The weather forecast all week has been giving today to be pretty grim with wind and heavy rain all day. I had resigned myself to a day off in the house with possibly a short walk at some stage. However, the forecast was slightly wrong with the weather front breaking into two with a spell of pretty decent weather in between. As the morning progressed this looked more and more likely so I decided a change of scenery was in order and jumped in the car with Rosie and headed for Barnes Gap.
I was last up this track just over a year ago. Either I way underestimated how long it takes to construct a wind farm or Covid shut them down for ages. Construction is still very much ongoing with the hateful implications for the forest environment. The narrow, rocky, rutted and overgrown tracks that were really nice for walking and mountain biking have been replaced with construction sites, quarries and wide roads for construction vehicles.
In general I feel windfarms are a good thing. They will be part of the wider strategy to move away from oil dependency. I’m not a fan of the destruction involved in their construction though. With the amount of road building, use of plastics and heavy machinery it’s hard to see how they can offset the environmental cost of construction during their lifetime. I’m no expert though and also don’t have any alternative to propose. This site was also the location of the infamous moving bog last year.
Despite essentially walking through an active construction site I had the place entirely to myself this afternoon. I also had the pleasure of the wind in the trees, water running in the drains and streams as well as lots of birds singing.
After the dire forecast the weather was actually quite pleasant for most of the walk. During the last 20min the rain did arrive but I did expect it and had dressed appropriately. I did catch the start of the second band of wet and windy weather but just managed to miss the worst of it.
I had estimated the walk to be about 7km but it turned out to be 8km. As the weather has continued to keep me off the bike, despite my back gradually improving, I’ve managed a total of 35km this week. The weather is set to finally improve this week so I hope to get some short evening spins as well as a longer spin Wednesday. If I’m to get in a last minute 100k spin this day week I need to get myself back in shape!