Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cycling holiday

Despite a weather forecast which started with a sunny-ish day (rain by evening) and then wet thereafter, I managed 127 miles over 3 days, with only 2 of those miles being wet.

Not that one

The holiday was the Cyclebreaks Heritage Coast tour, amended to two nights at Westleton, on account of the Halesworth Latitude festival taking over the hotels there.

View 12-Jul-2012 in a larger map

Fearing that the weather would make this the only day for distance, I made 10am start from base, stopping for a sandwich at the Eat Anglia café next door to the Earl Soham Brewery (beer from next door on tap -- so it might as well be the brewery tap from that point of view). Thus fortified, I took part of the route up to Halesworth, and ad-libbed my way from there, suddenly recognising as I turned south at Blyford that I'd cycled in the opposite direction on previous tours ending in Southwold for the night.

The A12 was full of slow-moving traffic when I arrived there, so it was a bit of a wait to cross, but then no problems making the way to Westleton, and a very nice meal of ham hock terrine, and beef and onion suet pudding, washed down with the Summer Dream elderflower ale from Green Jack Brewery.

It was pleasing that this time, after 45 miles, while my legs were starting to tire, I was otherwise perfectly OK that evening -- unlike three months earlier, when doing the same distance around Ipswich had me creaking and hobbling. Even with the awful weather, I have at least managed to get back in condition for the season.

View 13-Jul-2012 in a larger map

Friday was dull, but apart from a few flurries of rain late morning, dry (except for underfoot). The route was almost the planned one, though I extended a mile or so further north on the marked cycle route, going through Brampton. Lunch at the Blue Lighthouse in Southwold (skewered king prawns, and treacle tart), a little walk along the promenade, and a paddle in the very chilly sea (nobody was swimming), then back on the bike, for the journey back via Walberswick and the muddy off-road section where I came a cropper last time in dry weather. This time forewarned, there was just a lot of barefoot wading while carrying the bike, both on that stretch, and later -- after a pause for a pint at the Ship in Dunwich -- on the bridleway between Dunwich Heath and Westleton.

Dinner was chicken liver with black truffle pate, macaroni cheese, and what they called peanut butter cheesecake, but was more like a peanutty mousse.

View 14-Jul-2012 in a larger map

It was raining when I woke up, but by 9, the rain radar was showing the rain had moved to the south, with a few laggard patches remaining in its wake. So rather than going south through Wickham Market and then across, I decided to go west and not turn south until the last minute. I did run into one of those laggard patches of rain for some of the route to the A12 at Darsham, but then on, it was dry from above.

Scarecrow at Denham

Although I knew it was likely to be a bad choice, I decided on the minor route between Heveningham and Laxfield, and was greeted with water running across the road as I came into the former, then soon after going past Ubbeston, there was a hundred yards or so where the road was running ankle-deep with river, and finally a similarly deep puddle at the junction at Banyard's Green; but from then on it was dry, and by the time I came to the White Horse on the A140 at Thornham, even trying to be sunny.

From there, heading south from Finningham, the roads suddenly started to be wet again, suggesting that rain had been through very recently, vindicating the choice of route. And after a pause for a coffee at base, the rain started again as I began the drive home.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Strong-naming assemblies using Mono.Cecil

As the Microsoft FxCop libraries are inherently 32-bit (including native code as they do), developing code using them on a 64-bit platform throws up places where the modes get mixed, and an assembly that is generally AnyCPU ends up needing to load an x86 library and barfs. No real problem here, use corflags assembly /32BIT+ /Force, where you need the /Force for a strong-named assembly. And then if later you need that one strong-named... There is the standard technique of ILDasm/ILAsm to rebuild the assembly with strong-naming (as documented e.g. here), but you still end up with the corflags yellow warning in the MSBuild output about breaking the original strong-naming if you need that too.

But when the code I was working on also uses Mono.Cecil to do stuff, it was easier to silently do the whole lot in one script:

Yes, you can do that in PowerShell too, just with more fussing about the path to the Cecil assemblies because of the schizophrenic current directory model it has. And because the rest of the code in this particular project is F#, keeping the build scripts in the same language is just natural.

Dept of "should know better"

Cycling home from doing a little bit of shopping on Saturday morning, I was coming up to a junction where the road makes a nearly blind left turn at the point where another road joins from the right, with a traffic island in the mouth of the joining road (so a T-junction with altered priorities). Checking the mirror, there was a good gap behind me to another cyclist and then a couple of cars.

So arm out to indicate, and move over to near the white line... When suddenly the cyclist passes me, cuts in in front, then blithely bounces out again, entering the wrong side of the island. And never at any time did his hands leave his front tiller -- a piece of kit I really don't think should be road legal. Now, I'm used to the normal run of urban cyclist who usually has an arm down by one side and indicates by a twitch of an index finger or maybe a flex of the wrist; but this chap was too goddamn precious to make even that attempt.

I, of course, advised him of his unfamiliarity with the general rules of the road, but it irks me that someone supposedly serious about it should be such a bad advertisement for cycling as a mode of transport.


In the end, the last week of June turned out to be good for cycling -- apart from the one day when I ended up cycling home in rain that hadn't been on the Met Office forecast. I can forgive getting showers wrong, but more organised weather less so -- like on Saturday just gone when they said cloudy for the morning when there was a blatant band of rain visible on the radar (The Weather Outlook is always wet and gloomy, so if I went by them I'd not have cycled at all).

So, over the easy target, and, with the cycling holiday in March, 950 miles for the half year, which is good considering we had a couple of months of almost total washout, above and beyond the normal April showers.

And now July opens wet again...