The rape season is here!

Now that I have got your attention……………………. please forgive the tabloid touch. I know it is unbecoming and it should never have a place in blogging, but if you love the countryside it will not have escaped your attention that the fields are progressively being covered by the annual blanket of yellow which, not so many years ago, we put down to the unusually generous EU subsidies that had farmers tumbling into the cultivation of certain very lucrative crops, including oilseed rape. The blanket of yellow, though smaller these days, still dominates the countryside of the East Midlands and, as the crop matures, its aroma (like the taste of Marmite) is something you either love or hate.

Which reminds me of the story of the young girl who went to see the doctor about her hay fever, and announced vocally at the beginning of the examination that “she was allergic to rape”!

For me, the beginning of the rape season heralds an important change to my road bike. Off come the 25mm winter tyres (Schwalbe Duranos), and on go the 23mm go-faster summer tyres; this year, Schwalbe Blizzard Sports with a fetching blue stripe on the outer casing. Could it be a case of appearances making up for a lack in performance? Or will that blue stripe be the secret weapon?


About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on April 16, 2012, in Aspects of Britain, Cycling UK and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Frank, it will only have been ‘los mal pensados’ who interpreted your heading as you suggest.

    I’ve booked a flight to Biarritz next week to spend around 8-9 days walking the Camino… though I’m hoping to jog some, too.

    Hopefully it will go some way towards toughening me up for the Algarve-England bike ride a month later.

    Let the holiday season commence!

    • Sounds like a great adventure, Terry. Are you likely to be following parts of the Camino de la Plata from Sevilla? That’s a route I would like to do one day.

  2. The title definitely made me curious I guess that is what you were shooting for. I think the blue stripe is most certainly the secret weapon you are looking for.

    • Ah, I knew there was a reason for it………;0) If it hadn’t been for colour coordination with the bike, I might have gone for red………….then what?

  3. Two, rather random, questions.

    Why do we grow oillseed rape and consume rapeseed oil?

    Why are your summer tyres called “blizzard”?

    • Sharp observations, Andrew. Addressing the first: rape produces the seed from which we extract the oil, and what is in the bottle is exactly that…..oil.
      The second is a bit trickier……….what about the following: with these speed merchants on your bike, expect a ‘white-out’ even in mid-summer!

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