Finished off a week of climate chaos in South Asia – thousands dead, millions of the very poorest people on earth displaced – with a glorious mountain bike cycle in the Scottish Highlands.
Did I feel guilty? Not really. Do I feel angry? Yes. Media obsessed with flooding in Texas – also tragic for those involved – but little mention of the root cause of these extreme weather events like hurricane Harvey. We simply will not talk about it. The argument that we should be dealing with the here and now consequences of another disaster are becoming tired. Surely now is the time to be talking about the causes. These extreme weather events are going to intensify ….. and those that least able to cope, like in India and Bangladesh, will suffer and die.
Why are people who say that climate change is too uncertain to believe more easily convinced of the imminent danger of terrorist attacks, asteroid strikes or an alien invasion. George Marshall in his wonder full book ‘why our brains are wired to ignore climate change’ asks and tries to answer these very questions. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dont-Even-Think-About-Climate/dp/163286102X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504379914&sr=8-1&keywords=george+marshall+why
He does not point fingers or lecture on his views – simply asks why this generation continue to bury our collective heads in the sand against the evidence and the facts, especially those with children and grandchildren.
So to the cheery topic of today’s cycle. The Burma Road between near Aviemore and Carrbridge over the hills and alongside the river Dulnain.
Could not get parked up in Aviemore so resorted to parking at the foot of the hard climb up the Burma Road at Lynwilg just off the A9. Burma Road may be named so because of the suffering on its slopes (must look it up). Anyway: after unloading the bike I stopped after 50 metres to put £1 in an honesty box for the best bit of Malteser Cake I can recall.
Could not delay the slog up to the col. Had to push twice, once because I was not warmed up and my back was feeling it. The other occasion because I was shattered and the rear wheel was skidding around on the gravel. Otherwise I stayed on the bike and secured the cairn at the col in just over 30 minutes ….. that was the really hard work of the day done.
A sweeping descent followed. Glorious day – piercing blue sky. Then picked up the path alongside the river Dulnain.
Bit of technical riding – I could manage fine so must have been mild – and then wind assisted blast towards Carrbridge hurtling along by the river. I was not prepared for what greeted me in Carrbridge – the world saw cutting championships. Absolutely jumping with people, shops and cafes packed full. Lots of middle age stout blokes with beards, leathers and baseball caps and lots of middle age stout women with same (minus the beards). A lovely lady directing the traffic through the village gave me directions to pick up a forest track to Boat of Garten.
Coffee in Boat of Garten and great track through forest to Aviemore. Efforts have been made to resussitate this Highland town … but I’m sorry: Aviemore is still a ghastly place. A golf course with private stay out signs and soulless housing from a corporate leisure giant does not make a place.
So onward through Aviemore, across the A9 and gentle rise back to my start point at the foot of the Burma Road. Before heading off I paid another visit to the tray bakes and the honesty box for more Malteser cake.