20 Nov 2014

20th November 2014

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Thursday 20th 41F, 5C, another almost still and very grey day. I'm going for a lightweight ride to a target about 20 hilly miles away. Hopefully it will stay dry. I have deliberately fitted the Vetta SL saddle just to see how I get on. Stripping the Trykit carrier [1.3lbs?]and swapping the heavier Carradice Camper saddlebag for the 'Junior' will save a few pounds. As will leaving the massive 2lb+ Abus lock behind.  Though will take my TZ7 camera as always.

A very pretty, private suspension bridge over the moat at a stately home near Assens.[Brahesborg Slot/Gods] The bridge walkway has recently been removed due to rot. There were some fierce, original spikes pointing upwards beside the suspension bars to stop trespassers sneaking along the outside. The raft below suggests that the walkway will eventually be replaced. A beautiful lake circles two other sides of the grounds. With extensive woods beyond that. A large cobbled courtyard and road close the last side. The vast farm buildings nearby are very impressive.  

I don't usually worry about extra weight given the usual addition of daily shopping loads. By the time I have finished I expect to have removed at least 5 or 6lbs.[~3kg] Some people obsess over "saving" a mere few grams and will cheerfully pay £ks to reduce the weight of their machine by 100g. This, despite many riders making excuses not to lose weight themselves.

Immature Triffids on the path to the woods.

Anyway, the Vetta saddle was fine except that I had set it as far back as possible quite by accident while working in the semi-darkness. Which made it a bit of a stretch to the hoods. Just beginning to notice the Vetta saddle's firmness after 30 miles. Wearing tights under my bibs doesn't help as the seams lie in the wrong place. The lightness of the trike was very noticeable. Particularly when accelerating and climbing. Bit short of breath today. Only 36 miles so far. I was sprayed and rained on at halfway. Going out again. Plus 7 more miles with all the "junk" back on. The Brooks instantly felt more comfortable than the Vetta. I have some thin memory foam which I intend to use to check my sit bone spacing when in the normal riding position on the trike. 6001 miles for the year so far. Not a good year and far too late to make up the shortfall.

Friday 21st 41F, 5C patchy mist, heavy, patchy cloud, almost still. I seem to have a recurrence of the 'flu symptoms. Headache, coughing, snotty nose. shortness of breath and occasional dizziness. Went for a pleasant walk. Saw two birds of prey.

After a minor resurrection, the Ventus GPS logger battery now seems to be on its very last legs. A great shame as I now have no alternative. The G730 has been discontinued. I suppose I could break it open and run it off alternative batteries. Though as it is USB charged that might be a problem when it is connected to the computer to download my routes. I am planning another ride today to make the most of this quiet period. Days without wind are far too rare to waste. Even on me.

I refitted  the Brooks saddle, worn with my best bibs, for more comfort. Rode down the main coast road to Fåborg. A young chap on a TT bike overtook me but he ignored my greeting as he passed. I chased him for several miles at 18-23mph but the wind was not in my favour. It stayed sunny for most of the day. Later I saw a recumbent trike on my way back. I haven't seen one for ages. He gave me a wave.  I looked in a cycle shop but every single saddle on the extensive bike display  was narrow and heavily curved.

The climb up from Faldsled to Jordløse should have been good fun but is a very long drag. Not helped by the appalling condition of the marked off cycle lane [broken verge] in many places. [Farm?] traffic has ripped up the already, very coarse tarmac over earlier white  line road markings. Making the cycle lane on the verge almost unrideable! I used the smooth road surface as much as possible but there was a lot of traffic. Forcing me back onto the "ploughed" and heavily ridged cycle lane at frequent intervals. The drudge of climbing continuously for so long was broken by a huge tipper lorry with matching trailer which just would not overtake. Almost dark by the time I reached home but I had all my Xmas lights on. 53 miles. I wonder whether they chose red for rear lights because of its similarity to blood?

Saturday 22nd 38F, 4C, still and grey. The clouds parted for a short walk. Nose still bunged up. Judging from the continuing gunfire the guys with the guns are still battling against the overwhelming resistance of the local wildlife. Perhaps they should call in the drones to take out the leaders?

Rode to Assens under a heavy overcast. The gunmen were still fighting a losing battle with the wildlife as I passed. Several shots were fired by gunmen only 5 meters from the road and 10 meters from houses. So they were obviously fighting from house to house at that point.

You have to admire the drooling idiocy and laziness of the Danish supermarkets. Details would be too tediously boring for my readers but total customer indifference, advertising fraud and utter stupidity is perfectly normal Danish supermarket behaviour. IME. 21 miles.

I see Google is going into the protection racket business. Instead of bombarding every website with its tasteless and infantile advertising shite it will offer to blank them out with patterns if you pay a "subscription." Yeah, right! Since I never asked Google to bombard me with tasteless and infantile advertising shite in the first place why the hell should I pay them not to see their tasteless and infantile advertising shite?  And, if I won't pay their protection money will they send da boys round to break the legs on my computer desk?

One day those who work in advertising will command the same respect as pedophiles, toxic waste dumpers, communist dictators, Google, Microsoft, Apple, investment bankers and serial killers.

Sunday 23rd. A sultry 42F, 6C, windy, light rain and heavily overcast. More of the same then, but with more wind and rain. A bit cold on the hands, what with wind chill and evaporative cooling, as I strolled down the road and back. My nose bled at half way, due to over-ambitious blowing, but I survived to tell the tale without losing consciousness.

I see the new neighbours have almost perfected continuous, dark grey smoke pouring from their chimney. Practice obviously makes perfect and nobody likes imperfection. Choking, copious smoke production is a national Danish hobby. Taking decades of carefully honed skill to achieve the densest outpouring combined with a good coating of creosote inside and out. The finer details of which are all inscribed in the holy Janteloven's Law. [A large book, originally handwritten in human blood using Runic script by the Vikings]

The sacred texts run to many chapters on the careful selection of suitably damp firewood and its ignition with a good dollop of tractor diesel. Or how to maximize the use of painted demolition timbers without being caught by the toothless environmental officers at the local council. [Making lots of smoke is a basic human right in Denmark]

The Janteloven offers guidance on how to blunt a new cutting chain or circular saw with a piece of suitably rustic, narrow gauge railway line. Or using an asbestos cement roofing sheet at a pinch. Preferably using spit and canned beer as a lubricant to keep down the dust as it blows across the neighbour's garden where their dysfunctional kids are beating each other up.

The fundamentalists will sneer at the use of modern materials to blunt their cutting implements. As they soak their chainsaw exhausts in battery acid. To ensure a crisp and sporty note as they perform their ritual 24 x 7 x 52 sawing marathons. Other chapters in The Janteloven offer advice on the careful selection of the correct dogs. To ensure continuous enjoyment of their barking above the sound of the sawing.

Every autumn, as temperatures plummet below the usual balmy 10C, 50F, Danish air quality drops below even that of the Chinese communist mafia bosses tolerance levels. Every Danish town, city and hamlet takes on a permanent odour of creosote. Visibility drops due to an all pervading blue-grey haze. Not helped by Denmark's heavy reliance on imported coal to fuel its <cough> "suitably green" <cough> energy needs. The annual 'flu like symptoms affecting a large slice of the Danish population have been examined several times by the WHO and Doctors Without Frontiers without useful effect.

Even "cycling friendly" Denmark's attempts to host the extreme mountain biking world championships, on its ordinary cycle lanes, must remain but a dream. Being so small and relatively poor, due to an extreme excess of public servants, Denmark cannot afford to bribe any stinking rich, sports selection committee members to ignore the awful air quality.  

The traffic in the lanes was nose to tail and all travelling at high speed in the semi-darkness as I returned. It reminded me of an overblown presidential convoy in a Hollywood blockbuster. They can't all be running booze from the German border, can they? Only 10 miles to keep the circulation going. I really must sort out some more pictures!

Click on any image for an enlargement.
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