the bus have some little outrigged tracker wheels that roll against the concrete kerbs of the busway and do the steering.  Otherwise it's a perfectly normal bus.  And of course being a dedicated busway there's no traffic to contend with. 

Here's a look at the track at the stop close to our Peter's home in Cambridge.

Not exotic is it? But it works.  Anyhow if you're boating through St Ives and don't have time to detour to Cambridge or pay the exhorbitant River Cam visitor fee, it's a quick way to make a visit, and if like us you are ancient enough to have a bus pass, it'll cost you nothing.

Tomorrow I'm heading out to Herbie to do a bit of prep for our forthcoming cruise.  Yes, weather and pandemics permitting, in a couple of weeks we'll be taking our leave of Cropredy (Boo Hoo) and slowly crawling our way slowly up to our new berth in King's Bromley, stopping off at Calcutt for a bit of work under the bonnet.  There'll probably be a water shortage by then.

PS.  If by any chance you find this post a bit fruity, it's because I'm writing in on a Raspberry Pi 4.  The latest ones are as fast as a PC and can do pretty much anything a PC can - all for £50 odd for the top of the range one (as long as you have a spare old keyboard and a spare telly or monitor), and not much bigger than a credit card.  OK I know I'm an anorak, I'll leave you in peace.