Archive for March, 2011

Have you ever had a feeling that the only way to uplift yourself is to do something that has an observable result? Today it happened with me. So I prepared my tools and spent my time with my bike.

Bicycle bell, head/tail lights, bicycle computer, some instructions & my tools, of course

Step 1: I installed the bicycle bell called “I love my bike”. That was really simple.

Step 2: I put 4 “AAA” size batteries in the head lights and realized I need two more for the tail lights. Funny – because on the packing it was said I need only 4 batteries. I installed the head lights on the handlebars, but I couldn’t manage to install the tail lights. To do it I need a longer screw than I had. Installing of head/tail lights was tricky and it made me think a little.

Step 3: The installation of the bicycle computer was trickier! So the instruction was needed. Eventually, after some puzzling over, I installed it. And now I need to go through the settings, which is even trickier (at least I think so). Will let you know, how I found it!

The handlebar looks interesting now

Going to do some fund-raising tomorrow for my and Latvian colleagues’ participation in Cycling for Libraries.

Wish me a good luck!


Spring is in the air

Posted: March 24, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Do you feel it, too? Spring is in the air!

Blossom... Spring is in the air

I wanted to introduce you with the place where time to time I’m spending my days. Almost every Sunday I’m singing in a choir in a place called Catthorpe Manor. Singing is one of the things I like to do a lot. And usually I try to combine two of my favourite activities: cycling and singing.

Catthorpe Manor is a distinctive, versatile and elegant country manor house estate set within 26 secluded acres of landscaped gardens, parkland and woodland in the heart of the Midlands, on the Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire borders. The estate has a diverse history and has been owned by the Latvian Welfare Fund for over 35 years. Today Catthorpe Manor is a function venue, conference centre and one of the most beautiful wedding venues in the area.

Catthorpe Manor - "Straumēni"

The surroundings there is really beautiful: garden, forest, meadow with a pond in the middle. A couple days a week I’m also working there in so-called “clock tower” – a separate building that belongs to the manor house estate.

My workplace: Latvian Documentation Centre

Latvian Documentation Centre was established in 1984. It incorporates a library (it holds exile, soviet and also modern literature, newspapers and magazines in Latvian) and archive. If you want to find information on Latvian song festivals in the UK, Germany, Sweden or Canada, it is right there.

On Saturday I cycled for three hours and a half and managed a distance of 41 km. And during my ride I visited another county of England – Leicestershire (by the way I’m living in Derbyshire). And this is a story of how I crossed the border of Leicestershire.

First part of my journey was the same as for the Ride to Elvaston Castle. I started my journey from Riverside Gardens in the city centre of Derby and followed the cycle path downstreams along the River Derwent towards Elvaston Castle. But this time I passed Elvaston Castle and continued along the River Derwent until I reached a bridge towards Borrowash (a village in Derbyshire) and turned left. I cycled along Station Road and turned right onto Nottigham Road. Then I took right turn onto Draycott Road and continued along until I reached Draycott (a village in Derbyshire). Next village I passed through was Breaston (a village in Derbyshire). Here I took right turn onto Sawley Road, crossed the railway and continued along Draycott Road (again!). I turned left onto Tamworth Road and continued along until I reached Long Eaton railway station (originally Sawley Junction).

At this very moment I need to confess to you: during my ride I tried to reach the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station (a coal-fired power station), and it always seemed very close and easy to reach. So I didn’t even notice where my time went. It was an obsession. And a really silly obsession because I didn’t have a map of the other side of the River Derwent. I just followed the road signs that led me to Long Eaton (a town in Derbyshire) and then towards Castle Donington (a village in Leicestershire).

Long Eaton: View to Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station

I was 2,8 km away from the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station (back then I didn’t even realize how hard it is to reach it by bike!), so I decided to cycle in the direction of power station. I cycled back to the point where I turned left onto Tamworth Road and continued along towards Castle Donington. From this point my journey was really uneventful. I crossed the border of Leicestershire and eventually I reached the highway A50. Guess what – bicycles are not allowed on the highways! So my dream of reaching the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station was doomed.

At least I can show you one photograph of the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station which I have taken once at East Midlands Parkway railway station (a railway station in Nottighamshire). Isn’t it amazing and impressive?

East Midlands Parkway: Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station

On my way back towards Derby, a full moon accompanied me. And I felt someone’s watching over me..