To the non-geologically minded like me, the big rock that my bike is leaning against in the feature photo looks like a big piece of broken concrete. It certainly looks like it is full of the usual concrete ingredients like stones, and gravel, and sand and whatever else gets thrown into the mix. It is actually called Pudding Stone, hence the cheesy title to this post.
The Pudding Stone rock in the picture overlooks Lake Geneva in Switzerland, and there is a line of this type of rock which stretches across the country from west to east. It is also known as Plum-pudding Stone because it is full of round pebbles, which are all trapped in a finer-grained, often sandy, matrix or cement. There are different types of Pudding Stone, with different composition, colours, geographical distribution, and found in different parts of the world from Europe to North America.
Pudding Stone was first formed in sedimentary river beds about a billion years ago and then as the earth went glacial, the sediment was crushed together to form the rock that my bike is leaning against in the picture today. Because there is so much variation in Pudding Stone colours, it is popular with people who make jewellery or who like the hobby of stone polishing. From a cyclists perspective, Pudding Stone can be quite grippy to ride up, down or over, and it’s also bloody hard if you fall off onto it.
Anyway, moving on from a geological theme to something that I find mildly irritating. You may have read a previous post about taking that perfect bike photo, which you can read here if you haven’t yet already https://diaryofacyclingnobody.com/that-perfect-bike-photo/ and the thing that makes me frown is how some people just lay a bicycle on the ground and take a photo of it. It looks like the bike fell over just as it was being photographed and the ‘photographer’ (I use the term very loosely here) snapped away. You wouldn’t photograph a motorcycle laying on its side, or a tractor, or a kids buggy would you? Since I first mentioned it, I’ve come across loads of photos like this on selling sites, Facebook etc. It makes me quite cross, but then I thought that I might play on the theme a bit.
The picture above, after laying the bike down very gently, immediately realises some questions, like; Why was the bike laid down on tarmac? Did the rider fall off it? What happened in such urgency? Was The rider dragged off it by a mad farmer? Etc etc. The photo was taken on the same ride as the Pudding Stone photo, and was taken at the place that I took the photo of the Dandelion below. I know this isn’t an interesting fact in isolation, but what happened next was a bit wildlife-interesting, to me anyway. The best thing about being out on the bike early in the morning and on a beautiful day, is that you see stuff that you wouldn’t see when the rest of the humans have emerged. As I was taking the Dandelion photo, one of the Swiss countryside predators, a beautiful Pine Marten, ran across the road very close to me. You don’t usually see these animals and it was the first one I have ever seen. Sadly, it all happened so fast, I couldn’t photograph it. However, when I turned back around, I saw the bike lying on the ground with a nice backdrop to the image, so I naturally took a photo of it. I know it’s not an earth-shattering piece of news, but it does remind me of why I get out on the bike, and importantly, it is OK to take a photo of your bike lying on the ground if it reminds you of a great experience. As far as I can imagine, I can’t think of any other reason on the planet, why anyone would take a picture of a bicycle lying on its side.
As it rained later in the afternoon, I took a trip to my favourite bike shop on the planet, which you can read about here https://diaryofacyclingnobody.com/the-ultimate-aladdins-cave-of-bike-shops-is-in-switzerland/ and spent a few hours rooting around on several floors and in various rooms in the building, head torch lighting up the dark places where interesting stuff hides. I found another cabinet full of special tools that I hadn’t seen before and bagged myself the unusual one in the photo below. I also got a few other exciting bits and pieces, which rounded off a top day, and importantly, it really is OK to photograph a special tool lying on its side.
All photos by the Author, naturally.