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?