Try refreshing the page to ensure you are enjoying the latest version. I tend to make endless edits and corrections over time. Forgive the sometimes off-topic nature of my blog these days. Walking and enjoying the countryside are vital to my physical and psychological fitness and sense of well-being. They combine to undo the damage caused by an occasional excess of cycling. And, may even stave off another rant! Though I can't promise anything. My long-suffering wife, "The Head Gardener," refers to me as the Imelda Marcos of saddles and saddlebags. She is usually right about almost everything. So it may well be true.

1 Dec 2015

1st December 2015 Fixing hedgehogs? Surely not?

Tuesday 1st December 36F, 2C, fern frost on the car, light winds, clear sky with some thin cloud moving
rapidly over. It is quite pleasant at the moment so I had better get going for a walk. I woke with deafening tinnitus again but a bit of background noise from traffic and the wind helps to mask it. I had underestimated the cold wind once I was clear of the shelter of the trees and hedges. Some of the leaves in the woods were sugar coated and crunched under my boots but it was mostly very wet underfoot.  The weeds have been knocked back by the cold so most of the paths are open again apart from the brambles.

A few Chaffinches pottered in the tree tops but I didn't see any birds of prey until almost home again. One passed overhead while another circled over the scruffy fields. The sky had changed from delicate brush strokes to cotton wool javelins running west to east. A shower intervened so by the time I decided it was safe to get the camera out the bars of cloud had softened considerably.

The hedgehogs must have been fixing again because they had discarded their syringes on the verge.  More likely to be rubbish blown out of an open trailer on its way to the recycling station. I had no desire to handle them with bare hands. Nor to carry them home for safer disposal. Fortunately they were capped so unlikely to injure the wildlife. You never see children walking the verge these days so there is [hopefully] little risk to them either.

The forecast has it brightest around lunchtime with the wind falling steadily all day. The sky has now turned to stripey dark overcast so I may leave my ride until this afternoon.

Left mid-afternoon with a crosswind. Had a good gander at a 36T cassette on an MTB in a bike shop while I was buying a new inner tube. It really does look large compared with my piddly little 32T. The MTB changers don't half look strange on someone brought up on road changers.

I have ordered a set of Durano Plus in 25mm online to see how I get on puncture wise. I vaguely remember trying them in 23mm [I think] and not avoiding punctures quite as well as the 25mm Duranos which followed. The Duranos are showing lots of small cuts cuts which collect flinty sand and make me feel as if I am inviting punctures on the wintry roads. Changing an inner tube in the dark when the tyre is wet and literally covered in sticky sand is not conducive to a long and happy life. The Duranos have lasted a full year and well over 5k miles so I can't really complain. 15 miles, returning in the dark with three Smart light flashing in a large triangle. One on the seat pillar and one far out on each axle fixed to the widely splayed seat stays. It's interesting how cars now dip their headlights before they overtake. I doubt if many of them have seen a trike lit up on the open road.

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